Teenage Thoughts Interrupted

This is only a sample of what I imagine is circling through my daughter's mind, on repeat, every day:

when am I eating next
4x+y=47...where do I start
what's my blood sugar
when is that English essay due
we're running in gym today so I might be low
I wonder if Molly can come over after school
I'm sitting for an hour and a half in the assembly- I'll probably be high at lunch
I love the new Nick Jonas song
the school schedule changed for the day so lunch is really early- that'll mess up my blood sugar
should I get a new mirror in my room
should I have dinner before or after tennis so I don't go low
my piano recital is on Saturday
is it site change day
which dress should I wear for 8th grade graduation
why am I high
I need to get something for grandpa's birthday
should I ask all my friends to stop and wait for me while I check my blood sugar
why are my friends arguing over where to go for lunch on Friday
how many carbs are in this dish of Italian ice
are the Red Sox on tv tonight
should I correct again or will I crash because I might only be high from being nervous about the quiz
when are auditions for the summer musical
did I silence the dexcom or is it going to alarm during the concert
maybe I'll call my cousins tonight
why are there no clean measuring cups so I can measure my rice for dinner
that panda video is adorable
should I go to the nurse for this 69 blood sugar or just eat a couple of glucose tabs at my desk
should I ask for a new phone case
I need more dexcom tape
maybe we could shop for shoes for the 8th grade dance this afternoon
I have to bring more juice boxes into school tomorrow for the nurse's office
does the library have the book I'm waiting for yet
where did I leave the meter
is it my turn in words with friends with grandma
I have to remind mom that we need to reorder the pump supplies
should I post a selfie on Instagram today or is it too soon since the last one
maybe I'll just have cucumbers and hummus for snack so I don't have to count carbs
I'm so excited about this ancient Egypt history project
I can hear the alarm but where did I leave the dexcom
this box of tic tacs is almost gone


I Wish People Knew That Diabetes...

is never and never will be "under control."

stops us dead in our tracks at the most inopportune moments.

makes my daughter one of the toughest and bravest people I know.

has caused us to purchase (literally) thousands of juice boxes in the past 13 years.

means my kid has sites for two devices inserted in her body all the time.

requires my kid to experience long scary needles every other day for her sites.

has led us to meet some amazing people we would not otherwise know.

means it's been 13 years since I've slept through more than 3 nights in a row.

has no cure.

could have killed my kid if she wasn't diagnosed.

makes us do serious math every time food is served.

has led to my having closer relationships with the teachers and administrators at school.

is the reason I'm slow on the uptake some days because of a long night of highs or lows.

when graphed looks like a roller coaster; and when experienced feels like one too.

is what inspired me to start writing again.

means 15 minutes in the nurse's office a couple of times every week.

is worth advocating and fundraising about.

is why my cell phone is in my hand whenever my daughter is not in my sight.

is a diagnosis shared by some cool famous people like Nick Jonas and Sonya Sotomayor.

means that a little piece of me worries every morning about whether my child will wake up.

is a challenge shared by the family and friends of the person with diabetes.

means my kid never leaves the house without a bag full of stuff.

is a death sentence for people without access to insulin and glucometers.

is something I wish I knew much, much less about.

It's #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes day- these links will take you to the I Wish People Knew That Diabetes and Diabetesaliciousness websites for more info about the day. You can also search the hashtag on twitter to see more thoughts and to add your own! 

The Seemingly Impossible

What parent hasn't wondered about at least one of these scenarios:

-Mary will still be in diapers in middle school.
-I hope they make Velcro baseball cleats because Jonny's never going to learn to tie his laces.
-Why is Susie the only child who hasn't mastered scissors? 

Likewise, the diabetes parent list:

-Bobby better go to college nearby since I'll be there every few days to help with his site change.
-I don't see how Matt can go to Kindergarten without me being in the building with him all day.
-Guess I'll be Ellie's prom date since she'll need help counting her carbs at dinner. 

As I began to write a few paragraphs about last week's school field trip, during which my daughter admirably calculated carbohydrates and dosed insulin for unfamiliar Spanish food from a buffet table, I felt like I was bragging. It felt selfish to celebrate the success.

But I thought some more and realized that my goal was not to brag at all. My goal was to admit that until very recently, I thought this might never be possible.

When I share the story of the successful field trip I'm remembering the dozens of field trips I've attended to keep her safe.  I'm remembering the hours, over the course of years, she's spent learning to be comfortable with counting carbs.  I'm remembering surviving the anxiety of the first times she ate somewhere without me.  I'm remembering all of the other diabetes 'all by myself' milestones she's passed over the years. I'm remembering that while she's survived all of them: the first low when I wasn't around, going to school, the birthday party, the sleepover, calculating restaurant carbs by herself, and so many more, I continue to assume that the next one will never happen.

I do get glimmers of hope, though. Blog posts about kids who've survived a gymnastics themed birthday party, changed their own sites, or gone on an overnight trip with another family have, over the years, led me to believe that these may be possible for my kid too.  Blogs written by adults living with diabetes give a glimpse into the future.  These people seem to be caring for their diabetes completely independently while simultaneously having productive lives, families, and fun adventures. Reading these stories reminds me that these days will come for my daughter despite all of the reasons I irrationally assume they might not.

When I share the story of the Spanish trip, or the site change or the sleepover I do so because maybe someone else out there needs a glimmer of hope; a reminder that the seemingly impossible may one day actually happen.