Vacation

Hey was wondering if any of you parents out there get to go away without your t1d child ? Last winter I took my then 7 year old son with us and we left our other children at home . Was wondering if I can hire someone like a nurse to move in being we haven’t gone away alone in 2 years . Curious to hear what other families do,our parents don’t live locally . Thanks!

Family is your best bet. Your son is old enough to manage most of his care on his own, with adult supervision. You just need to give your family members an overview of specific needs your son has and what to do in case of emergency. Try an overnight visit and see how it goes before going out of town.

Your son is also old enough to go to diabetes summer camp for a week, so you can schedule your vacation when he’s at camp.

The Pink Panther book is a good resource for family or babysitters watching your child. This has a free link to the online version or you can buy for $25. http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/centers/BarbaraDavis/OnlineBooks/books/Pages/UnderstandingDiabetes.aspx

I have had diabetes since I was 2 years old… Growing up my parents went on weekend get-a-ways and that meant sleep overs with Grandma and Grandpa. I agree with Jenna- if you have any family close by they are your best… I see that their grandparents aren’t near you… do you have any family friends that understand diabetes? Or friends that are nurses?
Again, with what Jenna said… I have been a camp counselor at a diabetes camp so I am a strong supporter of this avenue! Not only would it be great for you to have a vacation while he’s at camp, but… it is great networking for your son and for you!!

Hi @Sambat7. I’ve had t1d since age 2. My parents left us (my brother & I) with parents of friends of theirs (who I called Grandma & Grandpa) or with a few sets of their friends. They didn’t have a ton of family close to us (their parents had died, siblings lived across the state, etc.). So, they built up their own network. Those families were their lifeline.

And you think, oh - but you don’t understand the difference with pumps, etc. Well, I also have a 12 year old daughter who was diagnosed at age 4. Started on the pump 2 weeks after diagnosis. We have built up our own network. Neighbors across the street can handle overnights, and likely could handle more - but they tend to be on those extended trips with us ;-). So, we have cousins and other friends who we allow to take over. Like the others said - Diabetes Camp is a week away and we send our other daughter to a Y camp the same week - happens to be week of our anniversary - win-win-win. Check here for one near you: https://www.diabetescamps.org/ They have different ages depending on the camp.

I guess to be blunt - you didn’t know what you were doing when your son was diagnosed and he survived. So, you let others live that a bit (of course, with some training and documentation). He’ll survive. He’ll actually be better for it. He can prove how much he knows to whomever is taking care of him. He knows the ins and outs. He’ll be able to answer their questions even if he can’t physically ‘do’ a part of his care (i.e. my daughter is just getting to wear she can put the pump site in, but she can walk people through it).

Part of your son growing to be an independent person is having time away from parental influences. To figure out who he is. The first trip maybe is 2 nights and a couple hours away. Eventually, you’ll go across the country for a week. Or maybe you won’t. But you could.

I also ensure that a family who lives with type 1 is ‘on-call’ in case there is an emergency the people we’ve left our daughter with can’t handle. We’ve met a ton of families through our local JDRF chapter. I have 3 of them I’ve asked to put on a ‘diabetes contact list’. They all said sure and were available if a pump site insertion went bad, or ketones wouldn’t go away, or whatever.

Also - there are very few places in the US you are out of cell range (even in Death Valley, CA you get calls). The big issue - you just have to get the guts to do it. And it’s hard. It’s scary. Plan a trip, setup a few pre-trips sleepovers for a night or two with that person. Start building that network - you & your spouse will need it. You have to take care of your relationship in order to take care of your kids, and that is even more important when you are dealing with a chronic disease.

Good luck. Let us know where you end up going.