There's a million things I've wanted to say about Newton. A million emotions I almost poured out here. My heart shattered as the news came...thoughts of my own children -- my own 1st grader -- little faces, big hearts, blind faith... innocence.
In the end, I couldn't find the words. Instead, I found solace in the poetic posts others have written all across various social media outlets. I've cried with them. Prayed with them. Sat in horrified shock with them.
Eventually, I prodded a bit...I wanted to see if the girls had been prepared for a lockdown situation at school. I've been there for a dozen fire drills, but I've never actually witnessed a lockdown drill. Am I wrong when I suggest that school shootings are claiming more lives of school children than school fires are?
"We have to be very quiet, because we have to hide from the bad guy."
"We have to follow directions and keep our lips zipped."
"I need to grab my diabetes bag first."
"Does my teacher know how to give Glucagon? I'm pretty sure I can manage things on my own if we were in this situation, but what would happen if I passed out? Someone would know what to do, right?"
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It made my heart skip a beat when I heard her questions.
The idea that her first immediate thought is to make sure she has her diabetes supplies, and not to run from danger.
Because worrying that a madman with a gun is on campus isn't enough. You also need to worry that you'll be okay if you pass out while huddled in a closet with your classmates, fearing for your lives.
Diabetes always adds an extra element.
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"Yes. I've taught many members of your school staff how to use Glucagon. I'm sure someone would be able to do it if they had to."
"Thanks, Mom. So, after I grab my bag, then I have to make sure I'm completely quiet and follow directions..."
Aside from a few extra juice boxes and a stash of snacks we keep in the Health Office, she carries all of her supplies everywhere she goes on campus. As part of our lockdown plan, we don't keep her pertinent supplies separate from her. She has everything with her at all times - whether she's in the art room, music room, or out on the far field for PE (in which case the PE teacher holds her bag so she can participate in the activity). There's a special hook near the playground for her bag to be kept during recess. If you count preschool, she's been attending school for 6 years now. We've been doing things this way for the past 4 years. It works best for her, school staff, and us - her parents. (It's much easier to keep everything stocked, check expiration dates, etc. when the bag comes home every day.)
This is what we do. We're constantly prepared for something to go awry. A low blood sugar? A dislodged site? We're ready.
I don't know if any amount of planning can truly prepare you for the moment you learn there's a gunman on campus. Knowing a plan for diabetes has already been plotted adds a minute amount of comfort, I guess.