Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Road Trip Away From Sawyer

Photo courtesy of

We had to go where Sawyer wouldn't be able to accompany us; a college visit with our older daughter.
A tour on campus would be lengthy, detailed, and our total attention required.
Sawyer would have to stay home.
There was one little problem; Sawyer had never been under the care of anyone other than my husband or me.
We deal with the obstacle of not having support from family, friends, or neighbors. 
In short, we had our son in our later years, after parents and grandparents had passed on. My siblings and cousins, as well as my husband's, live out of the area. In addition, we live rurally. There are no close neighbors to call on for assistance. 
I won't lie and say it's an easy thing to raise a child with several special needs. It has been a challenge.
I honestly did not want to leave Sawyer and make the two hour trip away from home. In my mind, that was too far away from him if he needed me. 
Fortunately, Sawyer does have an older sister. She is 26 and doesn't live at home anymore, but in an absolute emergency, I will call on her. 
I had given her some diabetic education in treating hypoglycemia and checking Sawyer's blood glucose levels. She hadn't yet been taught how to calculate carb ratios, insulin dosages, and administration of insulin injections.
We had one thing going for us; Sawyer could administer his own shots.
I communicated with another mother of a diabetic, and she shared that she had her child's babysitter call her with the amount of carbs her child would be eating at a meal, along with his blood glucose number. She would calculate the insulin dosage so that the child care provider would know how much insulin to administer. In fact, her son knew how to give his own injections, so it was pretty much a no-fault system. 
This gave me some peace of mind on my first day away. 
I had Sawyer's snacks and meals prepared in advance. His sister then had only to call me with the blood glucose number and carbs so I could do the math and Sawyer could administer his shot. 
His sister is a smart cookie, so I showed her how to calculate the numbers in the event I couldn't be reached. She did call, however, to be certain of the dose. 
It's a delicate thing, dosing insulin. Just one unit can make a huge difference in blood sugar levels. One unit too much, and hypoglycemia may occur. One unit too little, and a child may become ill due to hyperglycemia.
*Photo courtesy of*

The day came when we had to leave Sawyer. We would be gone the entire day and guess what?
It all worked out.
It's a hard thing to give up control and trust that your child will be in good hands. Add to that, a disability, and the nerves try to get the best of you.
Being a parent is a huge responsibility. So much so, I think there should be parenting classes before someone has children. 
Then parenting students would learn about the awesome responsibility that comes with raising a child. Unlike a puppy, you can't return it to the pound if you decide it's just not for you. 
Being a parent means you will no longer sleep soundly through the night. From diaper changes and midnight feedings to staying up past midnight wondering why your child hasn't come home yet. 
The investment is time and the return is love. 
There will be times when taking your child with you just isn't an option. It is at that time you will need to have someone in your corner you can trust. Preparation will alleviate some of the stress. If your child is old enough to participate in their care, allow them to do what they can. It will empower them and assure you.
*Photo courtesy of*
We can't be with them all the time and the first trip away can be one of apprehension. It was for me. I dreaded it. Yet, it all worked out fine. 
It is important, though, to have someone you can call on in times of need. Have a trained family member, friend, or neighbor on deck. 
And take that first trip away with confidence.


  1. Such a heartfelt and well-written account of this very real dilemma shared by SO MANY. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it will bless others as they walk their journey. And may the Lord bless you immensely with His love.

  2. Thank you Elaine. You brought a tear to my eye. I hope others will benefit from our story. Thank you for your blessing! I receive it with a grateful heart. God Bless :D

  3. This is so timely as I contemplate my first trip away from my son, too. I will possibly be away for five days, but my husband will be there for some of that time and my older son and mother will be around for the rest. My stomach is in knots. You understand, and it is such a comfort to read this. Thanks for this blog, once again.

  4. I tried to get out of that one-day road trip. I didn't want to disappoint my daughter and I didn't want to leave my little guy. I've never had someone to turn to and am conditioned to take care of my own. It wasn't easy to go, but I did have peace knowing he was in good hands with his big sister. Your son will be in good hands with your family. That doesn't mean we don't have a little anxiety being away from them. It's part of the territory of being a mom.

  5. Leann, I think if there were to be any parenting classes you should write the instruction manual :) You're such a good, loving mother. Your children are truly blessed to have you on their side & in their hearts.

  6. Thank you, Elaine. I don't think of myself as a good mom, just a committed one. (I may need committed once they're grown ;) Seriously, I simply do what I have to do.

  7. Being a caregiver presents new challenges. It's good to hear stories from others who have navigated those waters successfully!

  8. It's definitely been challenging Sally. A tiring labor of love, as you know.


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