The moral of the story is that one should always respect the property and privacy of others, although the common theme that is most referred to in the Goldilocks story was that she was looking for "just right". The elusive hunt for the "Goldilocks" economy has been a common theme throughout my career.
Since Alice's Type 1 diagnosis I find myself reminded of the tale of Goldilocks, and how we are constantly looking for that "just right" blood glucose level. The Dr's so far seem quite happy with the way things are going and our management of Alice's blood sugar levels. We tend not to have too many peaks or troughs, and whilst she experiences some hypos Alice seems happier having those rather than being high - she realises that if she is high for a sustained period then the unpleasant cumulative side effects are more common. She prefers to have good control, and with Mrs R's outstanding diligence on the home preparation of food (fresh ingredients, good mix of food groups, diligently weighing every portion and so on), generally Alice's levels are pretty good.
Sometimes it is just not that easy. After our trial ski weekend in the very friendly and small resort of La Colmiane, with (I am minded to say) very healthy food, we spent a week in Val D'Isere on a family holiday. This was terrific fun overall, and we coped with the diabetes quite well, although it was not particularly easy. Val D'Isere is a huge resort with lots of skiing, and is very high in terms of altitude, and whilst this has attractions (lots of skiing, virtually guaranteed snow), it held "challenges" for us - a Type 1 diabetic and her family. Probably our main concern was Alice having a bad hypo on a chair lift whilst skiing with her teacher and class mates - she had lessons booked every morning from 9-12. We had lunch most days on the mountain, so someone had to take her insulin (which must not get too cold - or hot), so that she could actually eat. We managed to send her off to lessons reasonably stoked up in terms of blood glucose levels, and then stuffed her pockets with dextrose and Skittles (pure sugar is the best way to treat a hypo as it is fast acting and very predictable in terms of carb doseage - Skittles too). Alice was admirably grown up about the whole thing, and when she felt she was a bit "high", she would have a herbal tea at the coffee stop, unlike the rest of her class scoffing hot chocolates and Mars Bars. This still brings a lump to my throat - she has had to grow up so quickly.
Once she was with us, the responsibility was no longer on her, and she would visibly relax in the afternoon. Normally when the moods and parental pushback would start. Mood swings are part and parcel of being 11/12 years old, and being rude to one's parents goes with the territory. These could be exacerbated with high or low blood sugar levels, though, together with the constant arguing and "strikes" when she would refuse to test and / or take her insulin. The combination of not knowing exactly what she was eating, the constant exercise (we skied a lot, and when we weren't skiing we were sledging, or walking, or building snowmen, etc), altitude, extreme cold and excitement meant that her levels were a little erratic. When she came off a chair lift crying (I was on the one in front, and she was with a friend), I was concerned. It turned out that a man had been very rude to her in the queue. A few minutes later Alice mentioned she felt quite funny, and I tested her blood and it was 1.7. Given her grandfather was admitted to hospital the previous with a hypo related seizure and his blood was 1.3, and Alice had really only just eaten, I felt like I had just watched my daughter have a very near miss when crossing the road. She recovered with no ill effects, carried on skiing and it was as if nothing had happened, but it was a near miss for sure.
This past weekend, we have experienced the opposite - we had a weekend staying with friends in Limone (about an hour and a half from Monaco and coincidentally the start of the Cro Magnon). We drove up Friday night, had a lovely dinner out (pizza / pasta), skied all day Saturday in fantastic sunshine and snow, although the slopes were packed, and lunch was a hot dog. Dinner again was pasta, and because we thought we would ski the next day we reduced the slow acting dose of insulin for Alice and ran her slightly high in the evening due to upcoming physical activity. Best laid plans and all that, but Sunday morning came around and noone fancied skiing too much - which was fine by me because I was buying 5 day lift passes every day - not cheap! We went swimming instead (after I had taken the hounds for a run up the hill), which was free, and pottered about packing up. Alice's sugar was pretty high during the morning, but we had a nice pizza for lunch, administered an extra unit, and drove home. She had to have another unit on arrival at home as she was still high, and after dinner and another corrective doseage, she went to bed high and really fed up. We tested her 2 hours after dinner (10.15pm) hoping for an early night all around, and Alice was still high - almost 14 (Goldilocks is between 4 and 8, although normally a little higher at night is fine - perhaps 10 ish). At that point, Alice lost it - she was stressed out and felt awful because she had been high for a while, and could not then sleep. She had another unit at around 10.45pm, and we managed to get her to sleep at 1 ish. Even today, she was still high when she woke up - had another corrective unit and the morning off school because of fatigue and feeling rubbish (headache, urinary tract infection, thirsty, needing the loo a lot, and so on), and has eaten virtually nothing by salad all day. It was not until 1pm this afternoon after multiple corrective doses that she has come back to something approaching Goldilocks levels - we wait and see how this afternoon went at school.
Sadly, Diabetes Type 1 is not as easy as trying three bowls of porridge, and deciding which one is just right. However, all this experience is helping us - and Alice - build up a virtual database of information. Perhaps with hindsight she should have had more corrective doses the minute we knew we wouldn't ski.
In the meantime, my training and fund raising for my "two laps of the Cro Magnon" is coming along. I am off to Barcelona this weekend for the marathon - as a training run (who does that?), and we have done a recce of the route from Monaco to Limone. It is hilly. And I am not allowed to go through the tunnel unless I am in a car. If anyone wants to volunteer to give me a lift that would be much appreciated! Alternatively I can hitch-hike, or climb the col over the top of the tunnel - adding another 20km to my 1st lap...which is a possibility! I will play it by ear a bit, but climbing over the top of the Col might be quite fun. It would be great to have some company over the top if anyone fancies it? The fund raising is going really well and many many thanks for all your very kind donations. If you would like to check out my page please visit www.justgiving.com/totallynuts