We have found a home! Our offer to let has been accepted! It is a lovely home in north Bristol, on a very family-friendly road.

One of the things we find so neat about our new home is that it has no street number. It is next door to #1 but our house is left with no number – only a name! We will live at Churston House. This is so quintessentially British and actually exciting to us! (But a total bitch to put into nav systems!)

The house has 3 bedrooms plus a 4th is converted to a dressing room/walk-in wardrobe. There is a large reception room, large hallways, and a conservatory! It is also equipped with most of our Canadian standard-of-living amenities like large kitchen with dishwasher (though a standard small English oven), a chest freezer, and a utility room with sink, washer, and dryer. We can’t wait to live here!

Our house is lovely. It has 2 off-street parking spots, which is rare and a huge plus for this area!
The gardens are so nice! And there’s a garden house (shed-type house we can use as a room – it was an office for the owners)

We’ve sent photos to Sophie to show her the house and her room, and she is so excited to garden and tend to these pretty flowers. Good- I’ll need help! Also, she has a great idea for a colour scheme for her bedroom of white, pink, gold, and black- and there’s a bedroom that has all black lacquered trim (baseboard and window-wells) that will perfectly match her style.
Every time we have a move, she gets to redesign her bedroom with new colours, new blankets, and even some new furniture (in this case, she’s in need of a new dresser). Yes, this is pretty shameless bribery, but it really helps her look forward to a big move and see the bright side of leaving what she knows and loves in order to go on a new adventure!

Speaking of Sophie back at home, they’ve all been doing a wonderful job on her glucose levels. She’s been running a bit higher than normal, but we’re completely fine with that in order to avoid dangerous lows. We’re so thankful for Dexcom and the ability to check in and see how things are going. It also makes caring for Sophie much easier on my parents. What an amazing thing technology can be!!

Now, we’re touring schools in the area and putting in applications. They’re all currently full but we’re hoping some students leave this year and open a spot for Sophie. We’ve also visited the local GP clinic and will be able to register with them just before moving so that we can have an immediate doctor visit upon getting here. We need to make sure Sophie can get a referral to the Paediatric Diabetic Clinic ASAP.

We leave tomorrow to go back to Canada and are so happy we’ve had a successful house hunting trip – got what we needed here in Bristol and Sophie is okay and healthy back home!

Preparing for our house-hunting trip…

What a relief!

Well, here in Canada, our house has SOLD and we’re now days away from our house hunting trip. The military sends Eric and me over to Bristol to look at and find a suitable house, then hopefully get a lease signed etc. We can also take this time to set up banking, look at schools, check in to Eric’s new office, and explore the area.

In the last few weeks whenever I’ve told people we’re going on this trip, they make some sort of exclamation about how lucky we are, to get a free trip over! Sure, I say, if we didn’t have *so* much work to do in only 5 business days, and if only we didn’t have to leave our T1D daughter behind and hope everything works out okay…

(Okay yes, the military would actually pay to bring her as well, but seeing as its the second-last week of school, and it’s such a long trip and a 8-hour time difference, we thought leaving her at home would actually be the least amount of worry and headache).

So how do new(ish) T1D parents prepare to leave their T1D daughter with her grandparents for 9 days and hope she doesn’t die?
Well, they over-prepare!

Our Everything Binder
Our Everything Binder

We need to remember that my parents are new T1D grandparents too…. and we live in BC and they live in Ontario, so they haven’t had a lot of time to practice! We knew this trip has been coming though, so we had my mom come visit in February for a week and she had an introductory course in diabetic care then.
My mom is also a retired registered nurse, so while diabetes is fairly new to her (she worked in the OR and her patients were usually unconscious) and today’s diabetic tech is definitely new to her – she’s not completely starting at square one.

So I wrote an Everything Binder.

My parents are coming in a few days before we leave, for a crash course/reminder/update in all things diabetic, but I’m still trying to write everything down, including everything routine and everything possible that may come up. Everything.

Examples of pages in the everything binder:
-how to deal with nighttime highs and lows
-how to use Dexcom trend arrows for dosing insulin
-how to best use an extended bolus if they eat out
-a list of good carb-free snacks, if my dad feels like popping to the grocery store
-step-by-step instructions on how to change an Omnipod and Dexcom (though we will change the Dexcom the day before we leave and hope they don’t need to)
-how to calibrate the Dexcom
-how to use glucagon
-codes and passwords for our house (door lock, WiFi, garage)
-a step-by-step guide to our TV and remote control (my parents are 70!)
-a map of the area with places they may need to find highlighted (stores, bank, pharmacy)
-a list of emergency phone numbers – everything from the nurses at the diabetic clinic to some neighbours and even another local T1D parent who could help out

It’s a rather large book of information, and I’m still worried it’s not enough. We will also be on-call 24/7 (all except the time we’re in the air, on our 10-hour-long flights).

In the end, we have to accept that it’s okay if she runs on the high side for the week (higher than we would keep her at), so long as she feels okay and is happy.

In the end, we have to accept that our daughter is almost 11 and smart as a whip, and can very well do most all of this on her own (including more complicated carb-counting and fractions and math than most adults!).

In the end, we have to accept that it’s okay to let go.

This is pretty terrifying to me, to leave her for the first time as a T1D (we left countless times before diagnosis and never cared!!!), but I know it’s got to be done eventually – may as well be now!

How do you prepare to leave your diabetic children with caregivers for extended periods of time?