Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Please don't ask me ...

Since I first started this blog, Jeff has questioned the title I have chosen.  He wondered why I called it “Ranting T1 Mom” when I continue to tell stories that make him cry.  He suggested that “ranting” implied a certain amount of bitterness and snarkiness which he has not yet read in my stories.  My intention has just been to tell our honest story, to tell the truth.  And in the interest of always telling the truth, the time has finally come to post a proper rant!

It has now been close to three years since Ben’s diagnosis.  We have been living with T1 for awhile now, so when I bump into people around town I am often asked, “How is Ben doing?  Do you have his diabetes under control?”

I never know exactly how to answer that question.  I assume the response folks are hoping for is:  “We are doing great.  He never has a blood glucose reading out of range.  Ben’s diabetes is no longer a problem!”

But that wouldn’t be the truth!  Sometimes, like Jack Nicholson in a “Few Good Men” I would love to respond, “You can’t handle the truth!”  (I warned you this would be a snarky rant!)  The problem with the truth is that it takes more then a quick conversation at the checkout counter at the super market to explain.  So usually I just respond, “Ben is doing well.”

If I had the time (and the patience) here is what I would like to explain …

Jeff, Ben and I continue to try to “control” Ben’s diabetes. (Imagine me saying control with air quotes.)  We check his blood sugar close to 10 times day, count every carb he eats, and continuously give him insulin.  And some days this works well and others not so well.  Any real success we see is temporary and short lived.  We can go a few days without seeing any sky-high glucose numbers.  Jeff and I will even smack each other a few high fives!  But then one day later we will be scratching our heads trying to explain a glucose reading of 345. This is the nature of this disease.  Jeff, Ben and I armed with a syringe and man-made insulin can NOT replace God’s perfectly designed pancreas!  Everyday we can try.  And that is what we do, try.

And to continue with my rant, there is another reason I hate this question.  (Though, you might consider me super sensitive.)   But part of the problem is that the question implies that Jeff and I should have Ben’s diabetes under control by now.  And that then implies if we don’t have it under control, we are failing.

To be perfectly clear, Jeff and I don’t consider ourselves failures!  Managing life with Type 1 diabetes is a daily struggle.  There are no simple answers.  All you can do is to remain constantly vigilant and never ever give up.

So the next time I am asked the question, I may just answer, “No, Nope, Nunca, Never! … Not until there is a cure!”  If that is not the snarky, cynical response you are looking for, then please don’t ask me, “Do you have Ben’s diabetes under control?”


  1. We always say something along the lines of "it doesn't really work that way", and if they want to know what we mean by that, we'll expand. Usually it's just met with a blank stare.

    The ones who really care will ask.

  2. My 12year old daughter got diagnosed March of 2012. I LOVE your blog, it's comforting in a weird sort of way to know that there are other moms who feel like me. Keep being honest,keep blogging!