BLOG WEEK ENTRY 3: A Crushing Blow to ‘Being Normal’.

Disney broken on iceThis week is the third entry into blog week where we are asked to address the following title: Memories–share our most memorable diabetes day…choose anything.

Anyone who knows me knows that one of the biggest goals we strive toward is normalcy.  Now I know of people where normalcy means many things; one thing it has not been for us is non-involved in diabetes care normalcy.

I have heard it stated many times that “I want my child to enjoy a normal life.”   But there is a big difference between a normal life and a normal life with diabetes.  We decided that we would never sacrifice good diabetes care for the sake of just being allowed to have a ‘normalcy’.

Now that does not mean there were days we gave our kids a break or a time-off or as my friend Joe says; “…take an extra meter out and run it over with the car to blow off some steam…” moment; we certainly have had all of those moments over the years.

But the one memory I will never forget was when TJ and Kaitlyn were very young.  As young children we thought what could be better and more normal than taking our children to Disney on Ice.  Like all kids, they loved all of the Disney characters.

In the early days, we decided that I would work and Jill would stay home to care for the kids and specifically for Kaitlyn’s diabetes care (she was diagnosed when she was two).  With that in mind, we still needed two incomes as any couple with young kids and a house would need.  So For over 12 years I held down 2 jobs and my days usually went from early am to almost midnight every night, 7 days a week; Saturday and Sundays my work day was a little better and started at around 10:00 am.  That meant weekend morning times with the kids to take to breakfast or read or do whatever we wanted.

It may seem gruelling but I loved both jobs and I never had a problem with working.  We never questioned it; it just had to be done so we did it.  I share this with you not-so-much-that you hear my work schedule but so you fully appreciate the fact that anytime that I could grab some time with my kids… was a gift.

So we saved where we could and I scrounged around enough money to buy tickets to Disney in Ice for the four of us.  It was going to be a treat among treats.  This was not an easy task and I was so happy that we could arrange this for our kids. 

We planned everything, took what we needed for Kaitlyn’s diabetes, and headed toward Nassau Coliseum for this night of magic.  As we pulled into the parking lot Kaitlyn started to whine.  Something was wrong.

By the time I reached a parking space Kaitlyn was screaming and crying at  the top of her lungs.  I am talking blood-curdling screams.  Her face was purple. Jill jumped out o fteh car and moved to the back to tend to her.  I took TJ and could only watch as Jill started everything in motion.

In horror I watched as her little, tiny, body completely locked at every muscle.  She was as stiff as a board.  Jill checked her blood sugar.  There was no pumps back then; no cgms.  Usually we had to mix two insulins.  Kaitlyn was high and Jill reached for what was called ‘regular’ insulin and injected it. 

Jill wrapped her arms around Kaitlyn and rocked her and held her.

We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And after what seemed like a million years; Kaitlyn started to calm down.

Jill continued to rock her back and forth in her arms.  I was biting my lip not to cry as TJ seeing me cry was not something I need him to see at this moment.  I wanted to walk around the parking lot but TJ was not leaving his sister’s side.  So we all watched and waited.

Of course, finally, Kaitlyn came around and we started toward the entrance of Disney on Ice.  We missed a good deal of the first half and once inside the kids enjoyed themselves to no end.

For them it was the night of magic…….for us it was a reminder of diabetes……the new normal.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’

A Fast Approaching Cliff……..Who Will Take Care of Them??????

cliffIn each household there is the one person who completely understands the warning signs of a ‘low’ or a ‘high’ blood sugar other than the person who has diabetes (and sometimes, rarely as far as I’m aware, there are more than one).   I surely hope there is at least one.

Make no mistake about it; in our household it’s Jill.  It’s almost as if she has a sixth sense.  I can see it but by time I notice it, Jill would already be treating it with whatever is needed.  It has always been like that and it’s my understanding that it’s like that in many other households.


Our kids will grow up and one day leave us. 

What happens then?  The thought of it makes me feel as if I am coming to an edge of a cliff.  Hold on?  Jump? Let go?  What?

Now I am not referring to those who are leaving for school and THAT is an important issue but today I am referring to spouse, partner, and/or roommate.  Will they know what to do?   Will they know what to look for?   Will we trust that they will know?  Is it that we can’t stop it so we just have to accept it?  And most important, to they know just how important their job is in all of this?

Quite frankly do we think anyone will be good enough to take care of our kids?  I mean I get it when it comes to security, safety, financially, but this diabetes-you-better-take-care-of-my-kids-and you-better-know-what-the-heck-is-going-on is a realization I’m trying to come to grips with more and more as my two kids with diabetes grow older.

Probably more so with my oldest (who does not have diabetes) son now getting married, I have faced that I will go through this two more times.  After the anxiety attack set in; and I think about when the time comes, I guess I must come to grips with the fact that Kaitlyn and Rob will know the person they choose to marry. 

I’m not an easily trusting person when it comes to this point and I certainly will not speak for Jill, but how do we know?  Do we need to know?  I’m very interested to hear from those who have gone through this?  I’m also interested in what you feel having kids with diabetes who will one day inform us that they are ‘moving out’?  And finally do those who are now adults with T1 I ask, was this even a thought in your dating process?  Please reply here as it is a subject I know could interest many.

Here comes that anxiety again.  Let me know your thoughts, I need to take a walk.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’