Thursday, February 28, 2008

Field Trips

This week Daniel brought home two different permission papers for field trips. One is to the Chesapeake Bay, the other is a physics field trip to Six Flags (yeah, right, just an excuse to ride the roller coasters).

I filled out the forms, an activity that takes longer than it used to last year, because there's lots of medical info to add.

I feel funny about signing off on the trips. I offered (enthusiastically) to chaperon them both because of "Daniel's medical condition." I'm so torn. Part of me wants him to travel the world like Amylia, because diabetes should in no way limit his activities. And part of me wants to reattach the umbilical cord so that he can't stroll more than a certain distance away from me and my desire to manage his disease FOR HIM.

This is what I imagine for the Six Flags trip: I have images in my head of him riding the roller coaster, lifting his hands over his head in glee as he is flung at great speed down an awesome hill. I can see his diabetes kit flying up above his head and, since it was not zipped properly, I see the needles, glucose monitor, insulin pen, and all the other small pieces spraying out in an arc above the park only to rain down somewhere in the toddler section.

I need to chaperon only so I can be the pack horse. Oh, and of course Six Flags says that you are not allowed to bring any food into the park. When I looked online at the food choices available, there was nothing that stood out as celiac safe. I did find a statement where they say you can bring in food if the person can show they have special dietary needs, and you must check your food with Security on the way into the park. Yes officer, this bread is gluten-free.

The Chesapeake Bay trip has no food issues (bring your own), but I have to hope that the bg monitor doesn't end up swimming with the crabs.

Yes, I'm allowing Daniel to go on the trips. I hope I can chaperon at least one of them. Baby steps. These are my baby steps. One day he may go off to college, and I better learn to let him stand on his own two feet by then.


Jillian said...

I would say go on the Six Flags trip. When I went in 8th grade with my middle school, it was a horrible mess. The kids were responsible for themselves; when they ate lunch, keeping up with the work books, personal items etc. The walking and excitement is not the most diabetes friendly. Plus like you said the food offered there is definitely not celiac approved.

dae said...

Baby steps, we all go through them. For my mom, it was allowing me to go on a three-day stayover at my church with a bunch of other 19 and 20-year old kids like myself. It turned out fine, though she was worried and I had to keep her updated with text message. I'd say go for the amusement park trip too, because teenagers + amusement parks could potentially = disaster.

Shannon said...

You should get first priority as chaperone. Insist on it.

If it isn't stipulated in your 504 plan, then it should be.

If a school nurse (whether THE nurse, or a sub) can't go on class trips, then I am first pick as chaperone along with other parents whose kids have special needs.

jules said...

I say let him go to the trip, he needs to learn how to deal with these things eventually. I'm reading this amazing book "A New Earth" and it has a section on illness... I'm going to blog about it later. It's amazing. You should read it if you haven't already:)

Jillian said...

Okay I'm back with more to say. Now I know that this is still your first year with Diabetes, but I would have to agree with Jules. If you can't go with him, you need to drill into his brain what you expect from him; test how x number of times, notify an adult if he's low, whatever. Like you said he's going to do this on his own someday, and I think he's old enough to be responsible for himself for just one day.

Naomi said...

I don't know yet whether I'll be allowed to go -- there are only so many chaperon spots -- and I haven't talked to his teacher yet. The trip is in April. But I do want to be there. I don't want to cramp his style, but I also know him well enough to know that he gets psyched up about going to do the fun stuff and then forgets his kit in all the hubbub. I'm happy to be the pack horse for a day.

At the same time, I'd like to drill in to his brain what I expect from him, and kind of stand back and see if he remembers to do some of the important stuff himself -- testing when he is supposed to, remembering all his supplies, etc.

Our 504 plan does not stipulate that I get first priority as a chaperon. That's not something I was thinking of at the time, I guess (we were only a few months into dx at the time and still in shock). We reevaluate the 504 every year, so I'll add that.

Shannon said...

You can add it now if you want. We're going over Brendon's again next week to add one more item.

There are things that don't pop up until it happens (like class trips). I hadn't thought about it either until Brendon's school nurse brought it up last year.

Naomi said...

Actually, it's probably a good time for a review anyway, since Daniel's school just got another new nurse (third one this year). All of them have been great, but I have to go in and have yet another face to face...

in search of balance said...

I know you guys are thinking about it, and I know it will only be right when everyone's ready, but pumps make these things so much easier. If he goes low (in an extreme way), he can turn the thing off and be done with whatever basal insulin was there in 2 hours. With a shot, that's up to 24 hours. He can ramp down the basal to suit his new activity (walking all day long), or ramp it up for crazy food / stress.

I didn't want a pump. I think I was partly afraid, and partly NOT into the idea of having something stuck on my belly. The first week I wore it, though, it was love.

I hope he does really well at the field trips, and I hope that you have an easy time when he's away, trusting him to be okay. I can't imagine how hard that would be, and I just want to mention and admire your bravery and determination in all this.

Jillian said...

Ugh I hate to come back and state my opinion for the millionth time.

Beth, did you know you can't wear a pump on most rides in a amusement park? All that disconnecting and reconnecting would be terrible, not easier in this situation. Also I know that for me it took 8 years from the time it was brought to my attention for me to make the decision. (One my parents left to me, because it is and has always been "my" disease.) At Daniel's age it has to be his decision and his alone. Plus starting the pump is like diagnosis all over again.

Okay, I'll be quiet now.

Shannon said...

Why can't you wear a pump on amusement park rides?

I'm curious to know in case we take Brendon.

He's been on small roller coasters and some adult rides without a problem.

Do the more adult rides cause a problem with the pump?

Jillian said...

It's in the Cozmo manual, and I was also told by my CDE. Something about the magnetics used on the tracks (roller coasters etc) and safety bar harnesses. Also for free fall rides like those spinning cages and death drop kind of stuff, it can go flying from the force.

Naomi said...

Wow. Lots of info.

Beth, I think Daniel might be holding out for a cure instead of the pump :) but you never know. He does talk about it.

Jillian -- I didn't know that you couldn't wear a pump for amusement rides either. Are there any other restrictions?

When Daniel was dx'd the nurse at Children's hospital was talking about syringes, pens, & pumps, and she told us a story about one of her patients who had recently lost her pump while kayaking -- it was ripped off by the force of the water.

When do they come out with the subcutaneous version?

Shannon said...

OMG!! I guess I should read the manual!!!! He's gone on roller coaster a few times already!