Now that school has started and Brendon is no longer sheltered from life beyond our backyard, some issues have come up that have caused me to think of diabetes as being like eating ice cream in the rain.
You're eating a bowl of ice cream outdoors with not a care in the world and along comes a rain cloud. Now eating ice cream outside is fun. Unlike eating it indoors, you can get messy, letting the ice cream create a beard around your mouth dripping from your chin, more ice cream dripping down your arm and off your elbow if you happen to be eating it from a cone.
But that pesky rain cloud is sitting overhead and it squeezes out a load of rain that makes your ice cream a diluted puddle of crap. You can continue eating your ice cream since it's still technically edible, but it would taste like hell.
How can you prevent that from happening? Well, logically, get an umbrella, or sit on a porch...basically use anything that will provide shelter without completely enclosing you and sheltering you from the outdoors. There. Now you can sit outside while it's raining and still enjoy your ice cream.
Where is this metaphor going, you might be asking. Well, Brendon's dreams of being a first grader has included being able to ride the school bus and eat a hot lunch from the school's menu. The bus is no problem as it doesn't interfere with his diabetes. But, oh, do the school lunches ever interfere. Instead of letting the rain (diabetes) wash away his ice cream (eating a school lunch), the school nurse kindly spent her holiday weekend getting in touch with someone who deals with the school lunches and, together, they went through each meal and worked out the carb count. So now Brendon can get a hot lunch without the nurse or me worrying about what the heck to dose him for.
Another situation came up concerning playing at a friend's house. His friend's mother (our neighbor) called me saying that we have to work something out about Brendon coming over to play more often. She said when the kids come off the bus, most of them come to her house to play while Brendon looks on as he walks home. She said the other kids come and go as they please, but she feels responsible for Brendon and it seems like she's always telling him he can't come over because she can't always watch over him.
Instead of letting it rain on his ice cream once again, I told her that I would check him as he got off the bus, make any necessary adjustments with his insulin and/or snack to prevent any lows from occuring during the time he's at her house. This way, she won't feel like she has to watch over him constantly. I also told her that her son is always more than welcome to play at my house as well, so it wouldn't always be one sided.
Diabetes can put a real damper on fun times and carefree moments. But holding up that umbrella can be exhausting. The hardest lesson for Brendon to learn at his age is that when an umbrella isn't available, he won't be able to eat ice cream without it getting mucked up. Or that sometimes I'll avoid giving him a bowl of the good stuff because there is nothing available to shelter him. That's one of the injustices of having diabetes....always needing shelter to do the most benign things.