I’ve talked to people who have recently done major renovation projects in their houses, and I’ve heard them complain about how hard it is to live without a kitchen or bathroom or whatever it is that’s under construction. I thought, really? How hard could it be?

Well, now it’s my turn to complain! We’re in the middle of a partial kitchen remodel in our house, and I had no idea how inconvenient it would be to not have access to my kitchen for several days at a time. Every time I turn around, I’m looking for something I need that’s packed up or covered in plastic and masking tape. We are getting super tired of fast food and eating out, and on top of all that, the rest of my house is in complete chaos because stuff from the kitchen is stacked all over the place. Even the furniture is stacked so that we can barely walk through. I’ve had kids heating up water with our electric kettle on the floor of my bedroom to make hot chocolate, instant oatmeal, and noodle cups. It’s pretty much a hot mess around here.

When the workers swooped into the house and began to go crazy with their rolls of paper, plastic, and masking tape, they told me to get anything I might need before it was going to be inaccessible. Boy, they were not kidding! We were completely cut off from the largest section of our house. Of course, the first thing I thought to grab was the insulin out of the fridge and some diabetes supplies — pump sites and CGM sensors, etc. We also snagged all the school supplies and books we would need, and some food, water, and a few dishes to hold us over until we could have our house back.

I thought we were good. I thought we had everything we needed. Last night, though, Kaitlyn’s CGM alarm went off in the middle of the night, begging for a calibration. When we went to check her blood sugar, we grabbed her kit, opened the test strip canister… and it was completely empty. I looked through the stash of diabetes supplies I grabbed, and there were no strips! Ahhhh! I was so frustrated! Out of all the things I could forget to grab! Test strips!? We have probably about 20 boxes of test strips just one room over, but we were separated by a wall of plastic and construction dust. It was about 2 in the morning, but I was desperate. The only way to get through was to go out the front door (in my pajamas, of course), walk around the house to the backyard, and come through the back door into the family room where the boxes of supplies were stacked. I dug through the boxes, found the strips, and made my way out the back door, around the house, through the front door, and back into Kaitlyn’s room. I finally checked her blood sugar, calibrated her meter, and went back to bed, hoping that it was the last time I would need to go get something we forgot.

Of course, it was not the end of the world to be inconvenienced in the middle of the night. But I learned that if we ever do this again, I will plan to pack up as if we were leaving the country and going on vacation. Or better yet — I might just plan to actually go on that vacation and be out of town till it’s all over!

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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