Take your kids on a road trip to visit their grandparents, who live in another city two hours away.
When everyone is hungry, leave the kids with grandpa, while you run out with grandma to pick up a take-out lunch at the local sandwich shop, which is known not for their sandwiches, but for their super sweet, amazingly delicious, worth-every-carb and worth-every-calorie frozen fruit drinks.
Decide to treat the kids to a cup of half-lemon and half-strawberry frozen deliciousness.
Ask the guy who took your lunch order for nutritional information.
When he can't fulfill your request, while you're waiting for your order, ask his coworker for nutritional information. Explain that your child has type 1 diabetes and you need the information to calculate his insulin dose.
When you learn from the coworker that nutritional information is not available, debate whether the frozen fruit deliciousness is more like a granita or a slushie.
On the way home to grandma and grandpa's house, use your cell phone to look up carb counts on granitas AND slushies.
And then, SWAG it! (For those unfamiliar with D lingo, that means to take a Scientific, Wild-A$$ Guess. In other words, guesstimate the carb count.)
Inject your son with insulin based on your SWAG (not just for the frozen fruit drink, but for his turkey sandwich, too).
Give your son a spoon and straw and let him have at it. Let him enjoy every sweet fruity bit of deliciousness.
Listen to him "ooh" and "ahh" and "mmm."
Agree with him and his siblings when they exclaim, "This is the best thing ever!"
Pray that the number gods are shining on you.
Test your son's blood sugar level throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Monitor his CGM as well.
And when you see beautiful numbers for the rest of the day, you can officially declare the day and its super sweet, amazingly delicious, worth-every-carb and worth-every-calorie, half-lemon, half-strawberry frozen drink SWAGalicious!
● To enter, leave me a comment containing your three-word description of life with diabetes before midnight on Thursday, April 28, 2011. If you comment as an anonymous commenter, please include your first name. Comments left without a name will be eliminated.
● You may enter as many three-word descriptions as you wish. However, post a separate comment for each, and each comment must contain a different three-word description.
● Duplicate entries will be eliminated.
● To earn extra entries (post a separate comment for each):
● Tweet about this contest on Twitter. Then, leave me an additional comment containing a link to your tweet.
● Share a link to this contest on Facebook. Then, leave me an additional comment to let me know.
● Blog about this contest. Then, leave me an additional comment containing a link to your blog.
● Winner’s name will be posted here on this blog shortly after the April 28 , 2011 entrance deadline.
● After the winner’s name is posted, the winner will have 48 hours to send an email message to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I do not hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
● So that we may all enjoy the creativity, all entered three-word descriptions of life with diabetes will be posted on this blog along with the winner's name.
Remember, to enter you must leave me a comment with your three-word description of life with diabetes along with your first name before midnight on Thursday, April 28th.
Then, check back here shortly thereafter to see if you've won.
"I want to give half of it to JDRF. Will you help me make a donation?" he asked.
That made for another proud mama moment!
And, that was not a copy-cat move. Max doesn't know that Madeline campaigned to persuade her Sunday school class to donate their saved funds to JDRF. He only knows that he wants to help his brother.
He's growing up with diabetes. He was only two when Jack was diagnosed, and he doesn't remember life before highs, lows, pokes, shots and carb counting. Shortly after Jack was diagnosed, he used to go into our pantry, grab a box of crackers or cereal, and then ask in his toddler voice, "How many carbs is dis?"
Today, at age five, three-and-a-half years into our D life, he can read a nutritional label and calculate the carbs himself (well...sort of...he may need some assistance on the math, but you get the idea). When Jack feels low, he will run and grab the strips, the meter and the lancing device and bring them to Jack.
He's a sweet little guy, my Max. Diabetes affects him, too, and he wants to do something about it.
Each week, I send my kids off to Sunday school with money in their pockets. Their teachers collect and save money from all their students, and during class throughout the year, they talk about various concepts revolving around giving to charity and helping others — why it's important, ways of helping, where to give, giving anonymously, trying to understand and be sensitive to others' needs, performing acts of kindness, benevolence and generosity and so on.
