Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mount Diabetes

 Sometimes it's just that one extra thing in my life that can make it all seem like too much to handle. Not everyone understands that it may be just one more little thing, but that one more thing is on top of a huge mountain named Diabetes.

The one extra thing for me right now is the end of the school year. The end of the school year in our school is busy, and that is stating it mildly. This goes for both students and teachers. I'm a teacher and both my kids are students so, we are all over extended right now. Field trips might be the END of me this year. We have, what I consider, a ridiculous amount of them at the end of the school year. I have a really hard time with this and am wondering how all the rest of the D moms handle field trips. It's a little trickier for me because I am a teacher in her school, but not at her grade level, so our field trips are not the same.

I am wondering if the rest of you moms out there go on field trips with your diabetic kids, or is there someone on the trip specifically for your child?

 In the past, I have been able to make my own accommodations for field trips, but for various reasons that is getting harder to do. 

I am in a unique situation here, but I am trying to figure out what the standard is for diabetic kids and field trips.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


We are finally doing the JDRF walk this year!! The past few years we have had weddings to attend on the same weekend that the walk fell in our closest location. Mind you, our closest location is an hour and a half away from our home. I have mentioned that I live in a small town, but I don't know if I have mentioned that we are about 45 minutes from any major towns and a least an hour and a half from a bigger city. This often brings upon some real inconveniences, but it balances out with positives of living where we live.

Speaking of the positives of living here, I set up a team for the walk and named it the Sky Walkers.  Skyler thinks this name is really cool, and all of us who grew up during the first Star Wars phenomenon get a good laugh out of it. Anyway, I set up the team about two weeks ago and we already have 15 walkers just from this little town. Our teammates plan to raise money and walk with us. They are all coming up with different ways to raise money. One of my students wrote a beautiful letter about Skyler and diabetes and she plans to mail it out in hopes of collecting money. I have seen the people in our town step up to help people in a time of need, but for me this goes beyond that. To think that these people are willing to spend their time collecting donations and then clear their weekend to make an hour a half drive to walk three miles in honor of this cause is amazingly generous and I am so very grateful.

In addition to our community we also have a number of family and friends who plan to join our team and walk with us. I have mentioned before how much our family supports and loves us and so I am not surprised by their willingness to participate; however am still amazed and grateful for all they do and have done in the past.

Skyler is overwhelmed by the support and love of the people that surround her. As a family we are honored to be raising money for a cause that could help so many children and adults living with diabetes and even  future generations who may face the same challenges.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Special Bond

  I have a friend who has a child with diabetes. The story behind this friendship is unusual. My husband grew up spending summers in the town where we currently live. During his youth here he met a lot of friends, some he has remained close to and some have grown apart. One particular friend, C, and my husband grew apart over their adult years. After we moved to town permanently I ended up having C's son in my Kindergarten class. His son, M, did not want to come to school in the beginning. Some kids march right into Kindergarten like their going to run the place and others need to be gently removed from the clutching grip they have around their Mom. These are the kids that break your heart on day one and usually give you the biggest heart warming feeling on Kindergarten graduation day. That was certainly the case with M. He and I formed a very special bond. He grew to really love school and as the most shy one of the group took the biggest role in the Christmas performance. He is now a smart, confident, caring 15 year old boy who, believe it or not, was diagnosed with diabetes six months after Skyler. This news came as a bigger shock than Skyler's diagnosis because in our town of about 400 year round residents I would never have thought another child would be diagnosed.  I formed my special bond with M before I had my own children. M is 7 years older than Skyler. For some reason he captured my heart way back then as a little five year old boy and still has a piece of it now. I was so shocked and so very saddened by the news of his diagnosis. Over the past four years since diagnosis our families have provided support for one another in different ways. Last year, I watched him graduate from ninth grade  as the salutatorian of his class and I felt so proud for him and his parents.

  Over the years I have formed a friendship with M's mom. I also ended up being M's sister's teacher for Kindergarten, fifth, and sixth grades. She too, is dear to my heart. I have summed it up here, but our families have a long history together. From the friendship of my husband and C to our own children both living with diabetes. They are a private family and tend to keep to themselves, but we have these very special connections.

  The reason I chose to write this post today is because I received an email from M's mom , which is not unusual. She filled me in on a few different things going on in her life and a few things with the kids. She then mentioned how she has been feeling sad lately over the fact that M has always wanted to be a pilot and because of diabetes he can not live this dream. This, of course, broke my heart. She said she is having a hard time coming to terms with a limit to her child's dream.

  I have spent a lot of time thinking about this. I decided that I have to have faith that our children (all of these type 1 kids) did not get diabetes by some freak chance, but that God chose them and us for some reason beyond what we can see right now. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing through the sadness that diabetes can bring on, but then I remind myself of how amazing these diabetic kids are. They are a special lot designed for something special.

  I know M will find much success in his future due to the young man that he is growing into and due to the support and love of his family. I don't want to see a limit to his dreams either, but it is possible that this will lead him down a path of even greater reward. This is so much easier said than felt, but maybe saying it will help us all to feel it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I have been testing H's blood sugar for about a week now. He's not showing any major symptoms, but he has been very lethargic and moody. S was the same way before diagnosis, of course I had no idea what I was dealing with then.  She ended up with excessive thirst and frequent urination. Some of H's readings have been on the high side 150's - 160's. His fasting blood sugars have been between 100 and 111 with one 88 in there. I will continue to monitor this and continue to pray that he doesn't have diabetes and he's just run down or affected by these terrible black flies that torment the Adirondacks in the spring. I am only going to check his fasting blood sugar until Friday and see what that looks like. I am hoping that my Dr. will agree to do an A1C on him and put this questioning to rest. I am realizing that checking him randomly like this will drive me nuts and there is no pattern, so why bother.

What I am realizing through this wait time is that either way it will be alright. I will be heartbroken for the lose of his perfect health, but I also know first hand that he and we will rise above diabetes. It is a part of us as a family, but it is in no way all of who we are. When S was diagnosed I remember thinking that diabetes could make us or break us as a family. This is the kind of stress that can tear people apart. If anything diabetes did the opposite for us. This difficult, stressful, sometimes impossible thing has brought us closer together. We all rely on each other. We all understand the ups and downs and what we have to do keep all of us happy and healthy. K needs to fish and hunt whenever he can, I need to be able to go running ,  the kids to need to play and have fun daily, and we all need each other all the time.  My mother said to S, "I really hope H doesn't have diabetes." S responded by shrugging her shoulders and saying, "If he does we'll just have to deal." Some look at the way she delivered that response as a little kid who doesn't know any better, when the truth is that she is right and she actually knows better than any of us.

IF he is diagnosed I will have to remember to read this back to myself when I am an emotional wreck :)
Also, I am sick of referring to my kids as S and H. Their names are Skyler and Henry.