Wednesday, February 13, 2013


It has been 4 weeks since Ben broke his arm tripping on a basketball at recess. Now in our family time is not actually measured in days, weeks or months. It is measured in hockey games. If you were to ask Ben how long it has been since he broke his arm he would say, "It has been 6 hockey games." And that is a lot games to watch from the bench.

Now I am a-cup-half-full-kind-of-gal and I decided that this break from sports and exercise was the perfect time to focus on Ben's pump settings. Without the added complexity of exercise affecting his blood sugars I could focus on getting his basal and bolus settings just right. And just the other day we saw these numbers:

2:00am   114 night time check
6:30am   122 before breakfast
10:00am  157 before snack
11:45am  154 before lunch
2:00pm   319 before snack (OK ... not great)
4:00pm   131 (Yeah! Fixed that afternoon 300)
6:45pm   102 before dinner

Now when we saw those numbers there were high-fives and even a happy dance ... But not Ben. Ben was not going to be happy until he could get back on his skates and play hockey again. There would be no fist pumps from Ben. He was saving those for after his doctor's appointment. And that appointment was today!

This afternoon I picked him up early from school (bonus!) and he was all smiles. Off we raced to see his doctor. Once we arrived Ben's named was called quickly. We answered a few quick questions and then he was taken to x-ray. Within a few minutes we were waiting in the exam room for the doctor. And before we could finish telling our silly jokes in walks the doctor (this is seriously the most efficient doctor's office on the planet.)

The doctor pulls up the x-ray. Everything looks good. He shows us where the bone is growing in. Then comes the but ... but it's not done growing yet. The doctor then asks Ben what sports he plays and he enthusiastically replies, "Hockey!" Now that is not the sport the doctor was hoping for, "Oh, I am sorry. You won't be able to play hockey just yet." All the light leaves Ben's face. He remained polite but I knew he was holding back tears. The doctor said to come back in a few weeks and he would check again.

As we were heading back to the car I asked Ben if there was anything I could do to make him happy. He said nothing and didn't even lift his head. I took that as a "No." When we finally made it home, still not speaking, Ben layed down on the sofa, curled up in a ball, and pulled a blanket over himself.

After Ben ignored me for a while more, it finally occurred to me that I should check his blood sugar. Maybe this moping is more than just disappointment. Maybe he is low. I dig out a finger from under the blanket and I prick it and test ... 399! Where did that come from!? He was in the 100s when he left school. He did not eat anything. But he did get his heart broken. Suppose the stress of the hockey bad news could easily have caused a BG spike in my little T1 rink rat.  I gave him an insulin bolus and hoped his BG would come down quickly.  And indeed it did.  In an hour he was down in the 200s and before dinner he was 175.  Phew!  Now if only the insulin could fix his broken heart too.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Preparing for the storm

I am at the office
Jeff texts me
School closed tmrw, Nemo
Please pickup all 3 boys
Going to board meeting
Then the ever prepared Jeff
Gives me the French toast storm warning
Pls stop at store on way home
Milk, bread and eggs J

Leave office at 5:00
Pull into school pickup lot
Boys jump into car
Thrilled there is no school tomorrow
Start debating
Who gets Xbox first
I interrupt
We need to stop
At supermarket first
In unison
All three

Once arrive at Shaw’s
Grab a cart
Then warn boys
“Don’t bug me.
We are here for
Milk, bread, and eggs

No one heard me

We walk through bakery
Impossible to avoid
Ben’s eyes light up
When he sees a Valentine's display
“Can we get cupcakes?”

I point the shopping cart straight
Head for milk refrigerator
But to get there
We walk through cereal aisle
I HATE the evil cereal aisle
Decide will need to
Speed walk through
Maybe the boys won’t notice

“Pop tarts!”
“Mom can we get Pop Tarts?”
“Don’t you care what we like?”
“Matter of fact, NO”
“Don’t you love us?”

I don’t slow down
Still speed walking
Soon I have lost
All three boys
This just might be a good plan
Finally reach milk!
Grab a jug
Turn the corner
Grab a loaf of bread
Finally reach eggs
Still no boys

Head toward registers
Turn corner
All three boys
Block the aisle
“Where did you go?”
Nonchalantly reply
“I was shopping”
Skip the hiding part

Now walk by frozen food aisle
Ben begs
“Can I get some ice cream?”
Feel a little guilty
I did just abandon my children
I finally break
And say

Ben and Cole grab the shopping cart
Rush down freezer aisle
Stop in front of freezer with
Mini-pints of ice cream
Ben loves these
Individual size
No measuring
Carbs labeled on side

The boys start throwing
Little pints of ice cream in cart
“Four fudge brownie”
“Four vanilla”
“Four cookie dough”
“No four more cookie dough”
Cole exclaims
“Dulce de Leche!”
I then yell
That’s enough”

They look at their mountain of Ben and Jerry’s in cart
Shut freezer door
As the boys head back down aisle
Another mother from town
Interrupts our madness
And says

I pause and respond
She then continues
“I was told I should talk to you”
“Really?  Why?” I ask
“My son was diagnosed
With Type 1 diabetes last fall.”

“Oh … I am so sorry!”
We then chat a little more
The boys wrestle in front of freezers
She mentions
“My son won’t go out to eat
At a restaurant”
I assure her
Dining out for the first time
With T1
Is a big hurdle
For everyone
Always a challenge

Boys wrestling
Now becomes distracting
Certain I am raising
Wild animals
And not human boys
We say our goodbyes
I encourage her to call me anytime
Yes T1 sucks
But it will be OK!

I tell the boys
It’s time to go
We head toward the check out
The boys unload the cart
Onto the register belt
They are helpful sometimes
Though they continue
To ask for
Soda and gum
But I no longer respond
I keep thinking about
The new T1 boy
Feel sad for him

Now that we are part of the T1 club
We are often told about
A new T1 diagnosis
A middle school girl
A three year old girl
A young teacher
A 45 year old man
And now another middle school boy
And it feels like
This happens too often
Way too often

Wish we could go home
Huddle in front of the fire
With our milk, bread and eggs
(and ice cream)
And wait out the storm
The T1 storm
But it seems that storm
Will still be raging
Well after Nemo is gone

Finally I swipe my debit card
Boys put bags in cart
And I start heading
Toward the exit
And I notice I am alone
Where are the boys?
I turn around
They are huddled together
“What are you guys doing?”
“Passing out gum”
“Where did you guys get that gum?!”
“You just bought it
But don’t worry
It’s sugar-free!”