Friday, May 23, 2014

A Chorale Concert, Charades, and a Kick Line

I shut down my computer
Time to make dinner
Phone rings
“I am on my way home with the boys.
Did you know Ben has choral concert tonight?”
“Ah … nope”
“Show starts at 7:00.”
“OK, I’ll fix a quick dinner.”
Hang up
What to make?

Hear garage doors
Hear thumping up basement steps
Door slams open
First Cole
Drops backpack in middle of kitchen floor
Then announces
“I hate tacos”
2 more backpacks drop on floor
“Yeah tacos”
At least someone is happy
Dig out test kit
From Ben’s backpack conveniently placed
In middle of kitchen floor

Throw Ben test kit
“Please check”
“How many carbs?”
Ben quickly eats
Runs upstairs to dress
Returns wearing
Wrinkled shirt
Dirty tie
At least blue blazer is clean

Hand Ben a tube of glucose tabs
“Keep in your pocket just in case”
I Remember
3rd grade chorale concert
We also arrived late
Sat in back of auditorium
Watching Ben sweating and shaking
Suffering a low
In front of the whole school
But only Jeff and I knew

This night we make it to school on time
In time to find seats up front
Want to be close enough
Want to be in CGM range

Concert begins
Enjoy the music
And the faces of all the lovely boys
Dressed in their wrinkled shirts and crooked ties
CGM is working
Numbers look good
Arrow is steady and flat

Now it’s time for 5th grade boys
Shuffle up on stage
Jockey for positions
Finally settle in

Ben is sweating
Brushing the hair off his forehead
Jeff gives me the eye
Oh God
Not again
Buzz, Buzz, Buzz
Double arrow down
We keep smiling
Pretending nothing is wrong
But secretly praying for song to end
But it doesn’t
Feels like the longest song EVER
Like Stairway to Heaven long

Ben keeps wiping his forehead

How long can we wait,
Until I pull him off stage?
That would be soooo embarrassing,
Would he ever forgive me?
I repeat to myself
Hold on
Hold on
Hold on

Eventually the song does end
Ben walks back to his seat
We start waving our hands
Trying to get his attention
He is laughing
Poking his friends
Eventually he looks our way
I start my game of charades
Sticking hand in my pocket
Then miming eating
Ben is puzzled
I keep repeating
Hand in pocket
Hand to mouth
Dramatic chewing
Ding, Ding, Ding
Ben finally gets it
Pulls out glucose tabs
Ben puts up 1 finger
Than 2
I answer with a very empathic 2

More kids sing
And I watch CGM
Watch arrow change
From 2 straight down
To 1 straight down
Eventually to a steady arrow

Ben returns to stage
For the big finale
Arrow is finally heading up
They are all smiles
I am wiped out
Concert finishes with boys singing
New York, New York

“These little town blues, are melting away
“I’m gonna make a brand new start of it …”

Kids are singing
Kids are laughing
Now a kick line!
So much joy
Deep breaths
It's melting away …

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hello Mothers ... Don't Forget You!

Last summer
Winooski, Vermont
25th college reunion
25 years?
Feels like yesterday
But it’s more like a lifetime ago
A lot has happened
Fell in love
Had 3 boys
Fell in love 3 more times
Became a pancreas

Late one evening
Sharing a bottle of wine with college buddies
Sharing stories of our lives
Stories about work
Stories about kids
Stories about medical problems
Yes … our medical problems
It has been 25 years
And we are getting old!

But I share no stories
I remain quiet
Very unlike me
But I had little to share
Then my old roommate asks me,
“How have you been feeling?”
“Hmmm … fine …
“Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I saw my doctor.”

Try to explain
But I am a T1 mom!
Don’t I get a pass?
My life IS prescriptions and doctor’s appointments
Just not mine
No pass
Just more scolding
And a little more scolding

Then another glass of wine
Conversation changes
Laughing ensues
Now we are 2 glasses in
Stories of late nights on Church Street
Stories of parties in the quad
But I didn’t forget my scolding
When I get home
I call my doctor
My roommate was right
I need to take care of me

Finally see my doctor
Doctor pulls out my files
“When did I see you last?”
With a guilty shrug, I say,
“I have no idea.
“It’s been awhile.”
Hmmm …
“Says here September 2009?”
Bing, Bing, Bing …
“That makes perfect sense!
“My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in October 2009.”
Doctor nods a sympathetic nod
“That’s a tough one.
“But no worries.
“You are here today.”

Doctor checks all normal stuff
Asks how I have been feeling
“A little run down.
“A little tired.”
I joke,
“Could be because I haven’t sleep through the night in 4 years.”
Doctor doesn’t laugh
No sense of humor
Or just a really bad joke
Instead asks,
“Let me check one more thing.”
Doctor rubs my neck
“Can you feel that?”
“Hmmm … suppose I do.”
“You have a lump.
“You need to get that checked.”

Fast forward to today
I did take care of myself
I am good
I am healthy
Feel better than I have in a long time
Happy I was scolded
And I sit here on Mother’s day
Typing this post 
For my fellow T1 moms (and all mom’s out there)
But I won’t scold
Because I get it
Being a mom is a lot of work
(That’s why there is a Mother’s day)
And being a T1 mom is a super-duper lot of work
(Every last available moment filled with BG worries)
But please remember
Put your oxygen mask on first
Kind of hate typing that over-used analogy
So I will state more simply
Don't forget you!
And if you do,
If you are lucky enough to get a scolding
from someone who loves you