THE STORY OF ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES AND CELIAC DISEASE.
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Baby Steps

We're going to a potluck tonight.

I'm bringing some home made gluten-free baked macaroni and cheese.


What?

Oh.

That.

Yeah...umm...let me rephrase:  I'm bringing along a pan of home made gluten-free mac-n-cheese, minus one corner.

You see, I prepared it yesterday so all I would need to do is pop it in the oven before the party starts this evening.

Then I went to pick up the girls from school.

As we were leaving, I noticed a friend of Sugar's flagging us down, so I pulled over.  Her grandmother walked up to my window and asked if Sugar could come play for the afternoon. Sugar, of course, IMMEDIATELY perked up and began nodding her head while excitedly stomping her feet.

Smile, Wendy.  You've been caught off guard, but don't let your fear show.  Just keep smiling.

"Oh.  Ummm.  Well.  I suppose that would be fine.  Can you follow us back to the house so I can check her blood sugar first?"

"Sure.  And I'll only be about 20 minutes away, so it's not too far."

Is it me, or is the world moving in slow motion?  Did I just agree to let my daughter go to this kind grandmother's home, whom I've only met once before...20 minutes away?  Just keep smiling.  Plaster. the. smile.  And stop ringing your hands like that.


"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh....kaaaaaaaaaaay.  Yeah.  It will be fine."

Driving back to the house my mind was racing, my heart was pounding, and I had a pit in my stomach.  I was trying to condense a million things she should know into a quick conversation.  

BG = 115.  8 carbs / no insulin...because.  That's all.  Just because.

"Soooooo, here's her bag.  She knows how to use everything.  If she says she's feeling low, she'll need to test her blood sugar and drink a juice.  If she's acting confused or seems too shaky to test, don't worry about the blood sugar part.  Just help her with the juice, and call me."

I proceed to write down my phone numbers, and contemplate if I should include her insurance information, along with my social security number.

"Ok.  Got it.  And we'll be having dinner before she comes home, so don't worry about feeding her later."

I need to sit down.  I'm feeling lightheaded.  Did I hear that correct?  Dinner?  As in...a full meal?  Who is going to count those carbs?

"I'll just make them some macaroni and cheese.  And I have watermelon, and apples, and carrots, and...."

What is she saying?  I'm stuck on "we'll be having dinner".  


She seems like a nice grandmother.  What a pleasant lady.  Blue is a great color for her.  How nice of her to stop by.  


I saw a butterfly once that was the blue color of her sweater.


Nothing that starts with a "D" is on my radar.


Diabetes.


Dinner?  What dinner?  

"Um.  Yeah.  So, there's another thing."

Reaching into the pantry to grab a gluten-free snack for her bag...


"She also has celiac disease.  It means she can't eat anything that contains wheat and a few other things.  She won't be able to have the macaroni you make.  But....  Hmmm....  Well, I just so happen to have this big pan of gluten-free macaroni and cheese already cooked up in my fridge. It's for a party we're going to tomorrow, but I'm sure no one will care if a little corner is missing."

"Okay.  And ribs should be okay, right?  And I have some watermelon and grapes and some other fruit in there too.  I'm so glad she can come play.  L has been asking me to talk to you about it for weeks!  She'll do great."

Turning to look my daughter in the eye...

"You're in charge of diabetes this afternoon.  If you have ANY questions, make sure you call me. Please don't forget to give your insulin, and I need to know if you're going to have fruit with your dinner so we can figure out the carbs.  You should have plenty of juice boxes...and don't try to guess the carbs for anything.  Just call me, and..."

"MOM."

Takes bag.

"I'll be fine."

And then she was gone.

Skipping out to the car, laughing, and smiling with her friend...while I stood in the doorway wondering if I had lost my mind.

A couple hours went by, so I called.

Turns out she was 59 before dinner.

And she was eating fruit, but didn't know how much.

And she needed a reminder to give herself insulin.

And she was 328 two hours after she got home.

But she had a great time.

Baby steps.

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13 comments:

  1. I'm really proud of you. :o) You did a GREAT job letting her go, and if she's like me, she'll remember it for a long time.

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  2. Congratulations on letting her go!....I still get that feeling, when my girl is going to a friend's house (for overnight, or several nights)....and SHE'S 18!!! How am I EVER gonna let her go away to COLLEGE!! ;-)

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  3. Rockstars!!!!!!! :)

    And I love your description of Granny ;))

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  4. Wow, they know so much, but still it is so hard to set them free! I left my son with a babysitter last night - a diabetic babysitter, and my almost d-expert daughter-- and even that was hard...but these things need to be done! Glad you did it.

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  5. Holy Cow! Total, massive kudos to you and to Sugar for taking those baby steps...and as far as I'm concerned those were some insanely big baby steps!

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  6. Way to go! I have a hard time leaving Kortnie or letting her go off to a friends house too. Sounds like all was well and kudos to the Granny for letting Sugar come play and not being freaked out about the D and Celiac!

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  7. I am in awe of you and your precious Sugar! I hope and pray one day I can be just like you and my little guy can be just like Sugar. What a wonderful memory you both just made for eachother.

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  8. This makes me sick to my stomach. I'm not ready for this!!! I'm glad you are so brave! And I'm glad you're going first - so you can talk me off the ledge in a few years!

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  9. YOU are amazing Wendy! I was feeling the panic in my stomach while reading this. We've done the playdate without me there thing a couple times before, but never with a meal involved and never where i was caught off guard by it. YOU are a rockstar!

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  10. Great post, and great inspiration! You guys rock. :)

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  11. Here's the thing.... you can do everything right and they can still be in the 300s after eating, So no judgments on the blood sugar; next time it may be in range with the same food, who knows? It's great that you were able to let her go over to her friends and eat out without you. It's so hard to let them go initially. It will get easier as time goes on. You did not let D interfere with her enjoying herself and having a good time and you did so safely. You have figured out that they have to be able to do everything other kids do; our job to figure out how to accomplish that safely. And you did it!

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  12. Wendy you are such an incredible mother for realizing that this was a baby step that needed to be taken. I know you have taught Sugar to know her body and I am forever thankful for your sharing these stories with us, what a wonderful time for her to just be a kid. Bravo to you both for just doing it...and having everything turn out okay :)

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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.