Tomorrow, Jack's class will use their saved money at a grocery store, where they'll buy food and other assorted items for a local food bank. The kids will be divided into groups, and each group will be given a set amount of money. The kids will then do the shopping themselves, making the experience all the more meaningful.
While Jack is off buying pasta, peanut butter and cans of veggies and tuna fish, Madeline will be voting with her classmates to decide to which charitable organization they should donate their funds. After last week's class, Madeline mentioned that she had suggested JDRF as a possible recipient. So I emailed her teacher, thanked her for considering JDRF, and offered to help if JDRF turns out to be the chosen charity.
Today, I received the following in response:
"She [meaning Madeline] is quite the advocate. She would not let go until she got the class to agree to donate some of their funds to JDRF. She explained what Jack has to do each day and I think that won them over. I was so proud!"
I beamed after reading that.
Madeline has such a big heart.
Last week, she was campaigning at her school to help save the Mexican gray wolf, which, according to her, is nearing extinction.
This week, she's trying to help her brother. She sees what Jack endures on a daily basis. She sees the toll diabetes takes not just on Jack, but on our entire family. She sees me and Gregg pouring our hearts and souls into the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes each year.
Jack is driving me crazy. Seriously, I'm going cuckoo. Or perhaps he is...
It used to be that hypoglycemic episodes knocked him out. He'd go low and he'd need down time. He'd need to recuperate. He'd flop on the couch or a chair or his bed or the floor...anywhere. After resting, often, he'd want to eat, eat, eat.
Now, what does he want to do? Physical activity.
I'm not kidding. I'm talking sports. I'm talking serious exertion.
Yesterday, he plummeted to 35. He asked to treat it with a can of orange soda. With a 35, I was glad he was coherent and cooperative. A can of Sunkist Orange? Sure! So, he gulped down that baby, and five minutes later, he announced, "I'm going to go ride my bike."
I wondered if I'd heard him correctly.
"I...am...going...to...go...ride...my...bike," he said as slowly as possible, enunciating with precision.
"How 'bout you let your blood sugar level rise before doing that?"
"Nope, I'm fine. I'm going to go ride my bike."
Surely, he lost brain cells with this low.
"Jack, that's not a wise idea. I'd like you to wait a little bit. You can ride your bike, but give your body a little break first."
"I don't want to. I'm going to go ride my bike."
"Jack, come on! You were just 35!"
"No, you come on! I'm fine."
He was determined.
"I drank the soda. My CGM shows an arrow up. I don't feel low any more. I'm going to go ride my bike."
The master manipulator won...but I went outside with him and watched his every move.
In a pancreatic panic, I began yelling as he was pedaling away. "If you feel low, or if your CGM beeps, pay attention! Don't ignore it!"
"Okay!" he yelled back, pedaling farther.
"And you need to stop and test your blood sugar again in a few minutes! You need to make sure your blood sugar is really rising! You need to take care of yourself!"
"Okay, mom! I get it! I know!" he yelled back to me.
A few minutes later, he pedaled back my way, hopped off his bike, grabbed his D kit and tested his blood. His number was nice. The biking seemed to have no effect whatsoever...not even later on.
The day before, five minutes after treating a 42, he wanted to shoot hoops. "Anyone up for a game of horse?" he asked.
A few days ago, his post-low plan was to ride his scooter.
What's a D mama to do? Forbid him? Buy a straitjacket? Wrestle him to the floor? Argue 'til the cows come home?
I don't really see this as a question of who's in control...I, as the parent, or Jack, as the kid. This isn't a matter of me giving into my son's desires. This isn't a power play.
This is a matter of me beginning to let go, listening to my son and trusting him. When it comes to his diabetes, he's a responsible kid, who doesn't take chances. He generally plays it safe.
Moreover, who am I to know how he truly physically feels? I don't have diabetes. I don't know what a low feels like. I don't know what a rising blood sugar level feels like. I need to trust him. I need to encourage him to tune into his body and trust how he feels. I need to allow him some control. I need to empower him to make decisions for himself. I need to support him. I need to be there to help him, if his decisions prove to be unwise or if diabetes throws him for a loop.
