You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘diabetes’ tag.

Let’s take it from yesterday afternoon.

1) Meeting at the Council re Laureate developments, yay! Exciting stuff. Shot out of there like a bat out of hell to go to

2) M’s concert, in which she played in a junior orchestra, and a solo violin piece. And sang. Waved goodbye to E & R who went to

3) E’s concert, where he played bassoon. And sang. M and I skipped this bit, so we could head home, eat and prepare 

4)  the poem she was reading today in a poetry reading competition. Though she wasn’t competing, just reading. I was one of the judges, and…wouldn’t be fair! She bathed, got to bed and

5) E & R arrive home. E sky high sugars from a snack before the concert, not wanting to go low and have a hypo. He eats more and takes his short-acting insulin. He’s shattered, so we tuck him in

6) only to wake at 12.30 am to E having his first nighttime hypo. Dreadful for him, worst one yet. Treated and settled once again, with promise to wake him and test his blood 

7) at 2.30 am. Which we do. All fine. This morning both children and us look and feel like wet dishcloths. Off M goes to school, where I meet her

8) for the poetry reading competition. A fine time had by all, and worthy winners. Photos taken. Half an hour in Starbucks for me then, where I manage to grab some writing time. Then

9) off to ballet. Afterward 

10) we head to coffee. Friends I’ve known for years, godsends. An entertaining and relaxing hour. Too soon

11) head home. Within 5 minutes E back from school. Within 10 minutes

12) he realises he’s low again, another hypo. After treatment we are able figure he overestimated lunch, too much insulin.

13) He says he thinks the lows are worth it for the better sugar levels, even if they mean he grinds to a halt for 20 minutes at time. I tell him his father and I will be looking at the whole picture tonight, to try to reduce them. He shrugs, his newly 13 yr old mind set. He wants good numbers. I admire him more than I can say.

*

It’s a bit like that at the moment. The pace of life, believe it or not, has actually slowed slightly. We deliberately keep some things at bay, to make grudging room for the uninvited guest called Diabetes. However. It’s important to keep doing the things that are vital, that feel nourishing, in all ways. To do so you have to make it look easy. Because otherwise it’s all a battle and self-pitying and patently defeating the purpose But I confess to feeling at times like I’m not waving but drowning.

Hello all. Sorry to keep being a while, but I’m getting distracted into more solid things for the minute — a book, mainly. All the way it should be, as pointed out by Deborah (hello!) and Val (howdy!). 

However, if you’ll bear with me I’ll keep coming by here, just less often.

Things to say:

1) thank god for family. My favourite aunt Lois just visited last week, and she was a breath of welcome and fresh air. M thought she was the best thing since sliced bread. And really, any feeling of being special is good for M at the moment…

2) two people have now sent me Justin Webb’s Mail on Sunday article from this week, so I thought I’d pass it on. It’s very, very good. We knew about his son’s diagnosis somehow days after E was diagnosed, so I do feel we are going through this together. Somehow. But any visit to any diabetes forum will reveal that hundreds of parents are going through this together, daily…

3) You don’t get used to it. The oh-so-common perception of type 1 is that somehow a routine evolves, and ya just give ’em shots, and gee, everything falls into place.

I can’t count the number of times well-meaning people have said to me: you’ll all get used to it. Well, I’ve got news for everyone: you never get used to it. You just stop bothering to talk about it. Diabetes is a chronic disease the parameters of which change minute by minute by hour by hour and daily, particularly in growing children.  

There are ways of coping, and ways of knowing how to make things better, sometimes. Steps to take. But each step is a decision, arrived at by another decision. Which may or may not be based on precedent. Several times a day.

All those type 1 diabetics who, again, I have heard so much about (from people, please note, who do not have diabetes in the family): so and so just got on with it, did it all without batting an eyelid, etc…okay, you can BET that ‘so and so’ arrived at that casualness one of two ways: either through well-disguised, obsessive involvement with his or her blood sugar levels, carb consumption, and treatment, OR through bad blood sugar control. Because YOU CAN’T SEE IF A DIABETIC HAS GOT IT A LITTLE BIT WRONG. No one can. So for every diabetic who seems to be doing well, and who you cite as an example, there is every chance that actually he or she isn’t doing so well, and isn’t actually doing much to extend or preserve his or her life and quality of life.

Of course there are a great many who are doing everything in their power to keep good control, and succeeding, and I wish for that success with E and celebrate other successes daily. But my point is — unless you are there, you really don’t know, and can’t tell.

So there. 

Just a bit fed up.

Not that everyone doesn’t mean well. As I said. 

Sorry.

but several interesting snow creations…All melted now.

1) a fairy igloo, complete with gravel drive and leaf entrance

2) a large model of a certain part of the male anatomy (guess who’s nearly 13)

3) a seated cat, but the ears looked like a devil’s

4) a Henry Moore-like, pinhead snowman. Ran out of snow for the head…

*

Not unexpectedly, all the cold play brought on a mild hypo for E. When he came inside, he was too shaky to take off his boots, and had to suffer me mostly pulling him down the stairs to get them off. Would have been funny if he didn’t need to just sit down so badly….

you first bring a baby home from the hospital?

Is s/he still breathing? (You rush upstairs.)

Too hot/too cold? (You lay your finger on the back of the neck.)

Is that a chest infection? (You put your ear on his or her back.)

Tears of sadness or tears of pain? (You try a hug.)

Is this skin cancer? (No, it’s a freckle, said the doctor. This really happened with M!)

Etc.

*

The minute, close-examining-ness of it all. Each movement and thought seeming to affect the next, and those around it, laying chaos theory bare, and you are the only one who can see it. As if any moment, there could be the worst catastrophe you could ever imagine in your life until now.

*

Having a child with a chronic disease is a quite a bit like that. Like there’s always something just at the corner of your vision. You’re trying not to look at it, because it’s unlikely to be real. Unlikely to come true.

You just have to keep going. Like having a new baby. You have to realise that people do this every day. Every second of every day. You push away whatever wispy dark things that might make you stop in your tracks.

It’s okay.

Well, you know it really is, and you know it really isn’t. All at once, and all the time.

I HAVE MOVED

From January 2010, my new blog is Waving and Drowning

COPYRIGHT

All material is copyrighted. Please request permission to use via Contact.

Who am I?


A writer born in Texas, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (yes, like the song), and who's been living in the UK since 1988. I've published two books (see below), and teach creative writing at the University of Kent. I'm married to a composer, and we have two young children. See About for my full profile.