Context: I began writing this on Monday, March 30, 2020. My kids’ last day at school in person was Friday, March 13, 2020. Our school went on Spring Break March 16-20. Due to Covid-19, in-person school wasn’t an option for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. For the 2020-2021 school year my kids did school virtually. Thanks to the timeless work of grief and the continuing stresses of those two years, this essay still resonates for me.Note: At this time Grasshopper was using the Medtronic 670g and Dexcom. Since that time he has used the Medtronic 770g and Medtronic Guardian sensor and currently uses the T-Slim Tandem with Dexcom G6.
Today my grief is an empty crushed cardboard pizza box. I feel used up, discarded, smashed. Left in the bottom of the can. Greasy, worthless. Littered with crumbs and soggy sauce smears. Where can I leave this grief? How about guilt? Into which bin do I toss my selfishness? I want to throw it all away. I want to be rid of these jagged, used up emotions that tire my mind, and pray that something good can be made out of the clutter. By someone else. I don’t want to do the work of it, I just want to be rid of it all. Grief is work. Sigh.
In the midst of global troubles, my family is trying to manage the daily routines of type 1 diabetes. We had an incident which brought into sharp focus how much work T1D life is.
In the foreground a child’s finger points to a young boy, blurred, in the background. The boy crouches on the grass next to a large flowerpot. His posture is slouching and pouty. His arms rest on the flowerpot rim. A toy yellow tractor rests on the grass.
By Erin Schovel Turnham
Nothing quite strikes fear in my heart like my child pointing at another person and saying loudly, “Look, Mama!” Children are naturally curious, and without the social filters we acquire as we age.
A neighbor asked me how to broach the subject with M, her 3 year old daughter. Grasshopper and Sunshine were out playing with M, and Grasshopper had to stop to check his blood sugar. Their friend was obviously curious and while she didn’t ask any questions, her mom wondered how to address it. I was grateful my neighbor reached out. Continue reading →
I shared with my blog partner, Alese, what I am about to share with you. She started sending me Chuck Norris memes and called me a type 1 diabetes black belt. I think I am still a white belt, but I’m adding stripes!
Thanks to resources like the books Think Like a Pancreasby Gary Scheiner, and Sugar Surfing by Dr. Stephen Ponder, I’m figuring out the timing for my 7 year old Grasshopper’s insulin. I’ve been trying this stuff for maybe a year and a half now and I think I’m finally starting to get it. Continue reading →
“It is SO important for you to take your insulin on time because if you don’t you could go into a coma!”
I spent my Saturday morning as a participant in a research study conducted by Dr. Jan Kavookjian at the Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University. The purpose of the study, per Dr. Kavookjian’s materials, is to “gather parent perceptions about what it is like to communicate with a child or teen who has type 1 or 2 diabetes.”
As parents and caregivers we want to FIX IT. Both the big things we know we can’t fix (our kids are stuck with T1D until there is a cure) and the smaller things (my kid won’t bring along the needed supplies). Continue reading →
What music moves you? What songs resonate with you?
When you are having a difficult day… or week… or year… with type 1 diabetes, or just with life, what do you listen to that helps you get through?
Leading up to the spring of 2017 I was having a rough time. I felt like a failure, like everything I was doing as a T1D mom and in life was not good enough. It turns out that depression tells a person those kinds of lies. Continue reading →
Now that Grasshopper is playing baseball we have some evenings when we have to grab dinner and head to the field early and stay late. Here’s our Tuesday evening in photos, from dinner in the car on the way to the ball field for pictures, to batting practice, the game, with Dexcom G6 graph screenshots throughout. Thanks to Sugar Surfing and Arden’s Day/Juicebox Podcast, we had a smooth night of blood sugars! We bumped it up with carbs when needed, reduced his pump a bit, and he had a ton of fun out there. The icing on the cupcake is that his team won, 14-3! Continue reading →
Friday is car wash day. I vacuumed up at least 20 test strips and ALL the raisins. Dealing with a chronic condition like T1D means the highs and lows happen anywhere, anytime. It doesn’t stop for car washes. Thanks to the noise of the water and then the vacuum I couldn’t hear the Dexcom low alert and for some reason it didn’t show up on my watch. Grasshopper said he felt low. Yep. 55 on the meter, 50 on Dexcom. Continue reading →
Both Alese and I have been busy and we haven’t written much. There have been lots of changes for both of us and it feels like life is moving at light speed. The speed of life. Life speed, full ahead.
I had a moment to slow down a bit after one of Grasshopper’s routine appointments at Children’s Hospital of Alabama. We loved getting to see Heather Jordan to talk about how to better tackle some of the issues we face like helping Grasshopper through the annual blood draws he has to have. The last one was… intense.
After our appointment we were waiting for traffic to ease so we spent some time in Children’s Harbor. I have heard various reactions when we share that we are headed back to Children’s. Fairly often others react with sadness or say some form of, “Oh, that is such a sad place.” Granted, my view of it is due to Grasshopper’s successful diagnosis and treatment there. There certainly are many possible outcomes. For our family Children’s has been and continues to be a place of hope.
I thought I would take some photos to share why Grasshopper is always so excited to go to Children’s Hospital. Continue reading →