I need to teach him to be safe, to properly care for himself and to make smart decisions, but I can't help but ponder whether this post-low physical activity is dangerous. It's certainly not what I'd prefer him to do. I think he should wait, but again, I can't tap into what he's physically feeling and I need to trust him. I feel so conflicted. I'm telling you I'm going cuckoo.
Any other kids or adults out there with T1D feel the need for physical activity after battling low blood sugar? Any other cuckoo D mamas out there? Just curious.
After taking a panoramic x-ray of Jack's mouth, our dentist walked into the waiting area, where I was sitting.
"Heidi, I need you to come with me," he said. "I found something on Jack's x-ray."
My heart skipped a beat. Doctors and dentists don't bring you into their offices to chat about nothing, and Dr. Lee's tone was serious.
"You found something?"
"Come. I'll show you. Let's talk."
Fear washed over me as all sorts of thoughts flashed through my head. Once you've had a child diagnosed with a condition like type 1 diabetes, you know just how easily, how suddenly, how surprisingly a diagnosis can strike.
Of course, we will deal with whatever comes our way, but Jack deals with enough already. He doesn't need anything else piled onto his seven-year-old plate.
As we walked into his office, Dr. Lee must have sensed my fear.
"It's nothing to worry about," he assured me. "Jack's fine."
He plunked a print-out of Jack's x-ray on the counter.
"Look here," he said, pointing to some areas, "Jack is missing permanent teeth."
Just as he said that, Jack poked me, interrupting the conversation with "Mom, I feel low."
"Keep talking, please," I said to Dr. Lee. I wasn't going to let a low get in the way of his explanation. I needed to hear more and I needed to hear it then.
I opened Jack's D kit, took out testing supplies, checked Jack's blood, gave a quick glance at the 49 on the meter, whipped out a juice, unscrewed the top, ripped off the seal, handed it to Jack and watched him chug, as Dr. Lee and his office manager watched our diabetic dance and continued to explain that it's not life-threatening, or even problematic, to be missing a permanent tooth or two.
Tears stung my eyes, as I multi-tasked, listening and learning about one condition while treating another, the other which is often problematic and which holds the potential to be life-threatening.
"Man, you guzzled that, Jack!" Dr. Lee exclaimed, bringing a little levity to the conversation. "How'd you drink that so fast?"
"I'm used to it," Jack said matter-of-factly.
"Well, you know what?" Dr. Lee asked. "You and I have something in common. We're both missing permanent teeth."
Jack looked perplexed. "We are?" he asked.
"We are, and you know what else?"
"It's not a big deal. It just means that we need to take extra special care of those baby teeth, because we want them to last, and when and if you need orthodontic work, your orthodontist will need to take them into consideration."
We talked some more with Dr. Lee and then left to head home. During the drive, as I thought about the news we'd just received, I felt immense relief and gratitude. Tears stung my eyes again. This time, they were tears of joy, because this new finding is "not a big deal." If only all findings were "not a big deal"...
You know you're a D mama when at 7:53 a.m. your sons are drinking Dr. Pepper.
For the record, they did eat a "real" breakfast after sipping sodas and after Jack's blood sugar elevated. And, no, Max wasn't fighting a low, too. He had just begged, "Can I have some Dr. Pepper, too? Please? Can I? Can I? Puh-lease?" Barely awake, I caved.
The purpose of the party is to discover new blogs and meet new bloggers.
Want in on the action? Well, consider yourself invited! All you have to do is write a party post, telling a little something about you and your blog and then add the URL of that party post to a linky list on the official 2011 Ultimate Blog Party place, which you can find here.
Onto a little about me and my blog...
I am the mom of three great kids, Madeline, Jack and Max, who are ages 9, 7 and 5 respectively.
Jack has type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed three years ago, and his diagnosis turned our lives upside down. D-Tales is all about the ways in which we're now living right side up with this health condition.
But this blog isn't just about diabetes. It's about the wacky things that three kids do on a daily basis, and with a 9-, 7- and 5-year-old, there's plenty of wackiness going on!
There are tales to tell, tips to offer and contests to host!
Thanks for visiting! Leave me a comment and introduce yourself. That way I'll know you were here and I'll be happy to stop by your blog.