Monday, July 22, 2013


My vision was tunneling, the periphery clouding.  I had to hunch myself over a bit in an effort to avoid passing out.  I was hoping the lady would stop talking and move on.  The lady was an acquaintance-y friend of mine.  She is the mother of one of Joe's school-mates.  I had not talked to her in a couple of years.

I had just popped off a 5 mile run without hydration.  The humidity and heat were elevated.  It was on July 4th.  I ran into this acquaintance-y friend of mine on the sidewalk about a mile from my home.  About a mile from hydration!

"How's Joe?"

"He's doing well."

"How's his diabetes?"

How to answer?  How to answer?  It's good?  I mean really?  Is it ever good?  Sure.  I can smile and pretend it is all well and fine and that Joe and I just luuuuvvvvvvvv checking blood sugars, counting carbohydrates, and changing pump sites and staving off lows, while avoiding the long-term complications of highs.  The easy answer... the easy answer is just like the response we all give when someone asks how we are doing in passing.  The easy answer is "good". 

Still feeling a bit passing-out-ish...

She (Joe's~school-mate's~mother) then went onto tell me about a childhood friend of hers. She had a childhood friend.  She had Type 1 Diabetes.  She did fine through childhood...grew-up...went to college.  She came home from college for a school break (Christmas Break?  I cannot remember)...she took a nap... she never woke-up...her mother found her dead ... dead from the diabetes.

Welp.  Good to know that I don't have to go with the "good" response here. 

"How's Joe's diabetes?"

The words "good" or "bad" are too polarized.  I need something more general to describe Joe's diabetes on most days.  But then there are some days that "good" sums it up.  And then there are days that the word "bad" is perfect.

My general answer when asked "How's Joe's diabetes?" will be:

Joe's diabetes bears watching and managing; not just day-to-day, but hour-to-hour. 

In response to Joe's~school~mate's~mother about her friend:

I live with knowing that there is that possibility that I will get "the call" someday.  You know, "the call" that your son was found down and has been taken by ambulance to the hospital.  I live with being as prepared as one can be for walking in on an unconscious (or worse) Joe.  I do not live in fear.  I just simply live knowing this is my reality. 

A day-in-the-life of trying to explain being a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes.


Diane D said...

Ugh...people and their d stories. I always struggle with how to answer the same question. I usually go with "we are working to keep her as healthy as possible"

Sarah said...

I usually appreciate when others know the real aspects of diabetes that keep us on our toes, but sometimes the way it just rolls of their tongue is difficult for me to swallow especially in front of the kids. Thankfully this lovely lady shared when kids weren't around. And hopefully you got your water :) Take care and once again bravo to you for listening without responding as I often want to!

laura said...

#dblogcheck - long time reader, (maybe) first time commenting.
Wow. For reasons I cannot understand, I still want people to know what our kids have to live with so my stock answer usually ends up being "well, it never stops but overall we're good". Like that makes a bit of difference.

Alexis Nicole said...

I always ponder how to answer this. Someday I'm too tired to give a real answer.

I want to say as good as having a broken organ can be.

Miss you.

Meri said...

I get asked that a lot to. I like to say, "Still rockin' it."

Is there a sign we can flash in front of people that say "TOO MUCH INFORMATION" whist they're in the midst of a "story" of someone they know??

Unknown said...

I hate that people will ask how my daughter's diabetes is. Just ask me how she is in general, how she's enjoying her summer etc. If their kid wears glasses or braces I don't ask, how are your kid's eyes or teeth.

Karen said...

Why the eff would she ever tell you that story? Sometimes people and the stupid things they say really piss me off. Yes, we all know what can happen, thank you very much. Grrrrrrr.

Sara said...

I can't believe she thought that story was appropriate!!!

I am partial to "still working on it every day" but I don't know if that indicates that I will ALWAYS be working on it...

Sara said...

I can't believe she thought that story was appropriate! At least Joe wasn't with you!!

I usually go with "still working on it" but I don't know if that really shows that I will ALWAYS be working on it...

jcsamom said...

Such a hard question. We don't live in fear either, but it lurks in the background. Always.

jcsamom said...

We should make these signs.

Jess said...

Maybe I'll start answering that question with, "still there."

Diabetes isn't good or bad, it just is.

Christina momof2t1s said...

gosh golly I can't recall if Ive been to your site before. Im up because of a nap that should not have happened earlier - thus Im hoping around my favorite Dblogs clicking on links from theirs to ones Ive not been too. I think Ive been hear but it could have been forever ago. my brain is fried.
sorry - digressed -
great post. Its a hard question to answer for sure - harder when the inquiring party starts sharing THE stories before waiting for an answer.
you handled it beautifully. I always like Meri's answer too - she has said it before and its a good non-comital answer that leaves it up to the inquirer to inquire further.
I like that you said you don't live in fear. At some point I think we pass the fear point. Maybe it is a fight or flight type thing our brains do. We just know and we do what we can to hope its never a reality.
again - great post. also I wish I was a runner - I bet it feels wonderful to run - I mean if you stay hydrated and all.