Monday, May 6, 2013

Coca-Cola: Save A Dance For Me

My titles are often kooky, right?  I like to think of it as my writing hook.  After reading it, my hope is that I can reel you in and then, befriend you for life.  It is what I love most of all in this type 1 diabetes world:  making friends. 

Now this hook actually represents what happened during the ball.  The cool thing is that only four people will realize that.

Seven years later and we have a better handle on blending.

Blending in with type 1 diabetes can be tricky.

First, there is the gear.  How do you store two blood sugar meters, two CGMs named Sigums, one million lancets, strips, candy, glucose and the ever present glucagon?

Even worse, what do you when you are wearing a fancy evening gown and trying to discreetly hide an insulin pump and tubing?

The other mom who is raising a son with type 1 diabetes, sent me the world's cutest text the day before the event.

I responded by telling her our plan of attack which included all of us carrying clutch-style bags and utilizing the Naturally Sweet Dad's dress suit.  Did you know that men's clothes free up another 8 potential pockets for storage?  Yeah baby, it is like taking the Diabetes Supply Closet on the road!

Even with that massive safety packing and planning job under our belts, it didn't stop the inevitable from happening.  Walking down the hallway from the hotel room, into the hotel elevator, stopping at floor 3 and walking into the reception area, my youngest daughter's blood glucose plummeted about 100 points to a nifty 50 mg/dl. 

I knew that number because, in order to lift the weight of the diabetes burden off the girls shoulders, I had neatly tucked both pink Sigums into my clutch bag before leaving the hotel room.  Peace of mind for me and less mom questioning for them.

An old picture of Sigums, not from the evening.  I was too busy being MacGyver.

Crap.  (well, I think I muttered something worse, but someone sounding like a truck driver while wearing an evening gown was stress-relieving).

Even more stress-inducing was the fact that the Sigums began slant down arrowing and whining LOW, Under 90.  The kids were talking to the adults around them and enjoying the glow of the spotlight.  I decided that interrupting that was like throwing a huge diabetes cloud on top.  Plus, it wasn't as though it was dangerous, it was just getting to that point, that maybe a few appetizers would be a good idea.  Thinking I had a moment, we walked over to the bar to find a pen to sign a card for the lovely Fairy Godmother. 

While waiting for the pen, Sigums impatient with our reaction, upped the ante by screaming LOW, Under 60 and changing the arrows to two pointing straight down.  It happened so quickly, in a mere manner of minutes, that actually no amount of suit pockets or clutches stuffed to the brim seemed appropriate.  Smarties, fruit snacks and juice boxes take time.  Time that was chipping away at the safety of my child. 

So here is where the diabetes smarts kick in.  At this point, I honestly think I am a bit like MacGyver or maybe one half of the Wonder Twins. 


Instead of panicking and screaming, which is really the instinct of every single parent that deals with life-threatening situations, I calmly looked around to see what we could do to make it better. 

Then it hit me.  I am standing at the bar and of course - FULL SUGAR COCA-COLA.

Even Fries and chicken fingers have a place in this world.

A few sips, actually an entire glass later, and my little girl is coming back to me.  The color is returning to her cheeks, she starts to focus in on her surroundings and she seems like herself.  Checking Sigums and noting the 60 mg/dl is still on the screen, but the arrow is now pointing sideways which tells me the danger is passing.

Quietly, without saying anything, we continue on.  The girls decide to try the photo booth, not once but multiple times.  Then, they beg to go order their own drink which is a diet cola Shirley Temple.  The bartender, probably tired of pouring adult drinks, makes a big fuss and sends them off with not one, but with three maraschino cherries for extra pizazz. 

And just at the right moment.  The chef for the event comes over to our table to ask what the little ones would like him to make for dinner.  Settling on French fries and chicken fingers, the children are delighted.   Thinking back on it, with all of the dancing, it was probably the perfect food to hold blood glucose steady.

Yes, those are my girls on stage. 
Even the band couldn't resist!  Magical, I tell you!
Later that night as I sit at the dinner table and try to absorb the moment we are in, taking in the details of the musicians, the sound of the music and most notably, the way my girls are dancing so carefree, I decide that one other thing that I must thank is the invention of sugary soda. 

She danced with everyone. And even by herself.  Maybe it was the shoes with the little flowers on the toes?
And danced, and danced, and danced.  'Till she could dance no more.

And also, thank you to bartenders that adore little girls that know how to ask for a Shirley Temple.

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