Tuesday, August 3, 2010


About the title: (I am 1/2 Portuguese...and liked the way all the "P's" flowed together).

So I saw HER.

I saw HER tonight once we arrived at soccer. Who? Saw who? You are most likely questioning.

The lady who PITIES Joe and I.

I haven't talked about it too much, but boy have I given it some thought. It has weighed heavily on my mind intermittently over the past few weeks. This incident needed some "processing" before I could put finger tips to keyboard.
In the (almost) four years since Joe has had type 1, I have not experienced an event like this:

  • Three weeks ago this woman witnessed me checking Joe's blood sugar after his game/before the "DREADED" team snack. She then commented (within earshot of Joe and I) to another woman standing next to her..."THAT is so SAD...". Even worse, was then her son (Joe's team mate) was asking her "what is so sad mom?" (she was avoiding answering him) he again asks while raising his voice and tugging on her shirt-tail "what, what...what is so sad?" She then whispers to him to 'be quiet' and that she will tell him in the car.


Speechless...(which for me is RARE)

... and again WoWie, WoW, WoW... (thanks Junie B. Jones)... REALLY?

OK, so after I was stunned from the above verbage from this lady...that Joe's and my situation was "SAD". I began to really think about it. What do I want people to think? say? do? I mean REALLY???... Is there anything that people can say, feel, and/or do that will be "OK" or "acceptable" to me? Prior to this I haven't given it much thought. Well I can start off by saying I certainly DO NOT want pity. On the other hand, I don't want people to "blow off" the enormity of the disease.

In watching Joe day-in and day-out deal with the rigors of his routine with grace (most of the time). Here is what I WANT...Here is what I HOPE... people think (if they even give it a second thought) when they see my son, Joe, dealing with the likes of "D".

I want them to see his BRAVERY (this kid took a needle to his "A"-double-"S" for a site change while flying on an AIRPLANE mind you). I want them to understand that he is a HERO. I want them to "get" a 400 point blood sugar drop during hockey practice must feel like shit, but he still manages to skate well and have a good attitude. I want them to understand that he is AMAZING; the kid can add up 17g+17g+6g+10g+3grams of carbohydrate (for his Fluffernutter and milk for lunch), in his 7year old brain. I want them to know that he lives each day to the FULLEST...with GUSTO. I want them to know that he is a kid with HEART. I want them to take notice that HE DOESN'T FEEL SORRY FOR HIMSELF. He takes each day in STRIDE inspite of having a "Woodchuck #2 toting, carb calculating, needle wielding, insulin dispensing, lunatic pancreas on legs" following him around asking him if "his number feels OK." How he hasn't become "neurotic" after that last mouthful of a sentence I do not know, but he hasn't. He is SIMPLY JOE.

I WANT people to be in AWE of him. I WANT people to ADMIRE the courage and tenacity that he displays daily...heck HOURLY. I WANT that for Joe... I want that for me.

I DO NOT WANT TO BE PITIED ... I want to INSPIRE. Anyone who knows me knows that. There you have it... some more crazy-ass ramblings from a mom who hopes to do right by her AMAZING HERO of a son, JOE...who lives each day to the MAX hand-in-hand with "D".

Post Edit: I am not a confrontational person. Joe only has one more soccer game with his current team. I am hoping that I can show this woman what a day-in-the-life is like with finesse and tact.


Lauren said...

I am SO going to the last game!!!!! Joe, and you, should both have huge capes with giants "S"s on them. You both are, indeed, inspirational. What's sad is this (ugly) woman's ignorance. Feel bad for her, for she sucks. It's hard to not let the words bother you - believe me, I know! But stand tall and proud - you deserve it, pretty pancreas!!! xoxoxo

Susanne said...

YES, YES, YES. That is exactly how I feel about my kiddo and how I want people to perceive us.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could share this or another page from your blog for the poor underedcuated Mom at the soccer game or give her some of the information from one of your teaching sessions at the schools. You are doing great. XOXO Mom

Gayle said...

I hope you know how much all of us admire you and Joe for the way you handle this everyday. I am amazed when I see how Joe deals with his D everyday. He is so brave and smart and very cute as well. You are wonderful the way you empower him and have allowed him to do his self care with a little help from the people who care for him so much. On the outside he looks just like all the other kidos doing everything they do and more. You my friend are a wonderful nurse, mother, teacher,friend and on and on. I think when people say things like this they are only saying that they think they could not do as good a job as you and Joe do. God put you and your wonderful family together for a reason and we all see that reason everyday my love.

LaLa said...

Girl - - - you are awesome! and so right we don't need pity we need respect! Or kids they deserve some kind of award for what they endure! Rock Stars for sure!

Amy said...

I hear you!!! Preach it, Sistah!

Wendy said...

AWESOME POST!!!! Love it :)

You're a ROCKSTAR mom with a ROCKSTAR fam....thanks for always being so inspirational!!!

Meri said...

You don't need to show her...Joe shows her with his awesomeness. She sees a happy amazing joe running around the field, and if she doesn't put two and two together and realize what an inspiration he is...well she can just suck it!

Renata said...

Right on! Did you son hear the woman? Are you prepared for the team party, you know she is going to mosey her way over to ask questions....Practice some quick retorts. "Oh are you kidding, he is more in touch with what's going on with his body than most adults I know...and much more organized!"

Hallie Addington said...

You go, PP! :) (Sorry, couldn't resist) I have been having a blog like this rolling around in my head lately, too. I agree with you so incredibly much and will probably quote you! Thank God this season is almost over. Hang in there!

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

The site looks good!

Just the other day a woman saw me checking Caleb's sugar. Afterward she said, "he handles it so well". I smiled, looked at Caleb and said, "You handle it well?" He said, "Yep". I said, "there's no other choice, is there?" He said, "yep." It was all friendly. She meant well. She was nice. To your point, what can people say? This lady was trying to be supportive.

The woman was in your story was not trying to be nice or supportive. That's the difference to me. It's less what is said and more how it's said. That was rude and insensitive. I don't care what the situation is, "That is so sad?" Are you kidding me? I can accept people's lack of understanding. I never understand the lack of sensitivity though.

Tracy1918 said...

Reyna, Matthew has only had D for 5 shorts months and already I know exactly what you're talking about. I cannot imagine how much you have dealt with this over the years.

Good post as always. : )

And thank you for your sweet encouragment. Sometimes my rollercoaster emotions make me feel like a nut-case. You make me feel normal and I love you for that!

Unknown said...

To All - Thank you for the supportive comments. I am not angry or upset with this woman. It really made me take pause and think about what I want people to see/think/feel (if they even give it a thought) when they see Joe and I out and about...it re-iterated how awesome Joe is and how that is truly what I would want others to focus on.

And @ Meri...YEP you are right...Joe running around in all of his "uber, super-cool, awesomeness" will inspire anyone.

Sarah said...

I'm struggling with this a lot, but more so with family than anywhere...I think that they just feel sad for him because they know how hard it is. It doesn't seem that was the case for this lady. I hope you know that she probably does that sort of thing to a lot of people feeling like she's so "lucky" all the time and not really knowing what it means to be thankful for the simple things like a child being able to play a whole season of soccer. I appreciate all your posts and allowing us to hear your true feelings so that we know we're not alone when we feel the same way!