I feel like much of what I write about here involves changes related to growing up and gaining independence. So instead of today's regularly scheduled change-related topic, I went with a wild card choice for today's Diabetes Blog Week Post. The prompt asks me to share the top 3 craziest stories I have about living with diabetes. It goes on to say, "If you can't think of three, don't worry. We're just as happy with one or two..." That was not my problem. Dozens of stories came to mind. So I created 3 categories and picked one from each:
Craziest Medical Experience:
This category has some solid runners-up. There was the time the pharmacist suggested I have my daughter's humalog diluted by my veterinarian, and the time the lab tech slowly and cheerfully explained every detail of the blood draw. But the winner goes to diagnosis day. We'd been at our local hospital for a few hours. We knew my daughter's blood sugar was 'very high,' but while several doctors and countless nurses had assessed her, there was (alarmingly, in retrospect) no diagnosis or treatment yet. We were about to be loaded into a helicopter for transport to the children's hospital. As I stood next to the transport EMT she turned to the doctor in charge and told him she would not put my child in the helicopter until he ordered an insulin drip. I'm convinced to this day that after hours in the emergency room it was an EMT who first recognized that my child needed to be treated for diabetes.
The NPH days were awful. They lasted for almost 2 years, while my daughter was between the ages of 1 and 3 at which point she started with a pump. They coincided with her short but ill-timed picky eating phase. Here's a snippet of a piece I wrote about those picky months and having to eat when the NPH peaked: I spent the first two months of 2003 trying, religiously, to stick to the “meal plan” sent home with us by our medical team. Starch, protein, fruit, milk. Every day at 1 p.m. There was screaming and crying. Yelling and throwing of stuff. Sometimes she would throw stuff and I would cry. Sometimes we’d trade. It was reminiscent of Green Eggs and Ham, without the happy ending. Would she eat it in her chair? Would she eat it over there? Would she eat it if I sing? No…she won’t eat ANYthing. We’d inevitably end up sitting on the kitchen floor, covered in yogurt or peanut butter, in an exhausted stalemate. And then there was a low blood sugar at 2 p.m., for which I’d have to squirt cake decorating gel into her mouth because she’d refuse to drink juice. I eventually sought and received help from our excellent diabetes team. But if I had to pick a time when diabetes sent me closest to the brink of insanity, this is it.
Craziest Encounter with a Muggle:
When my daughter was 4 years old, we were in line to enter a museum. The woman behind us in line got my daughter's attention and asked, "Is that a t.v. you have there?" I can still see my child's blank stare, and how it was mirrored on my husband's face. "There...on your back?" she persisted. Aha. Lacking pockets, my daughter was wearing her pump in a waist pack with a clear window. I took a deep breath and silently exhaled all of the snarky and sarcastic replies which came to mind. Instead, as politely as I could, I replied, "No! It's actually an insulin pump; to treat diabetes." That stopped the conversation dead in its tracks. "Oh," replied the inquisitive lady. She clearly thought this a much less logical possibility than that of a 4 year old wearing a television on her back.
Want to read some more crazy stories? I know I'm looking forward to it. We'll find the links HERE!