That Crazy Dog…
Two weeks after Leo’s diabetes diagnosis, we attended the annual Celiac Awareness Walk . I didn’t really want to go. But, I knew my older two kids would love to run through the gluten-free vendor fair and stuff their faces with the delicious food samples. Sort of like squirrels hoarding nuts for the winter. It was a highlight of their year, and it was irreplaceable.
So we dragged our tired bodies, Leo in the stroller, packed the test kit, insulin injections, etc. Shortly after we arrived, he became super cranky and his blood sugar was over 400! We gave him insulin and water and waited for the numbers to come down to a safer level, which takes over an hour. I took him outside because he was crying inconsolably and there wasn’t anything inside for him to eat. In fact, it was painful just to watch everyone eat all the high carbohydrate food. I stayed outside and tried my best to distract him. I also needed a distraction. It happened to be Ben’s 5th birthday, and here I was at a Ceilac walk (another reminder of this difficult lifelong food restriction) with my screaming, newly diagnosed diabetic baby.
When his blood sugar came down to 300 (still high, but not as dangerous), I pulled out a low carb yogurt from my bag and started to feed him. Out of nowhere, a friendly-looking dog came running up to the stroller, knocked the yogurt out of our hands and started eating it. The couple who owned the dog felt horrible! They apologized profusely and started to offer food, none of which he could eat. They were so excited when they found raisins- a healthy food! Surely your son could eat these raisins. No way! I wanted to cry, raisins are way too high in carbs! I wish he would have been happy with string cheese, peanut butter, but no, not him, not a chance.
The rest of my family saw this episode from a distance, thankfully, and thought it was hysterical. Adam wished he had recorded it! We hightailed it to the car and went straight home. I don’t remember the rest of the day but I was glad to hear Adam retell it, because I definitely needed a laugh!
I’m hungry, but…
Leo figured out by age 2 that we preferred him to eat healthy snacks rather than anything else. If his blood sugar was high and I went to the fridge to get carb-free cheese or turkey, he would sob and yell “I’m hungry, but not for fridge food, I’m hungry for cabinet food!” No healthy food for him, he wanted the good stuff, the carb-laden stuff, and he knew where to find it!
The hidden joy of being low…
When Sam was diagnosed with diabetes he already knew the drill from his brother’s experience. So if he was low, we would offer a nutritious apple to help bring his bg back up. He would protest that he only wanted otherwise forbidden sweets to bring him up. “I’m not wasting a low! Grapes and apples aren’t candy. Where are the glucose tabs or sweet tarts?”
Hansel and Gretel
I’m sorry, they’re EVERYWHERE. The small test trips which only need a tiny drop of blood to test sugar levels somehow make it in to the proper receptacle only 60% of the time. It’s tough, they are kids, they test themselves up to 15 times a day. They (and we, I confess) mean to throw them out but somehow those darn strips somehow fall out of the bag. It leaves a trail of our travels like Hansel and Gretel.
My sister Jodi chides me all the time “We always know when you’ve been here, we saw your evidence by the pool yesterday and on the way to the baseball field last week.” Because she’s my sister, and closer to me than almost anyone else on the planet (and post-dates expectant with her 4th child, I might add) she can give me hard time. But I do apologize about the trail of strips.
I attended a wedding of a college friend two years ago, before Leo started school and before Sam was diagnosed. I met an old friend there who mentioned that he had become an assistant principal of a charter School in Manhattan. Of course I asked him if there were any diabetic children in his school and how they were managing their diabetes. A sly smile came across his face as he explained “Oh, we have a kindergartener with diabetes who seems to be managing just fine. But he recently got in trouble for running a Black Market on the playground. He was actually selling his glucose tabs! When we asked him why he was doing it, he replied shamelessly…they taste good, and people want them.”
Okay, maybe these don’t produce the ha-ha belly laughs that send you rolling on the floor. But they add a needed dimension to our lives, making the best of our daily stresses. I suppose I have to thank my mom who encouraged me to go that Celiac Walk 5 years ago. “This is your life now. If it would be good for your family to learn things, try things, then maybe you should just go.” Really, I wanted to hibernate in my room until the next blood sugar check. But then …we wouldn’t have had that great “ The Dog Ate My Yogurt” story…