Kim M.

Breaking Away: Traveling WITHOUT Type 1 Diabetes

Recently, Evan and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary with a trip to Maui. Although vacationing with our kids is one of our favorite things to do, this adults-only trip was a much-needed break and a great excuse to escape from parenting for a little bit and focus on each other. We loved the time away from work and kids — and, honestly, type 1 diabetes care.

The idea of “breaking away” was hard at the beginning. The first day, I was still sending texts with reminders to take out the trash and feed the cats. Evan was responding to work emails and making work-related phone calls. At the airport, standing in line at the car rental place, and while checking into our condo, I was constantly checking Kaitlyn’s blood sugar on my phone.

This was our first solo trip since we’ve had CGM (continuous glucose monitor) data shared on my phone, and it made me realize how there are pros and cons to every piece of technology. During the first night in Maui and even on our snorkeling boat trip the next morning, I was jumping at every alarm and texting and calling to make sure Kaitlyn was okay. Every time I called, caretakers were already on top of things. My mom, who was taking care of the kids during the first part of the trip, urged me to relax and told me more than once that all was well.

It wasn’t until day three when we were sitting on the beach and my alarm went off again that we finally realized that we had to just turn off the alarms completely. Focusing on Kaitlyn’s numbers was stealing a bit of the peace and calm that we were desperately seeking on this vacation. I love Kaitlyn’s CGM and especially the sharing feature, but until that moment, I didn’t realize how bound to the alarms I had become. I had left Kaitlyn and the rest of the kids in very capable hands. Even if her numbers didn’t stay perfectly in range, I knew that my mom had all the tools she needed, and so I trusted that Kaitlyn would be just fine.

So that was that — we turned off the alarms. In fact, I turned my phone completely off. Evan also stopped checking his emails, and we were finally really there, in Maui, on a beautiful beach, thinking about nothing except amazing scenery or where we wanted to go to dinner that night. It was awesome.

Letting go is really hard — harder than I thought it would be — when you have information at your fingertips. But I learned on this trip that you really can break away, and wow, it’s really worth it!

 

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

 

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