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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

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When diabetes throws you a curve... just go with it

My son Cole is a baseball player and we talk about different aspects of playing the game with some frequency. He's a good listener and he makes adjustments most times with ease. There is this one pitch that he struggles to hit, it's low and just a bit outside but is almost always called a strike. Cole won't swing at that pitch no matter how many times I assure him that he can reach it. I tell him all the time to, "just go with the it" but he resists.

Perhaps 'just go with it' is something you have to feel and not something another person can describe but I'm still going to try.

Managing your day-to-day stress as it relates to your child's type I diabetes is, if you can find a way to 'feel it', as easy as just going with it...

Arden's BG was pretty perfect Sunday evening when we changed her OmniPod, except for her basal she didn't get any insulin for the remainder of the evening. By midnight her BG had drifted up to around 180 so I delivered a small corrective bolus. An hour later her DexCom began to beep and indicated that her BG had risen above our high limit, which was odd because I definitely expected that the last bolus would bring her to 120 but instead she was more like 220.

Getting the idea that the last bolus wasn't making a dent in her number, I gave a little more and then waited two hours to see where we stood.

Two hours later was about 3 am and her BG had not moved, I knew now that we either had to push a large bolous and everything would be great or change the site and start over. I wanted to bolus big but at that time of morning I couldn't be sure that I'd be in any condition to act if she was suddenly 45 at 5 am so I gave another small correction and set an alarm for 6:30 (an hour and a half before Arden gets up for school).

When the alarm sounded I felt like I had sand in my eyes. I checked her CGM and saw the steadiest line you could imagine, steady but too high. I bolused this time for the full correction plus the 36 carbs that Arden would be eating for breakfast. I then literally thought, "that'll do it" as my head hit the pillow to get my last 45 minutes of broken sleep.

In the morning I got Cole off to school and went back upstairs to wake Arden whose BG I was sure was going to be in range and heading south just in time for breakfast. The rest went just like you think it did. Her BG was a little lower, falling but in no way was she feeling the full effect of that last bolus. The site needed to be moved.

In that instant my entire day changed.

Arden wasn't making the bus and I needed to wait out the last bolous before she could even eat. It was a mess but I didn't let the sudden upheaval of the day rattle me or Arden. I explained how our day changed so Arden wouldn't be flustered, we pulled out some books to read to help take her mind off of her hunger. I moved an appointment, slide a number of to-dos to the next day, emailed the nurse and her teacher and then refocused on my new goal for the day - getting everything back to normal and salvaging as much of Arden's school day as I could.

I realize that being a stay at home parent helps lessen some outside influences. I don't have a boss to report to so I can be flexible but it's not the mechanics of the day that I'm most proud of. I'm proud that when the pitch tailed away from me I didn't complain that it was a ball or that the ump was screwing me. In fact I didn't even wait for someone or something else to tell me what my reality was going to be.

I just went with it, I dictated what happened next.

There is a moment in almost every situation when you make a choice. You can dress it up anyway you like but in the end you decide how you feel and what you'll do next. If you go with it and just except that in this moment you took the best option available to you, well, I don't understand how you can be upset. We may not control the when or why in our lives but we sure can have our say in the how.

When my son learns to let go and swing at that low outside pitch he's going to miss a few, he'll foul off even more but once in a while he is going to drive that shitty pitch so far into right field that it'll make all the swings and misses very worthwhile.

Arden got to school at noon. Her BG was in range, she had breakfast and was ready to learn. We even got to spend some great time together. I did the best I could with the pitch I got.

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Reader Comments (2)

This is such good advice. Both in diabetes and in general. But it's so much easier said than done. Kudos to you that you were able to see the best option at the time and roll with it. Arden is going to learn so much from that kind of attitude :)

October 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacey D.

yesp, i think that's the overreaching lesson diabetes has taught us (and continues to, on a daily basis). roll with the punches, or we're just gonna make ourselves nuts. nice analogy!

October 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershannon

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