Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me. She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over. “Come on! Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation! Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!
“Mom, I’m so thirsty.”
Uttered by my middle son this evening, these four little words made by blood run cold. Only because, a few minutes earlier he has also said “I feel like I’ve had to go to the bathroom a million times today!”.
Please no please no please NO.
I took a deep breath and tried to stay calm. As I was trying to recall if I’d observed any other symptoms lately, my mind was simultaneously jumping ahead to life-with-diabetes x 3. As I was sitting with him I started to feel more and more stressed, and so suggested that I needed to check his blood sugar NOW.
The mere mention of poking his finger reduced him to fearful tears, and pretty soon he was asking me if he was going to get a pump too. Whoa, bud, let’s not go there yet. Managing his mini-freak-out helped me get over my own anxiety enough to let him go to sleep before I poked him. (Not even a flinch, by the way.)
And that was the longest 5-second meter countdown EVER.
No diabetes tonight.
One of the highlights of this past summer was our family trip to Sunriver, Oregon in June for the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival. I love this weekend because everyone has a chance to challenge themselves, and we all learn how to support and encourage one another.
You never know what kind of weather you’ll get in Bend, but this year was beautiful! The sky was sunny and the air was warm every day. This did make for challenging running conditions later in the day, and also presented some additional diabetes-related considerations. We made sure to do extra blood sugar checks (before and after races) and keep lots of juice boxes, glucose tablets, and snacks on hand. Luke had one scary, almost-Glucagoned-him, very low blood sugar, but otherwise diabetes didn’t slow anyone down!
I was planning to run the 10K this year, but the timing of the race was inconvenient, so I went ahead and signed up for the Half-Marathon instead. My longest run up to then had been about 7 miles, so I had no huge expectations for 13.1 miles, other than crossing the finish line. I surprised myself by running the majority of the race, and reveled in the accomplishment for the rest of the day! I’ll definitely run another Half in the future.
This year was definitely the year for stepping up! Evie and Will, along with some of the other older kids, ran in the 5K race instead of the one-mile this year, and Jackson ran the 1-mile for the first time. I love to see them succeed when they challenge themselves, and it’s so good for their blossoming confidence to try new things, even when it’s tough!
One of my other favorite things about this weekend is that we also have the opportunity to provide support and encouragement to athlete’s of all ages and skill levels on the race courses–our friends and family, as well as strangers. I know how energizing it is to pass people who cheer and yell for you during a tough run, and I’m happy to be able to pass that on!
Once again, it was an awesome weekend, and I’m already looking forward to next year!
This school year, everyone is going to be prepared!
Last year and the year before I wasn’t great about keeping a lot of supplies at school. A box of graham crackers for awhile….maybe a few extra juice boxes. But this year I’m not going to have the luxury of running up to the health room if someone pulls a set or needs more strips for their meter. So, in the hopes that as many issues as possible can be taken care of at school, I put together diabetes supply boxes for Evie and Luke:
I felt like I was packing for a week in the wilderness! Diabetes is all about troubleshooting and planning ahead, so there are multiples of everything that either of them could need at any time; anything they could need replaced, or forget, or run out of is in this box.
- Glucose Tabs
- Ketone Test Strips
- Infusion Sets
- Skin Tac WIpes
- Alcohol Wipes
- Insulin Syringes
- Disposable Lancets
- Pump Batteries
- Extra BG meter
- BG Test Strips
- Meter Charger
- Juice Boxes
Did I forget anything?
The only thing not in here is insulin, which I will eventually have to provide per Washington State’s Disaster Preparedness Plan. I just don’t have enough right now to tie up two bottles at two different schools. That stuff’s like gold.
we’re they’re as ready as we’re they’re going to be. Happy Back-To-School (with diabetes)!
I’m grateful for the smallest gifts, like a tiny hand casually draped over the bunk bed rail so, this time, I don’t have to root around and under the small boy who is sound asleep in a knot of blankets in the top bunk, at 2 am when I can barely keep my eyes open, to do a blood sugar check.
We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.
― William James
Earlier this week I was sitting in the aisle seat on a flight back from California and got to talking with a mom in the seat across to me, whose teenaged son was headed to diabetes camp. We had noticed her fiddling with a BG meter, and then a familiar blue insulin pump.
I tapped her on the shoulder and asked her about her child, and the pump, and shared some of my own story. We talked about some of the difficulties of being Type 1 parents. We swapped contact information, and went on our separate ways when the plane landed.
This interaction reminded me that we have connections (and potential resources and support) all around us, if we pay attention and have the courage to say hello!
Evie ran in a color-splashed fun run yesterday with some friends who sent me this picture, which I love. Besides the expression of pure joy on her face, I am pleased to see that her pump site survived the run! Although it is even more colorful than usual. Good call on the IV3000, Evie.