Many of the thoughts are typical of most parents I suppose; except for the low part and the Woodchuck part.
I dropped off Joe to go sledding with his friends. The drop-off was about 5 minutes away from our home. It was dusk, soon to be dark. Joe has a history of extreme lows in the cold, while sledding. He's almost 13 now. He wanted to sled alone with his peers. I got it.
I had him check his blood sugar in the car, on our way to the sled hill. It was 130-something. I asked him if he'd bolused insulin recently. He had bolused for a snack 10 minutes prior. I had him eat 12 Skittles. During this interaction my instructions were short, my voice monotone. My mind was on other, more "big picture", parenting issues. Issues like wanting Joe to value his education, limiting screen time, and limiting access to processed foods. The diabetes seemed benign in comparison.
It seemed benign, until I left him with a bunch of other teenagers, in the cold, in the dark. Then it hit. "It" being, it is not benign. This thing that becomes so normal and manageable isn't so normal and, at times, is anything but manageable. Blood sugar control is a daily, hourly, and at times minute-to-minute threat to Joe's well being. I forget this, until I am forced to let him grow up, yet, a little bit more.
As I dropped him off at that sled hill, I left feeling uneasy. Blood sugar is like "air" in a sense. He needs enough sugar in his blood to make sound decisions, to function at full capacity mentally and physically, to be conscious, and, yes, essentially to be alive. Unfortunately, sugar is not just floating around and utilized as automatically and innately as air is. The sugar needs to be available and Joe needs to be aware of when he needs to consume the sugar. Hopefully there is a sugar source available when Joe needs it. Hopefully, he listens to his body and stops and takes the sugar right when he feels low. Hopefully, he doesn't let the low go too long to the point where he is unable to help himself. He's a teenage boy with one of the most high maintenance chronic conditions. It's all kinda damn scary.
|An 8 year ago photo. A 5 year old Joe.|
Anyway. Back to the sledding.
I arrived to pick him up an hour later. Joe was waiting for me in the front of his friend's house. He hopped in the car.
"Thanks mom...for bringing me..for letting me. I had fun."
"I'm glad Bud."
A stable 158 graced the glucometer screen when we got home.
A glimpse of the anxiety in my day-in-the-life, as Joe's autonomy progresses.