Monday, January 24, 2011


My girl and I...overlooking the Caldera in Santorini, Greece

A few months ago I took part in an online Twitter chat with others who have/care for someone who has diabetes. I can't remember the exact topic, but it had to do with 'controlling' diabetes. The discussion was fast and furious, and in my not-so-tech-savvy way I followed along, and even commented a few times when the urge struck.

What absolutely amazed me about the discussion was how wide the disease varied. There were the Type 2 diabetics who just watched what they ate, and the 'brittle' type 1's, who were just hanging in there. How do you 'control' something that affects people so differently? How can you keep your thumb down on something affected by so many variables?

In our house, we 'manage' diabetes. There's no controlling.

It's a delicate balance. My daughter does EVERYTHING a normal 8 year old does, from summer camp to somersaults. She eats sugary foods (sparingly, but no different than our other children). She swims, she dances, she rides horses...she flies across time zones and she canoes in the back-country.

Only sometimes in 'Dunnes vs Diabetes' the balance swings against us. Thursday, for example. Cell phone rings at work. It's the school calling...daughter's sugar levels are so high the test kit won't even register them (For those who aren't familiar with test levels, that's almost 5 times normal levels). A few suggestions, and I get back to work. An hour later, another phone call. During a recess martial arts lesson, another child accidentally ripped out daughter's catheter site. No catheter = no insulin. She's already super-crazy high, so this is an emergency. Thankfully my co-workers and patients are very understanding. I drop everything at work, tear off to the school at mach 5 to remove the rest of the old site, clean and insert a new catheter. Forty minutes later I'm back at my job, and it's business as usual.

Make no mistake. Diabetes never sleeps. Some nights I don't either. No matter how perfectly we measure carbs and calculate ratios, we cannot control it. And sometimes life gets so hectic we forget something. Insulin. Site changes. A test kit. Extra juice. A hug.

So we manage.

And hope. And pray. And test, and test, and test again.

Tomorrow is another day.

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