Posted by on Monday 24 May 2010

Where's your pencil case?

Apart from the odd hypo, and a fairly considered diet, there are a couple of other ways in which diabetes affects our day to day lives as a family. The main one of course, is having to know in advance whether there is food provided at a party, or we are likely to be out long enough to need to remind Mike to take his insulin with him. Mike keeps all his stuff in a pencil case, so "Where's your pencil case?" is the question we ask to ascertain whether or not we will be able to eat while we are out.

These days he's pretty good at remembering, the pencil case is kept in a good place to make it a visual reminder, but there have been plenty of occasions in the past when we have had to turn the car round and come back to collect it, and once or twice Mike has had to manage without by either being very restrained and not eating, or choosing carefully. It does affect us all, not only when we have to wait until we get home, but also if we don't. There is nothing joyful about eating party food in front of someone who can't join in.

It's all about being prepared really, and part of that preparation is communication. It isn't the easiest thing in the world to ask the kind person who has offered the party invitation as to whether or not they will be feeding us, it feels a little cheeky. Mike does not like to be so bold. I find it easier, though maybe that's because I'm finding out on someone else's behalf, it's not really me that's 'making all the fuss', not that it is a fuss, but I think that is how Mike sometimes feels. He's not one to draw attention to himself.

It's easier now the girls are older, they are more able to wait, even if they are hungry. I never went anywhere without snacks to keep them going when they were little, again, all about the preparation. Hungry children don't make life worth living, and I'm just as bad. Mike doesn't tend to get hungry, unless he's hypo, it's a useful signal. But it also means that being out with three hungry women, who can't have lunch until we get home because he hasn't brought his kit, does put him in a quite dangerous position which he doesn't necessarily recognise or understand.

On the whole, it's a good idea to keep asking the question: "Where's your pencil case?"


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