Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our Parenting Conversations Are Different

Six years almost.  Six years since Joe has been diagnosed.  It is strange how a certain acceptance has developed.  As I send him out on his bike, on in-line skates, on foot into our community, as I tuck him into bed at night, as I drop him off at school ... a teeny-tiny part of my heart and my brain is always aware and somewhat prepared for the possibility that I may not see him again. 

The kids were out in the 'hood playing with their friends.  Joe was squirting a hose into a gaggle of girls squealing their protests.  I was prepping dinner by laying out the leftovers on the kitchen island.  Dave walked in from his day of work.

This was last evening.

Me:  "Good day?"

Dave: "Yeah..."

*Or I think he said "yeah".  I was only half listening.*

Me:  "Kids had a good first day of school...Bridget loves middle school ... Joe said his day was boring...blah...blah...blah."


Me: "A child died last night.  Seven year old.  Diagnosed at two.  Low or Dead In Bed.  Parents slept through a night check alarm. Found him in the morning."

Dave: "Can you imagine?"

Then, we went there.  We went to a place we haven't gone.  Actually, it is something I had not thought about; one of us blaming the other for a missed night check and a gone Joe.  We are human.  We need sleep.  This family is facing our worst fear; the death of their child.  The night check ... done or not ... may or may not have prevented this death.  The thought of struggling with "the blame" and "the guilt" while dealing with "the grief" is overwhelming.

Me:  "We would not blame one another... would we?"

Dave:  "How could you not 'go there' ?"

Me:  "I guess you are right ..."

A day-in-the-life conversation between my husband and I, as we parent a child with Type 1 Diabetes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

His Pancreating Ways R Driving Me Cray Cray!

"Owww...HARhumph .... MOM!!!  You are talking way too loud!"

Joe and I were on the phone the other day.  He has a new Tracfone.  Dave and I had bought it for Joe as a safety-net as he undertakes all of his various endeavors before and after school, while playing with his pals in the 'hood, and all of Joe's what not.

Joe was calling me from his friend's house.  He and his friend were about to eat a snack.  Our plan was that he was going to call me with a blood sugar number and a carb count and an activity report to calculate how much of an insulin bolus to give.

Back to the convo....

Me:  "Joe, I don't know what you are talking about.  I am talking "normal"." (using an extra calm and soft, soothing voice ... yes, I have one of those)

Joe:  "Oh...I put it on speaker...oops...gonna keep it there though.  My ear is sweaty."


Joe:  "We are gonna eat a snack."

Me:  "How many carbs?"

Joe:  "29"

Me:  "What was your number?"

Joe:  "Huh?"

*seriously? many years have we been doing this? sigh...trying to be somewhat of a good parent and pancreas all at the same time... which, by-the-way, is not easy*

Me: "Ah...did you check a number?"

Joe: "No."

Me:  "JOE, check a number."

Joe:  "OK"

*muffled voices, screams, laughter...he is having a good time*

Joe:  "101"

Me:  "What is the snack?"

Joe:  "A Popsicle-y thing."

Me:  "Is it all Popsicle? OR is there some ice cream involved with it?" (If it were all Popsicle, I would only have him cover 10 grams max.  Between the activity level and the glycemic index, Joe tends to drop like a rock when I fully cover Popsicles, juice, and the like)

Joe:  "It is like an Oreo Ice Cream Bar."

Me:  "OK...bolus for 20 of the 29 grams."

Joe:  "Bye Mom"

Not sure what is going on with Joe these days.

We have been doing "Diabetes" for roughly six years now.  The last month or two have proven to be a bit difficult as Joe's independence with diabetes and "life" in general is expanding.  He meanders the 'hood on his bike visiting friends and looking for "work".  He started a Lawn Care business with his friend (his motto is "We put the CARE in Lawn Care" ... catchy).  The playdate, mentioned above, is the fifth home that he has ever gone to without me, his portable pancreas, in tow.  It is the first place that I did not train the parents in preparation for his stay.  I am becoming more and more comfortable with letting loose a bit.  He always travels with sugar. He has the phone.  He is with a friend. We always discuss, double discuss, and triple discuss our "plan" regarding blood sugars and diabetes management.

We are running into some issues though... 

1)  He isn't checking his blood sugar before he eats.
2)  I am getting frustrated. 
3)   I am sighing...out loud...sometimes. 
4)  He says he forgets.  Once he is reminded, he does it without complaint. 
5)  AND.  I catch him free-basing crackers, chips, and snack-like items when we are out with friends. 

Burnout?  I dunno.  Is he really "forgetting" to check?  It is his routine, has been for years.  I think he is he is a bit sick and tired of the never-ending-ness of it all.  I know I am.  Frankly, I am looking forward someone else supervising his "pancreating ways"  when he starts school tomorrow.  And, yes, I feel some guilt over those feelings.  Joe won't get a break.  Ever.

Joe's pancreating driving me nuts in my day-in-the-life.