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I plopped into my chair and looked out onto the lacrosse field at Charlie, who was running some pregame drills. We decided to take off the pump this time. In his last game, during a five-person scrum, his pump slipped off his waistband and dangled in front of the players like a piñata.
I felt like the modern diabetes dad. In my left hand I held my iPhone and in my right hand, I rested the Dexcom receiver on my knee and pointed it toward Charlie. Inside my jacket pocket, Charlie’s insulin pump was beeping incessantly like a New York City cab driver. And it was absolute heaven! For the first time ever, I was monitoring Charlie’s blood sugar while he played a sport. I heart the Dexcom! I heart it so much!
If not for my raging fascination with it, I might have just put it away, seeing that his numbers were safely in the 150 to 170 range without any arrows pointing downward. But I couldn’t. Eventually, I lost the signal but it came back in dribs and drabs like a weak AM radio station. The occasional updates were more than enough to keep me content.
By the end of the game, Dexcom came back online to let me know Charlie had rocketed up to the 270 area; maybe the adrenalin. I was thankful that the parent responsible for snacks was a no-show. Still, I had to think about a quick place for dinner. It was getting late and we weren’t close to home.
While I may sometimes spike the football in my mind when Charlie is 75 just prior to a pizza party, the opposite occurs when he is high. So much is about timing. I try not to, but I can’t help groaning when he’s over 300 and I’m in a restaurant trying to find something to feed him.
Maybe I should have asked to see the bread before ordering. The Panera sandwich was a freaking monster! Charlie could sense my anguish. Kind of hard not to.
“It’s OK, dad. I’ll just have the chips,” Charlie said.
Suddenly I’m a quarterback in a huddle, making a plan; trying to string together a miraculous comeback victory.
“OK, this is what we’re gonna do! I’m gonna scoop out a lot of the dough, but it’s still gonna be really good. I promise! We’re gonna correct, we’re gonna SWAG bolus and we’re gonna count on all that lacrosse running to kick in! You with me?!?”
He took a big bite of his liposuctioned asiago sandwich.
“Good???” I asked.
“You know what? I’m gonna take the dough out of mine as well. It’s way too much bread.”
“Mmmm! I think it tastes better without all that bread.”
“I wouldn’t go that far, Dad,” he said, sinking his teeth into a potato chip.
We had a good talk about lots of stuff while we ate our modified sandwiches and watched a chatty group of knitters at a nearby table.
Driving home, I glanced at the Dexcom receiver.
And the crowd went wild!
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)