A Diabetes Blog to Stay Connected with Us

I'm going to use this blog to keep family, friends, and the occasional visitor up to date on how we are doing managing Grace's new diabetes diagnosis.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Making a Connection

The kids do this funny thing at school called "making a connection." Instead of the whole class screaming "ME TOO" or "I HAVE THAT" the kids make a silent sign that looks a lot like a surfer's "hang loose." Luke does this all the time at meals. It's fun to try and guess the connection.

Over the weekend I took the kids Christmas shopping. Each year I organize friends and family and we adopt a Breathing Room Family. The Breathing Room is a local charity that helps families with a loved one going through cancer treatment. Not only is it hard for people to shop when they don't feel well, but also families struggle with heavy financial burdens.

We were shopping for boys ages 8 and 5. The kids LOVE to do the shopping and we were plowing our way through Five Below when Grace announced her sugar was low. The store was mobbed so I said let's take a break and head back to the car to do the check. Grace was INSISTENT this would not interrupt our shopping so we set up by the giant ball bins. She dribbled a basketball while I did the check. People shoot you the weirdest looks in public when they spot you doing a check. Admittedly, it is kind of a process: opening the kit, swabbing Grace's finger, getting the meter ready, lancet ready, sticking, bleeding, etc. Two moms gave me the "WTH" look and I shot them an icy stare. I know they don't know what's going on but seriously-mind your business. We always emphasize with Grace there is nothing to be embarrassed about.

After Five Below we went to Costco. I got the kids some food and realized I had forgotten napkins. I told Grace to check her sugar and I'd be back. When I returned Luke said in a whisper, "That lady over there was checking her sugar and she has a pen needle like Grace's." I looked up to see who he was pointing to and there was this little old lady who looked me in the eye and gave me a wave. I felt like we were in a secret club. We didn't talk but the smiles we exchanged were enough. We had made a connection.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shoes Dropping

I was out for a run on Friday morning and it occurred to me that I had not updated the blog in a while. I was thinking about how I should update it even when things are going well because I don't want to give the impression that all we do is move from one crisis to the next. It's actually far from that. Most days are "normal" days around here. They certainly don't look normal to anyone else but blood sugar checks and insulin sticks have become incorporated into our daily routine. I don't think it will ever actually feel normal but we've accepted it.

While I was running I started to write the blog post in my head. I do this a fair amount. I write introductions to papers, blog entries, responses to student questions. I was going to title the entry, "Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop" because it's been a while since since there was a bump on the road. Grace has successfully dodged any number of bugs, insurance is moving smoothly along, and we're all in a decent place with all this. I thought it was important to share this with everyone.

And then the school nurse called, "Grace has had a severe hypoglycemic episode." Thank goodness she also spit out "She's fine." I'm not sure if it was the seriousness of her voice or the fact that I was just about to pen a piece on how well we were doing, but it completely stunned me. The nurse explained Grace bottomed out at 43 in music class. I've seen Grace at 43 and it's not pretty: shaky, pale, lethargic, slightly incoherent. There's two pieces of good news in this. One, the system worked like it's supposed to. Grace felt awful, told her music teacher who immediately called the nurse, who, after hearing Grace couldn't walk to the office, immediately responded with juice and her test kit. Two juices later and a bag of pretzels and she was out playing at recess like nothing ever happened. Two: I know what happened. I hate the scary lows when you have no idea what triggered it. But I know exactly what happened. It was one stupid banana. We use a book to calculate carbs and I swore the number was too high for the banana I gave Grace for a snack. Ends up it was way off for it to bring her sugar down so low.

The rest of the day I was in a fog. I was supposed to be geting materials together for next semester and instead found myself worried, unable to concentrate, wanting to hug my girl. The nurse called a few times to let me know Grace was perfectly fine. I decided to give up on the day and read a book instead. After school I asked Grace about what happened and it was all very routine if not slightly comical to her. The school nurse running, all the extra juice-- an insulin free bag of pretzels! Of course I didn't think it was funny but I rolled with it. I make it a point to never let Grace see how upset I get when stuff like this happens. I save that for Tom. But again, Grace rebounded just fine. To her it was just another kooky day and she giggled when she told me maybe we should lay off the bananas for a while. So I smiled and she smiled and we just chalked it up to another day in the world of diabetes management.