Writing 101: Day 4 It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose

Ian has always been on the losing team. I am not kidding. Every team he’s ever been on has been the worst. In both baseball and basketball, his team always has the worst record in the league.

This year is different. His team is 4-6, still not a winning record, but not the worst team either.  And they have lost some very close games.  It’s been an exciting season.

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Batter up!! I’ve been horrible at taking pictures this season. This is, in part, because I take the dog with me to most games, and it’s hard to manage a camera and a ferocious 10 pound Yorkie.

Since this is the first season with the OmniPod, it was like a whole new ball game. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)  The first few practices and games he was dropping like crazy…The second practice he plummeted to 44. Our previous plan of giving him an extra 15g before activity didn’t work anymore.

Talk about frustrating and defeating.  It was just part of the learning curve.

After a little trial and error, we figured out that a temp basal set at 70% is enough to keep him from going low. We have to test him every few innings. It’s annoying to him but he knows that going low is going to take him out of the game for a while, and he sure doesn’t want that!

When Ian was diagnosed, we sat in the ER and the doctor asked him if he had any questions. Do you know what his very first question was?

“Can I still play sports?”

This boy lives for his sports. And honestly, he doesn’t care if he wins or loses. He just loves the game. With his track record, that’s a very good thing.

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I love watching him pitch. Look how serious. He tries to plan out his pod placement so it doesn’t interfere with his nights to pitch.

The tournament starts on Tuesday. Is it too much to ask for just one more win?

 

The Same Story. A New Chapter.

A few days ago I went through some old posts, desperate for some reminder that things will get better.

I found several posts that had me in the same, or similar, place with the same, or similar, feelings…. (All of these posts were written before I went public with this blog.)

On the days that Ian is with his dad and stepmom, I scramble to get things done around here and I try to get some extra sleep, but breaks don’t seem like breaks.

We’ve had some really awesome days.  In fact, he’s had three days in which his numbers were darn near perfect.  And then…BOOM…Hello 300s!! We meet again…..  I had to remind myself diabetes can’t change the past.

As I peel off the old pod (and fight the squeamish feelings I feel) and try to distract him from the pod change, it breaks my heart.  It’s stupid and unfair that he has to have this disease, and he has to endure these things. All I can think is “I’m so sorry this happened to you.

As Ian struggled through a baseball practice, his dad and I were texting about the unfairness of this all and how we’d trade places with him in a heartbeat.  Being a parent of a child with a chronic illness it not what we signed up for, but we will do whatever we have to do.

And doing what we have to do…well, it’s exhausting. I’ve already explained this; I’m so tired. 

I know that having this pump is the beginning of a new chapter for Ian. He will be able to be so much more independent and he will need this as he gets older.  He has already mastered the PDM. He can enter his carbs and give himself a bolus, and it’s all so good for his confidence and self-esteem. He is managing all of his care at school – making a phone call to his stepmom at lunch time everyday.

Yesterday morning I was reading a book when he woke up and I said, “Let me finish this chapter, and then I’ll get your breakfast.”  He said, “No, you keep reading. I can do it by myself now.”  My sweet boy, you continue to amaze me.

This move from shots to a pump has not been the easiest transition.  I foolishly didn’t see this coming. It is just a new chapter, and I have to face it.

And even though sometimes the reality of forever blows my mind, I know we will be ok.

New Pump Slump

I’ve been struggling to write a post about the new life we are living with the pump.  Ian got his OmniPod on March 10th, and the last two weeks have been….

Exhausting. Frustrating. Liberating. Challenging. Scary. Exciting. Annoying.  Freeing. Confusing.

Put all those emotions together…and I find myself in a New Pump Slump.

I find I don’t really want to talk about his pump with people, because it’s isn’t a magic cure.

People seem dumbfounded that he isn’t “regulated.”

People seem to think that he’s fixed now with this pump.

He’s not.

And while it is a handy-dandy, pretty amazing little piece of technology, and will eventually be so much better….I feel like we are starting over in many ways.

It’s not as scary as it was a year ago when we had so much to learn….

But it’s a change that requires  you to let go of the “control” you thought you had – giving up control and trusting this little plastic pod on his body to do the right things. Yes, we still have the power to adjust the bolus, set the basal…(don’t even get me started on the new vocabulary I’ve picked up in 13 days).

It’s hard.

What we knew worked for baseball and gym days and snacks and meals and bedtime….doesn’t work anymore.

When he goes from 170 to 44 during baseball…

When he doesn’t even feel his low of 38…

It feels like we are failing him….like we’ve forgotten everything we’ve learned.

I know that none of this is true. I know we are doing the best we can and this is just another huge lifestyle change that will get better with time.

But when you are sleeping no more than 3 hours at a time each night….it’s hard to see things that way.

Trust and Friendship

Last night MJ had her first full-blown sleep-over.  I haven’t ever said NO to a sleep-over. She just hasn’t asked.

