Ruth on the trail
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This fall my family rode mules to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and spent two days in a camp there. It was so exciting and challenging. It was a lot more work than I ever thought it would be. We were out in the wilderness and I had to really plan for my diabetes. My mom and dad packed all the diabetes supplies I would need for our stay, but it was sent ahead on a pack mule. Because of that, we also had to pack for the six-hour trip down and back up. I had snacks, a syringe (in case my pump broke), insulin, glucose, a blood sugar monitor, and pump batteries, sites, and injector with me.
My pump batteries last about three months. Well, when we stopped for lunch, guess what? My pump batteries went out. When I went to change them, I couldn't. You need a coin to unscrew them, and we didn't have one. We finally found a hiker with some change in his pocket. Then, when I put the batteries in, they were DEAD!
The cowboy leading our trip was really nice. We stopped every hour for me to test my blood sugar and take an insulin shot if I needed it. It was really funny to see the tough cowboy cringe when I gave myself a shot in my stomach! I also had to do it while I was still on my mule because the path was too narrow to get off. When we got to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, there were more batteries on the pack mule so I could get my pump working again.
The Grand Canyon was a great experience. I learned that if I plan well, I can go anywhere and do anything. I just have to be really careful and work really hard to manage my diabetes and keep my blood sugar normal.
Ruth shared her story in the Winter 2004 issue of JDRF 's Countdown for Kids magazine.