Showing posts from August, 2012

Diabetes And School: I Managed To Work In The Paula Deen Joke

Theo and I worked on our little scene we'll perform for his third grade class at the start of school (as explained here ), to educate them on his type 1 diabetes. It's going pretty well so far. Here's the beginning. Hi Theo. Hi Mom. So. So. Let’s talk about diabetes. Okay. You ate too many cookies, and that’s how you got diabetes, right? No! You played tag with some diabetic kid and you caught it from him, right? No! You were a bad boy, and the Easter Bunny put diabetes in your basket? No! Then how did you get it? I got struck by lightning. No! Those little bugs on my eyelashes squirted out diabetes juice. No! I ate one of Paula Deen’s burgers on a Krispy Kreme donut bun. Well, I can believe that one. (to be continued)

Diabetes and School: The Part-Time Job

The other day I bumped into a teacher from Theo's school, one I don't know very well but whose face is familiar. As we tried to determine who each other was, she says, "You're a sub, right? I see you a lot in school." No, not a sub: a mom in an unpaid, voluntary but not volunteer part-time position. I didn't sign up for this, but I'll gladly do what it takes. Especially during these elementary school years, and especially since we're not yet on the pump, diabetes in school requires a lot of my time and presence. I don't volunteer as much as I used to simply because I'm already there so much; however, I try to double up the time when possible, such as helping out with a classroom party while I'm there to give a shot, or chaperoning a field trip I need to go on anyway. It's nice to have the extra time with my second-born. And he still wants me there, which is all the better. With two school years and a camp week behind me, I'm

Life of Pi/Amy

The film version of Life of Pi comes out on my birthday this year, so I thought I'd read the novel again. But just when I sat down with my tea and the book, it hit me: I should be doing about a hundred other things. A hundred. Or at least a couple dozen. Oh, the projects on my desk. A guy at my gym likes to tell me that a portion of his family's budget has been set aside for him to train with me. " If you'd just go and take the test already," he says. I tell him I have too many interests to settle down into personal training. "What are you up to now--caribou hunting in the sub-Saharan desert?" he asked. (Later he acknowledged not being quite sure where caribou are found.) Sure, why not. After I get through the current list. It's good to write out your interests and involvements, if a bit anxiety-inducing. Here goes mine: --writing a book. --writing a play for former prisoners to perform this fall. --starting and leading an exercise progra

What We're Doing Tomorrow


My Day On The River And At The Cage Fight

Friday was a day of two wildly different firsts. In the morning: a two-hour kayak trip, alone, on the Rogue River in Rockford, Mich igan. A pair of chain-smoking women in their fifties strapped the kayak behind an old mini school bus, whose NO TOBACCO USE OF ANY KIND sticker had the NO ripped off, and said, "Sign this paper that says we gave you all the proper safety equipment." They helped me into the river and pushed me off. "Don't get hurt." It was lovely. Turtles and ducks were in abundance, and I met up with turkeys, two swans, a white egret and one curious deer. About an hour and a half in I realized the ladies had told me to always keep right and that I had an hour left after the fourth bridge, but not where they'd pick me up. I blew the nature moment by retrieving the cell and calling my husband to check the website for my final destination. Sure enough, I was almost there. Ah, nature. That night, I headed out to meet up with very differe

The Intent To Push The Car

"Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or our worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear." --Bruce Lee It never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to push a car . Even while driving to find an empty lot, my children asking why and who's pushing what, I didn't question the act much, except once to wonder if it all might be over in a matter of moments, me unable to push the car, everybody getting back in. Of course I could push the car, farther when the 172 pounds of my children finally got out, farther still when they helped. We all took turns, and doggone if it wasn't fun. Conveniently, a cemetery was located behind the lot, and we jogged there after to look for frogs in their pond. Science backs the idea that intent in exercise might be just as effective as accomplishment, i.e., I tried to push the car, and that is enough. Indeed, when the whole family was in it, I worked awfully hard to move it

If It Feels Good, Do It

My couple year bench-pressing career began with a need; having experienced the dumbbell chest press, I simply needed to do it again. I think I may have actually purchased a gym membership just to again experience that sensation, a very tactile desire I had to fulfill. I thought of this the other day when out on a kayak, which is the new object of my tactile desires. A friend asked if I really did just wake up one day and decide I needed to steer a kayak, and my answer was pretty much a yes. Though I had done it once before, many years back, there was a day recently when I knew I needed to kayak, and soon. Since then I've headed out on my own a few times, and I can say that being alone on the water is now one of my favorite places to be. As a side note, it's helping rehab my long-running tennis elbow. It's excellent exercise, and soothing to the soul. And then there was the day, a couple months back, when the idea occurred to me that I should run up a hill. Not much mor

Diabetes and Camp: The Counselor Letter

I'm putting in the hours this week to ensure some free time the next. The kids are going to camp! The YMCA I work for has a camp, and this camp, we learned, accommodates kids with diabetes. We are so grateful. Many notes and charts will be drawn up for the nurse and health officer, but I was also asked to write a general letter to his counselor, who will accompany him throughout each day 'til he returns at suppertime. I provide it here as a blueprint for others; feel free to adapt it for sitters, schools or anyone who needs a general rundown of what diabetes management looks like. Dear Camp Staff, When our family attended the camp open house this spring, we never expected that our son would be able to attend. We figured we’d check the place out and call it a day, assuming that Theo’s medical needs are too much to accommodate. We can’t tell you how wonderful it is to know that Theo can go to camp, and how reassuring it is to know you have careful structures in pla

Life After 40: Don't Listen To The Naked Ladies

Naked ladies sat to my right and left, nodding sagely. "Yep," said the one, drying her arm down its length, and sliding back up and under its dangling folds. "That's about when it happened to me, too: 41." "Me, too," said another, lying down on the sauna's bench, a breast falling to either side. "It was downhill from there." "You bloat and it stays." After swimming class, I had posed the question of why I had been gaining weight for no particular reason, and this led to a torrent of yays and amens. Nearly every older woman there could identify, and offered her own version of the story, which, though individual, always ended in resignation and an expanded waistline. I left there that day thinking life was over after 40, at least in terms of the body's proportions and aesthetics. But a few days later I found a book on Ayurveda, got cooking, and my weight slowly found its way back to normal. This is not me recommend

Diabetes Anniversary #2

730 days with diabetes 3016 shots given, more or less about 131,400 carbs counted maybe 3172 pricks to the finger countless nighttime checks occasional tears endless math We have this terrible tradition of eating junk food on the anniversaries. The day he was diagnosed, we had been headed to our favorite pizza joint. Pizza is one of the hardest foods for diabetics to handle, but it had been such a difficult and long day that the doctor said to just go. Since then, we do--sometimes pizza, and today, those massive hot pretzels at the mall that are a couple hundred carbs each. More or less.