I was lying next to my son Jay (the older one, age seven), reading him a story before bed. My blood sugar was already on the low side, and I had chomped a couple of glucose tablets and set my temporary basal to zero just a few minutes before. The CGM read sixty-six. My preset threshold is sixty-five. I didn’t want it to happen.
But in the middle of a paragraph about whitewater rafting through Australia, it did.
I can’t help myself. My mind can’t escape what I read in Christina’s blog post a few hours ago.
A third child diagnosed, none of the parents showing any evidence of carrying diabetes. I’m just sitting here, shaking my head, and wondering why – why do some families get hit once, twice, or thrice, while others don’t get hit at all? I want to tell Christina and her family how I’ve shared in her fears, and how I now share in her tears. I want them to know how – as a parent – their new reality brings about an emotion deep inside my chest that I just can’t put into words. I know diabetes is something that’s manageable, but it’s something that nobody wants to manage. Especially more than once.
But I’m not here to capitalize on her family’s streak of luck in order to earn page views on my own blog. That would be heartless and wrong.
(Or, more accurately: How my mother met your mother)
It’s Diabetes Blog Week again! For the next five days, Karen , author of Bitter-Sweet diabetes, will tell me what to write about. (She did this last year, too). Today, she wants me to write about a memorable diabetes day. I don’t know if this one is my MOST memorable, especially since the most significant diabetes-events tend to be the ones where I’m in no capacity to remember things, but here goes…
This happened over ten years ago. Add old-age to hospital-grade hypoglycemia, and memories get hazy, but I’ll do my best.
Back then, I was living alone in a second floor apartment in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I was dating a girl who lived on the outskirts of Queens, NY. Because of the distance between us, we only saw each other on weekends – and the “dates” usually included an overnight stay.
I’m generally the one who does the grocery shopping in my family. Part of the reason is because my wife is clueless when it comes to the supermarket, but it’s mostly because I’m somewhat picky about the food I eat, and I want to make sure I’ve considered all the options.
Yes, I’m the guy who will stand for an eternity staring at two different packages of a nearly-identical product, studying the Nutrition Facts labels to determine which might be a better choice. (I’ll also hold two different size packages of a nearly identical product, studying the prices to determine which might save me three cents. I make the supermarket much more math-intensive than it needs to be.)
With me, diabetes is the single solitary consideration when choosing food. I don’t care about sodium or cholesterol, trans fats or monodiglycerides (whatever they are). It’s all about carbs with me.
But when it’s not about me, the carbs don’t matter There are no rules. Anything goes.
Last night before dinner, my wife ran out to the local A&P on an emergency cream-cheese run. We were planning a traditional post-Yom Kippur meal to break the fast (even though none of us fasted: she because she’s nursing the baby, me because I don’t trust my basal patterns that much, and the kids because they’re too young to subject them to such hunger). Also, we forgot to get it earlier, and you just can’t have bagels without cream cheese. I think that’s the Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt always put a schmear on thy bagel”.
But none of that matters.
The point of the story is this: along with said cream cheese, my wife also came home with a bag of Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano cookies.