October 29, 2012

The Sugar (Part 1)

Moo has Type I Diabetes.  I'm not sure how this fact has eluded the Confessions thus far, but I guess I don't have a whole lot to say on the topic in general.  It is very much ingrained in our daily lives, of course, and yet life just rolls along without much incident as far as the disease goes.  I can't figure out how something that drives me nuts multiple times a day and has a good bit of "control" over some of the function of our days has become sort of ho-hum and so mundane.

Our "journey"  (that sounds so euphemistic, but "nightmare" might be a little extreme) began exactly three years ago today.  Moo had been symptomatic (unbeknownst to us) for probably about a year--hindsight is so enlightening.  The problem was (aside from the fact that I pretty much don't worry about anything--to a fault sometimes) Moo would complain of symptoms that were isolated, seemingly "normal" and I felt always had a reasonable explanation.  Sometimes she would come home from school with a  headache (I would think she had a long day, or just needed a snack), or she would be moody (7 going on 17, anyone?).  Occasionally she would complain about her vision, but she was literally sitting in the dining room 20 feet away from the counter telling me she couldn't read the microwave clock while she was chewing her dinner.  (I tried it--the 1/2-inch high numbers on the LED clock on the microwave are not too smooth at 20 paces while jawing a mouthful of mac 'n cheese.)

Anyway, the big tell was when she started getting up to use the bathroom EVERY night.  Sometimes twice.  Sometimes THREE times.  We refused water before bed and still she got up.  I was still pretty much clueless, but The Sarge's spidey senses were tingling.  His brother is a Type I diabetic diagnosed thirty years ago when he was four years old.

Now, just a brief education for you:  Type I diabetes is not considered to be hereditary, so we did not immediately jump to that conclusion.  And one might think that having someone in the family with it would have given us a leg-up on the recognition factor, but The Sugar is quite a bi-polar animal.  The Sarge remembers being drilled on what to look for if his little brother started acting funny or looked unwell.  He remembers him passing out quite a few times.  In general, low blood sugar is a pretty serious concern for a lot of Type I diabetics.  What we were unknowingly dealing with was the opposite end of the spectrum--and not uncommon for undiagnosed Type I's.  Moo's blood sugar was through the roof.  (Now about those spidey senses....)

October 27, 2009.  The Sarge was insistent that something was wrong.  I felt that whatever it was could be dealt with at Moo's annual well-check, scheduled a few weeks from then.  I actually said, "If you really think there is something wrong, then you call and get her an appointment sooner."  He actually did.  It was for the 29th.

I was less than thrilled because for starters, it was Trick or Treat night in our town.  Also, the appointment was for 2:00 pm so I had to take Moo out of school early for it.  We got to our family physician's office and went over the issues (symptoms), she asked a lot of questions, drew some blood and had Moo pee in a cup.  Then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  for about 45 minutes.  I was not particularly thrilled about the wait and I was starting to get a little weirded out.  What the hell could be taking so long?

Never in a million years would I have guessed that the doctor would come back in the room and say "I suspect your daughter has Type I diabetes."  The Sugar.  Seriously, I thought we were going to get a pamphlet, go home, and maybe come back in a few days for a follow-up visit.  I had no idea.  I think it took some time for the shock to wear off.  Neither of us started crying until we were in the car on the way to the Emergency Room.  And I think we were both mostly crying because it was then--on our way to the hospital and some scary unknown new normal--solidly sure that she wouldn't be trick-or-treating that night.

~Part 2~
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October 21, 2012

Give me Sanctuary.

Got to relive some glory days the other night at a reunion for the club where me and The Sarge met.  Had it not been for Sanctuary, there would be no Moo, no Slim, no Geel, no Confessions.  I had been thinking about a lot of things leading up to Friday night and several times wandered around to how much things have changed.  I decided to list a few on the way there:

Sanctuary Reunion, it'll be good to go back. 
5 things that are different tonight:
5. Driving 4 hours just to be "in the area"
4. Leaving the kids with the sitter. 
3. Driving up with the other half, instead of the old crew. 

2. Knowing there will be no 3 am breakfast at the diner later.
1. Trying to remember all the "stuff" (cash, ID, directions, etc.) Are we old enough for Alzheimers already?! wtf?

5 things that are the same (about the old days, and decidedly different from my everyday life now) :
5. Makeup.
4. Having a drink.
3. Changing in the car on the way. (OK, it was only my boots, but thank God I remembered to bring that other pair. When the hell did i get to be so practical?)
2. Pleasure/Fashion/Style vs. Pain (see above-that first pair of boots was killing me before i even got there)
1. Dancing my ass off to some kicking music!
See you all on the floor!

