Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ordinary Extraodinary

My friend, Jenni, talked me into going to a two day class this week.  She didn't have to twist my arm too hard as it was a class about writing.  The timing was good and I thought it would be just what I needed to re-frame my teaching mind from special education to regular education.  The first day, we walk in to find the table scattered with objects: tape measures, matches, hair ties, band-aids.  Really, just ordinary things.  The prompt was to choose one of those items and write about it for 20 minutes or so.  I picked the band-aid.  Honestly, going in, I had no idea what would be the final product of this little writing experiment.  I figured I would come up with something funny as I would have to share it with these people and I didn't even know them.  My innate sarcasm usually helps me out in these situations.  It certainly wasn't the time to go deep. But, as I put that blue pen to paper, it seemed out of my control,  this story that emerged.

We called her the Band-aid Queen.  She lay reclined on her hospital bed throne wearing a crown of blonde curls and a smile, despite the tubes attached to her tiny arms.  Next to her, the ever present IV pole stood like a sentry standing guard.  Every two hours, came a person in brown scrubs pushing an ominous looking cart full of stuff.  The little girl sat, brave and stoic, while the person poked her finger and milked a drop of blood.  The drop registered on a machine to tell us if her blood sugar was high or low so we could determine our next course of action.  The little girl didn't care why, to her it just hurt.  That is until the person in brown smiled and offered her a Band-aid.  The smile returned to her face and her eyes lit up as she chose bright pink to compliment the yellow, green, and orange already adorning her delicate fingertips.  To her, that pretty little Band-aid made things all better.  To me, that Band-aid was resilience.  

Thirteen years later, I am watching that Band-aid Queen, her blonde halo still intact, struggle with where to go next in her life.  I wish that a simple pink Band-aid would return her twinkling giggle and her confidence in life.  Despite the knowledge that this time a Band-aid can't literally, "make it better,"  there is comfort in the knowledge that resilience still stands guard.  

That is what I read to the group, feeling slightly embarrassed.  The writers before me were humorous and fun.  I have no idea why these thoughts had chosen  now to flow like a river in front of virtual strangers!  But, that is the magic of writing and maybe even life, isn't it?  You just don't know the stories you can tell.

As a side note, Tylie chose her college today and decided to attend BSC for a year. She has huge hopes and dreams and can't wait to get them started.  It was difficult for her to start small and stay at home for a year.  Her fingers are no longer decorated with colored Band-aids but she wears her resilience like a badge.  I can't wait for the rest of her story!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Run...

I run- sometimes a couple of times a week, sometimes more.  My reasons for running are probably different than they are for the average "runner" you see going around the Y.  And, let's be honest, I sure don't look like a runner!  So, why do I do it?

Today, I ran because before 9 AM  I had taken my son for a blood draw, gotten a text from a very frustrated T1 D mommy friend, changed a site and argued with a daughter about changing hers.

Today, I ran because in the last 5 days I have received a text from a friend about an 8 year old in her town that has just been diagnosed, a text from another friend diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and learned of an 8 year old girl who died from undiagnosed Type 1.

Today, I ran because in a couple of hours two of my T1 kids and I will sit with a team of health care professionals and pretend to be a pancreas and make some "educated" decisions with regards to insulin and carbohydrate ratios at certain times of the day in relation to hormones, activity, and the alignment of the moon.

Today, I ran because in a couple of weeks my other T1 kid will sit with that same team and we will repeat the process with hopefully better results than we have had for the past 2 years.

Today, I ran because my newly graduated daughter left for her blood draw by herself and it that was more emotional than the actual graduation ceremony.

Today, I ran because that same daughter will be going to college in less then 3  months and living with a stranger who will have no idea what to do when she stumbles across her roommate with her hand in a box of cereal surrounded by 3 empty juice boxes, 2 fruit snacks, a half a peanut butter sandwich and a granola bar and no idea how she got there.  A marijuana high would be the wrong guess... a blood sugar low, the correct one.

Today, I ran because I dread the results of those blood draws.  The A1c is a measure of glucose in the blood over time, however,  it frequently feels like a judge handing down a judgement of our parenting.

I run because there is really a lot of noise in my house and it is the only time it is quiet.

I run because if I didn't I would cry...a lot and all the time.  Running tends to take edge off and I can get mad enough to find a more productive outlet or I can find peace enough to let go of the small stuff.

 I run by myself when I am really frustrated or I run with friends when I need a perspective beyond the little videos that thread nonstop through my head like that new Vine app!

I didn't really want to keep going on my run today.  Then, I got a flash of TJ running in the Color Run this past weekend.  That little stinker ran 5K with barely a walk break and no training while wearing an insulin pump.  And Tylie, woke up with a ridiculously high blood sugar and fought through it to get it to an acceptable level to participate.  And Taya, who frequently reminds me that every bad mood is not necessarily diabetes related (it just feels like it!) And Tessa, who doesn't get to go with us to Washington.  Some days I really dislike running.  But, everyday, I really dislike diabetes.

So, I run.  I am trying to convince my frustrated T1 D mommy friend to run in the 10K portion of the Twin Cities Marathon for JDRF.  I'd go for the full but I did a half once and that about put me over the edge with training.  A 10K, I can do, especially for diabetes.   Anybody with us?