It finally happened. Our second grade daughter Johanna was invited to her first sleepover. I knew the day would come. So many thoughts went racing around in my mind. Nothing was more consuming than my greatest fear: Would she be safe without me? Would she make it through the night, no hypoglycemia. Could the host parents properly perform her midnight blood glucose tests? And an even more unnerving thought was that I would be out of town, so I couldn’t go through the diabetes-to-do checklist with my husband, Anna-the mom and Johanna. I took a deep breath. We do that often, don’t we? I knew what had to happen. If Johanna is to one day own this disease, she has to do what other kids her age are doing, and she has to go on this sleepover. Johanna has been to this friend’s house many times. I knew Anna and she was willing to test JoJo's glucose at the times needed (for which I was so thankful). Johanna knew how to enter BG and carb data into her insulin pump, and Anna was prepared to review it, so we were set with the insulin regimen.
Johanna was so excited: I swear she asked me a thousand times that week, “When’s the sleepover?” It was to be on Friday. I left for a trip that Thursday. Jeff assured me he would take care of everything and I knew he’d do a great job. He told me to have a great trip and not to worry, but as I left, I think my forced smile revealed my fears.
Johanna had a wonderful time. Her BG was a little high going into the night but not alarming and certainly not unexpected given her excitement. Her friend lived in the neighborhood, so it was close. Jeff and Anna talked a few times throughout the evening and all was going well. But Jeff forgot to go through the BG finger prick, perhaps because Johanna was always in control of that. Johanna would have to be tested at 2 a.m. while she was asleep. When Anna tested Johanna's BG, she pulled off the cap covering the "pricker", JoJo's lancet, thinking it was just that, a cover. With the lancet needle fully exposed and without the cap to shorten its impact, Johanna sat right up and shrieked in pain when Anna “pricked” her. Both of them were surprised: Johanna by the pain and Anna by the unexpected reaction, particularly after hearing that Johanna usually sleeps through these midnight BG tests. Johanna tried to explain to Anna that the cap stayed on, and Anna tried to reassure her that she didn’t think so. They called Jeff and when he explained to Anna that it did in fact stay on the lancet, she felt horrible about the honest mistake. Jeff reassured her that everything was fine. He then overheard Johanna ask her, “This isn’t going to keep me from having a sleepover, will it?” She didn’t want anything to prevent her from having another sleepover. Anna assured her it wouldn’t, and the rest of the night and next morning were great. We were so thankful that Anna and her family had the courage to invite Johanna for an overnight and that they made a special effort, on their daughter’s special day, to enable Johanna to experience something too many kids with type 1 diabetes don’t get to enjoy enough.
Just another day in the life of a child with type 1 diabetes...