The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary

Of course there are more things.  I mean, the fact that I posted this (1)on the event page on (2)facebook, (3)in the car (4)on the way there, from my (5)smartphone is it's own self-contained list.  

A few other things occurred to me after the fact.   For one thing, talking to or at or over three kids and the TV quite regularly--with the "occasional" screaming rant thrown in--doesn't even come close to a few straight hours of conversational yelling above the din of a nightclub full of many loud people and extremely loud music.  There was a minor snafu involving the weather that postponed the 9:00 pm start time to 10:30.  In just that hour and a half, before we even got upstairs to get the festivities underway, I was talking so much to various friends, old acquaintances and familiar faces, that my throat was bone dry and sore before I ever stepped out on the dance floor and worked up a sweat.  And speaking of sweat, it became clear to me halfway through the night that I should have trained for several weeks before attempting to dance like I used to three nights a week with no problem.

Some things stayed blessedly the same.  Like my many-years-long friendships with my crew.  Although we live kinda far apart, and our respective Lives have pulled us in different directions, it was such a GREAT feeling to see them and know that there is still some love out there--no matter the distance.  We talked like old times, danced just like back in the day.  There was a comfort in the old familiarity between friends.

That was by far the best part of the night.  Other highlights include not breaking anything or pulling any muscles, not getting any emergency calls from the sitter and not drinking enough to get a hangover.  Good times.  They most definitely were Friday night as in years before and I think everyone who went would love to do it again.  As for The Sarge and me, we didn't "close the joint" this time, but if there is a next time, I'll train harder and stay longer.  It was our first real night away from all three kids.  Give me Sanctuary, again and again.
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October 4, 2012

A letter to my former would-be babysitter.

Dear Composite of Several Recent Babysitter FAILS:

I suppose when I casually told you that I didn't care what you did as long as my kids were safe, that you took that to heart. A little too young and childless for that kind of sarcasm, I guess. My bad.
Let me start over. Let me say first, thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your young, and childless and relatively carefree life to take responsibility for the only things in this world that I would kill to protect.

Not only is it important to me that you are a responsible human being whose care for my children should closely mimic my own (without crossing a line that would incite my natural maternal paranoia that you are a psychotic lunatic kidnapper) but also that you understand the fact that I consider this your job and expect you to treat it as such--be on time (and don't tell me two days before you start that you can't watch my kids this summer--despite the fact that you told me you would, two months ago), look presentable (keep the Daisy Dukes at home--I don't care how fucking hot it is out, I have central air) and unless you are legitimately ill (not hungover) and/or puking (not hungover) and/or contagious, show up. My kids will survive a sniffle, they are in the public school system.

As I see it, you have two basic duties: one, keep my kids safe and two, play. The first should go without saying. The second, well, I thought it was fairly obvious. Since you don't have to fold clothes, vacuum, run errands, pay bills or do any of the things I am constantly barely finishing, what else could possibly eat up your time with my precious little darlings? Put your phone down--really, that text to your BFF about Tommy's new skank can wait until you get home--sit your ass on the floor and make the baby a goddamn block tower she can knock over, just so you can build another one. Read a book. Hug a babydoll. Sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and damn it, do the hand motions and putting a little extra finger-wiggling in that rain.  Play Monopoly with the older two or bust out the crayons and coloring books. Whatever! PLAY! If I could afford to, I'd do it all day every day.

I can't possibly make you see that years from now when you have a "real" job and you’re punching a clock and paying taxes and wondering where the last ten years went, you will finally truly appreciate the job this is now. Show up, play with some kids, feed them, don't let them kill each other, don't burn the house down. (Oh yeah, and DON'T fall asleep on the couch when you're responsible for an inquisitive one year old.) Big responsibility for sure, but you'll never have another job like it. In the "real world" work is not often "play" (unless you are so lucky as to have a career at something you truly love and are passionate about). And no one will hug you just for showing up and being fun.

So for now, I won't miss you, and I'm probably lucky that these things didn't work out. In the end, I do believe that despite the shitstorm of stress I am operating in between dragging the kids to work with me some days (thank God I can!) and slapping together a patchwork babysitting schedule with duct tape and bubble gum and good Mommy friends, my kids will be better off not having known you or been in your company long term. For all the crappy attitude and slothfulness they will not witness, I will thank myself.

Good luck, and good riddance.

(Not-So-) Super Mom.

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