Coping with Diabetes on Days Out

I was so proud of Jack last week; I feel he really took a positive step towards accepting diabetes. We have been very positive and pro active in managing his condition. We have drummed it into him he is no different to any other teenager, but does have a few restrictions around consumption of food and drink and how he approaches sport and activity. 
Don’t get me wrong he manages it extremely well. He plays in sports teams weekly and pushes himself physically to keep fit and healthy. We couldn’t be prouder. But we are behind him most of the time, reminding him to check his sugar, sometime recognising hypos before he does.
However last year we had visited Blackpool pleasure beach with friends, it was a very hot day; which does make his sugar levels drop quicker. We were queueing for a ride, and the queue was huge, when he had a hypo. It was one of those hypos that came with no notice, the type he cant eat during. I had snacks on me but no lucozade. To be honest it was a total nightmare getting him out of this long winding queue, Jack displaying his full hypo strop. Now this is a rare incident but does happen, and mostly when we are out. Once we had returned Jacks sugar to normal he was more upset we had had to leave the queue when we were nearly at the front.
After the event a friend told me that if you had certain disabilities or conditions you could get a special pass type ticket at most UK theme parks, that would Allow Jack and, one other person to use the fast pass line. It is not something we have tried since, as we are a family of four we choose to ride together. And if we are with him we can deal with hypos, whether its a case of treating in the queue of leave the line altogether. 
However last week, Jacks school had arranged an end of year trip to Blackpool Pleasure beach. Jack was really excited planning what rides to visit with friends. But I could see something was on his mind. Then the night before, during dinner, he told us he was worried about having a hypo in the queue. And wondered if it was OK to get a fast access pass. We discussed it and agreed that if he felt safer, then yes he should.  
It was so hard as I wanted to ring the school and the Pleasure beach for him, to make all the arrangements. But I knew in my heart he had decided to take this step, and had to follow it through alone. I know he is only 13, but one thing about having a great diabetes team behind you is; as a parent they educate you, your child has to learn to take a level of responsibility for their condition. 
The next morning off Jack went to Blackpool, he text to say he was there safely but other than that I never heard from him all day. When I collected him at the end of the day, he was buzzing he had, had a great day. He talked about the rides he had been on, told me funny stories of things that had happened, but never mentioned the fast pass or his sugar. Once he had told me all his news, I asked if he had gone to customer services for a pass. And hurrah yes he had, he had asked his head of year who had agreed, and off he had gone with his diabetes card to get the pass.

I am so so proud of him, he took responsibility for his sugar levels yesterday, he came home with near perfect levels and had enjoyed a great day, without having to worry about what happens if he has a hypo in a queue. Well-done Jack today was a massive step for you, accepting your conditions and taking precautions to ensure you are safe. 

Author of Extraordinary Chaos a family lifestyle and travel blog from a 40+ mum of teenage boys, sharing our family travels, recipes, reviews and country living. Also the co editor of Cruising With Kids Family Cruise Blog

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