Saturday, March 22, 2014

Independent doesn't mean alone...

I've heard of so many kids and teenagers who try to hide diabetes from their friends. They won't check or bolus in public, won't wear a pump, won't inject. My advice - give your friends the benefit of the doubt. They may surprise you.

Dealing with type 1 diabetes can be especially challenging for an active teenager. Sarah's currently in two shows right now, so has 2-3 hour rehearsals each evening, and 4-5 hours of show activities Friday through Sunday. Her insulin sensitivity is all over the map. Where she's perfect one day, the next is a real head-scratcher.

Last night I picked Sarah up from two and a half hours of rehearsing (in a dance heavy show) and we went straight to the adult community theater show she's in. On the way I'd picked up a sandwich so she could eat in the car. She checked, and was a little high, and bolused. I turned her basal down -70% for 6 hours to accommodate the show - our usual routine. I braided her hair, and left her to continue to prepare and be with her cast mates.

I went and sat at the back of the theater with my mom - both of us ushering for the show - and waited. A bit later, the actors began to trickle out for vocal warm-ups. My mom was anxious to see Sarah, and I pointed her out as soon as I saw her - accompanied by Andrew, her boyfriend/best friend. They had only begun to warm up, and by now everyone was on stage, when I saw them both hurriedly exit. Phone in hand, I stayed where I was. 

My 14 year old doesn't need her mom running back to check on her every five minutes. 

About 5 minutes later they emerged, still singing the warm-ups, and headed for the front of the stage. Catching my eye, Sarah holds up four fingers, and then nine fingers - 49. Then, she points at Andrew, points at herself, smiles and gives me a thumbs up. Message received "we got this mama".

I doubt there's a person in Sarah's cast who doesn't know she has diabetes - and it's not a big deal. They're a family and they take care of each other. If it wasn't Andrew, someone else would have watched her through her low - she has so many amazing friends. The trick? Sarah's been honest and open with her friends from the beginning. Some have been around long enough to remember when she was first diagnosed, and some haven't - but they're a family and they support each other.

Sarah (and Andrew) did an excellent job of managing her crazy blood sugar last night. She checked again before the show started and was 123. When the show was over she was 117. It doesn't get much better than that.