This week sees Pumplette heading off with 106 of some of her closest friends on a school trip, rampaging through the capital city all in the name of education & enrichment. I’m very excited for her – the itinerary has me green with envy – and I know the entire week will be spent in a heightened state of excitement & sleep deprivation!
However, when I wave goodbye to her in the pre dawn twilight of the morning, I will confess to hiding my anxiety that she’ll return home having had nothing other than a hugely exciting adventure & a bag of dirty laundry. For it isn’t just my second born I shall be waving off in the morning. The numerous bags that will accompany her are the only external indicators that I have packed for two.
T1 is more demanding than a toddler throwing the mother and father of all tantrums. Indeed, Pumplette’s T1 will be rewarded with a case all to itself. There’ll be pump supplies. Blood testing kits. Insulin. Hypo snacks & drinks. Spares of all the above. And then spare spares. Just in case. There are crib sheets, short cuts, apps for teachers & a plethora of phone numbers all in the name of T1D. It’s not for Pumplette these are necessary, but for that fickle shadow that will insist on mirroring her every moment!
This year, however, I feel very fortunate. The team corralling 107 children this week are exceptional. The team leader & Pumplette’s group leader, who is also epically picking up the night shift too, are completely amazing. We have had but one meeting, deliberately low key & involving only us, to ensure they’re confident in the processes we have laid out. Crucially for Pumplette, and me, they have the upmost respect for Pumplette’s superior knowledge & understanding of her T1, and they fully recognise she will be unlike any other T1 child they’ll have taken away before. It’s this appreciation alone that helps to ease my angst, for I know they’ll listen to her and or defer by phone to me if they’ve an issue. They understand that I simply cannot document all the nuances involved in the management of T1 for them.
So in the morning, as I wave two bags & a Pumplette off on their exciting adventures in the big smoke, I shall make sure that she sees the big smile on my face for all the wonderful things she will experience & that I keep my anxiety well hidden from her. For I don’t want her to think I doubt her abilities. Quite the opposite. I know my days are numbered as I become increasingly obsolete in her day to day dealings & management with T1.
NB: If you are concerned about the support your child is receiving from their school, you can find information & support here at Diabetes UK Make the Grade campaign.