It is sort of like when she was a toddler, and we used to take nightly walks through the park. We never got her out of her stroller to swing or play on the playground, because we knew once we started, a walk through the park would never be so simple.   (That all ended around the age of 2.)

So, when I suggested a sleep-over for her upcoming 14th birthday, her eyes lit up and she invited 4 friends.  Three were going to spend the night; the fourth girl was only going to stay until 10:30 or so. She had never spent the night at someone’s house. She has T1D.

She is my Ian.

Ian has never been a sleep-over candidate – even prior to his diagnosis.  He doesn’t do well with things like that. He even has a hard time sleeping at his grandparents’.

And now, with T1D, he’s asked a few times, but we’ve always found alternatives to sleeping over. He has whined a few times, “I’ll never be able to prove I can stay all night if you don’t give me a chance!”

True.

But I also know Ian. The anxiety of the change in routine would be enough to literally make him sick and he’d  be home anyway.

Anyway, MJ’s friend was the last to arrive, but the girls welcomed her and were clearly glad she decided to come – at least for a little while.

A few hours in, MJ comes down and said, “Annie wants to spend the night!”

She was followed by a trail of girls…one I hardly recognized. They had given Annie a makeover; they straightened her corkscrew curls and put a flower in her hair.

Annie’s mom brought over her sleeping bag, pillow, and overnight bag. And her Lantus.

I could tell her mom was apprehensive and Annie was maybe a little nervous.  But of all the places in the world, this was a good place to start the overnight adventure.

I smiled as I thought of one of my favorite lines from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when the creepy garage attendant takes the Ferrari from Ferris and Cameron: “You guys got nothing to worry about, I’m a professional.”

I picture Annie’s mom saying, “A professional what?

True, Annie’s been a T1D for a year or so longer than Ian. But I get it and I could tell her mom did too.

I kindly said, “Are you ok with this? She’s gonna be ok. I can get up at 2:00 and check her. MJ knows what to do. And I have juice boxes!”

She smiled, hugged Annie goodbye, and walked away.

I don’t think I could have done that so easily.

But, what a milestone.

My heart melted when MJ carefully measured out Annie’s brownie and ice cream, just like she’d do with Ian’s.

And then again, when the girls told me that they are all going to do the Diabetes Walk next fall. They want to form a team for Annie and Ian.

I believe they will make this happen.

The only glitch in this experience…planning a sleep-over on the night we change the clocks and lose an hour of much-needed sleep. The girls watched the time miraculously change from 1:59 to 3:00 on their phones.

I have to trust that it was awesome, because I got more sleep than anyone! I was sound asleep by 11:00!

The Chicken or the Egg?

Oh, heavens!

This day.  This unbelievably exhausting day.

The kind of day that, after a while, all you can do is laugh.

I arrive at work at 7:15.

Ian is with me today because he has band.

He eats in my classroom before school starts.  His breakfast blood sugar is 374?!?!

Awesome.

Throw in moderate ketones, the inability to finish breakfast because he feels too sick to eat, an insulin  > carb intake, a hunt for juice in the cafeteria to try to compensate for some of the missing carbs….

And it’s now 7:55.

Class starts at 8:03. I haven’t even turned on my computer.

Awesome.

Oh yeah, and then the office does an all-call at 8:00 because they can’t find me…

An observer from an elementary school – which I completely forgot about – is here waiting in the office for me.

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

It was clearly going to be one of those days.

Better just roll with it.

I pull it together. She’s a first year teacher, I tell myself. I can fake her out. I can look good even though I am completely and totally flustered and frazzled.

I pull it off. We read an emotional chapter from our novel. It calms me down.

The next two periods are fine. I shuffle Ian out to the bus which will take him to his elementary school.

The observer leaves.

Then I see the email she sent last night to remind me she was coming.

I make a mental note to check why my work email is not coming to my phone.

I teach a couple more periods, get my sub plans ready for tomorrow during my prep, run home for lunch.

I arrive back from lunch, ready to tackle the last three periods.

Apparently I’ve missed some unmentionable craziness in the land of 7th grade during lunch.

What I wouldn’t give to have been there to see what happened…I’m still laughing out loud when I picture what has been described to me.

But it really isn’t funny; it’s an issue that must be dealt with.

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

I take a few phone calls from Ian…who is coming down off his high….and feels like crap.

Then a blood sugar crash of 65 an hour after lunch.

Awesome has left the building.

And then we get to the inspiration for this post. The story behind the title that seems completely random and nonsensical.

Because that’s just the kind of day it is.

You see, after the above-mentioned, unmentionable lunch period antics…my study hall is quietly working and I’m helping one student with his math when another student has a “REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION.”

I think he’s going to burst if he doesn’t get an answer.

You know the question that is coming….

“Ms. K, what came first – the chicken or the egg?”

I don’t have the energy for this, yet it seems like the simplest thing that’s happened all day, and I am more than happy to have the debate.