Every Spring, our school district holds an all-elementary school track meet. It's a one day event that helps introduce track events to 4th and 5th graders. My oldest participated when he was in 5th grade. Ironically, my middle (the runner in the family) never opted to be a part of it.
C is a 3rd grader this year, so it caught me by surprise when she brought home the permission slip for the track meet. She was so excited. The district had opened it up to 3rd grade as well. We filled out the necessary forms and, as I always do, I wrote TYPE 1 DIABETES, diagonally, across the section titled: Medical Concerns. I even wrote a brief sentence at the bottom of the paperwork something like C's parent will need to be in close proximity to her at all times to manage her blood sugars.
C took all the papers back to school and turned them in the next day. I put the thought of the track meet out of my mind (or at least on a small back burner.)
On the week of the meet, she got the list of her events: 400 m relay, 100 m dash and 50 m dash. The other relayer's moms stopped me after school and said the girls were going to practice a couple times that week. Wow! They were serious! After retrieving C's D bag from the office, she did a quick finger check...64. Ug. At that moment, the thought of the track meet was plopped right on the biggest front burner, so quickly that I almost got scalded! She munched on a couple glucose tabs and we waited. I kind of fumbled over my diabetes explanation to one of the moms whom I had never met before. The other 2 know us quite well. You'd think after all the times I've needed to explain C's diabetes that I would have it down pat. Well, I don't. (That could be another post.)
When C came up in the 100's, out to the field we went. The girls practiced several times, passing the baton and running fast. Watching them, I noticed my daughter was not the only one running in inappropriate shoes. We headed to a shoe store, got some cute little pink and white track shoes and then made our way home. From that day through the end of the week, the thought of the track meet simmered, stewed and sometimes boiled in my mind.
So many things swirled through my head.
I'll need to be near C at all times.
What's the best carb choice of snacks? Easiest to eat...and then run?
Will they let a parent down on the field?
I'll need to be ready with a good explanation.
What is a good number to have before she starts running?
How do I get her to that number and keep her there?
What about in between events?
Sigh. I wasn't necessarily panicking...just mentally preparing.
After dinner that night, C paraded around the house in her new shoes. She was so excited. And, really, I was too. She had never done anything like this and I wanted her to do it. So, I put a quick question out there on twitter...
my 9 yr old t1 is in a track meet tomorrow!...any tips out there about bgs??? #diabetes
Within minutes @LaMerenguera came to the rescue! I learned about Clif Bars, not disconnecting to run and where she likes to be, bg-wise, before a run. Gatorade can help ward off the lows but won't spike her like juice. Clipping the pump inside the shorts will help keep it more secure. Such good tips!...Thanks Jess!!
So we were armed: Clif Bars, Gatorade, pump clip, peanut butter crackers, glucose tabs, yogurt tubes and a good explanation as to why I needed to be allowed in and out of the track gate while other parents weren't. (Oh...and cute new pink and white shoes too!).
The meet was a great success. C came home with a ribbon for the relay. She was thrilled. I was relieved. I only needed to explain our situation about 5 times. But we did it. She did it!
On a side note...while the runners were waiting on benches for one of the events, C did one of the many bg checks for the day. A little boy noticed and asked "Oh, is she diabetic?"
I told him "Yes, yes she is..."
"I am too," he said..."Type 1."
"Oh wow, so you know what we're doing! What's your number right now?" (He, too, was waiting to participate in an event.)
"Oh, I don't know. I only check a couple times a day." I think my eyes got really big for a second.
"Hmmm," I said. I couldn't think of anything else to say.
Alright...use of the word meat simply referenced how I felt when we got home...like track meat! I took a nap, exhausted. And, I wasn't even the one who ran!