About a week ago a good friend asked me if it helps knowing adults with Type 1? She wondered if knowing adults that have had diabetes since they were pre-schoolers gave me hope for Joe's future.
I don't really think that far ahead.
I suppose, I take it day-by-day.
It is hard to describe. When I send him off on his bike as I follow on foot, I wonder if I will find him in the street crumpled from a low. I am relieved when I find him pedalling with intense vigor. When he is left in the car recovering from a low as I run into grab Bridget from an activity, I wonder what I will see when I return to our van. I am relieved when I find Joe with his eyes open and his skin taking on color. When I call into the house, I pause and wait for a response. I am relieved when the lisp-kissed, nasally voiced Joe calls out. Always, in the back of my mind...in the periphery of my conscious, I half expect no response ... eyes closed ... pale integument ... scrumpled...crumpled ... in-need-of-immediate-assistance Joe.
So, Joe has been giving camp a bit more thought than I knew about.
Last night, Joe's phone came.
Last night as he came up the stairs, Joe said "I feel low". He then headed into the bathroom. I stopped him. I told him to check a number first. I reminded him that he must "react" to a low feeling immediately. If he puts it off he could become too low to know what to do to help himself.
I don't know if it was the arrival of the phone and what it represents that initiated his response.
Perhaps it was the blood sugar of 63...and my reminder of the sequela of untreated lows.
Joe curled his long, lanky body up in my lap last night and cried in my arms. He cried because he is scared. He is scared to go to camp without me. He is scared to manage diabetes without "help". I explained that I will be around the rink quite a bit and we will figure this out as we go. I re-iterated that he is never alone. His family, his friends, his community envelope him in love and in support and in certitude.
I then did what any Temporary Head Pancreata In Charge would do ... I quizzed the shit outta him.
Me: "What do you do when you eat?"
Joe: "I look at the carbs."
Me: "What else? What else has to happen when you eat? Let me know everything that you do..." I wanted to make sure he knew the sequence of what needs to take place without me in the midst reminding him.
Joe: Right on the money with, "Check a number ... count the carbs ... bolus."
Me: "What if you are low?"
Joe: "I take 3 sugars or drink a juice."
Me: "What do you need to do 15 minutes or so after taking sugar?"
Joe: "Check a number to make sure I have come up."
Mentally and physically preparing Joe for his day-in-the-life at Hockey Camp with Type 1 Diabetes in tow. 8 years old seems so young to me right now.