July 15, 2007

Diabetes Camp

The last five days have been spent on a family camping trip to Big Sur, which is a remote region of the California coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A number of family and friends were there, and together we filled up five campsites.

I'll post some pictures of our trip in a day or two. Today, though, we dropped Ethan, 9, off for a week of camp. This is a camp for kids with diabetes through an organization in San Jose. It's the first time that Ethan has ever spent a week away from home without his mom or dad with him, and saying goodbye was difficult. He cried and asked to go home, and we told him no and made him get on the bus. Then we cried a little, too.

Now we're home, and it's weird not having to check on him. For the past 5 1/2 years, we've closely monitored his blood sugar, pricking his finger 5, 6, 7 times a day or more; we've given him insulin injections at every meal, at bedtime, and whenever his blood sugar got too high.

I find myself fighting the urge to get up and check on him, check his blood sugar. When we stopped at a restaurant on the way home, I started to ask, "do we have Ethan's meter?" because that's what I always ask when we stop for something to eat. But not only did we not have the meter, we didn't have Ethan.

What's it like to not have to worry about my child's diabetes? I've forgotten what that's like. Is his blood sugar too high? Is it too low? Should I check his blood sugar one more time, just to be sure? For one week, someone else will be asking those questions on Ethan's behalf, and helping him to be better at asking them--and finding out the answers--for himself. And even though I know he's in good hands, I also know that tonight, I'll wake up in the middle of the night and wonder, "what's his blood sugar now?"

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