Tuesday, February 17, 2015

No Matter the Highs or the Lows, the Show Must Go On.

Earlier this month, both of our daughters had multiple performances in their middle school play.  This was their second year on stage and mostly, I felt like we had a great handle on the required long hours of practice, performing and T1d navigation - because we had already been there, done that and it is always so much easier the second time!  The girls LOVED the play - a 50s style musical - and always came home with bubbly enthusiasm regarding the cast, costumes and sets.  If possible, it was even better than it had been the year before and that was a great year too.

One little side-story, my girls are usually very quiet and reserved in public.  This year, my oldest daughter decided to try out for a larger speaking role (usually given to the 7th and 8th grade students) to help her become more comfortable speaking to crowds.  Youngest daughter in 6th grade was cast along side all other 6th graders as part of the chorus.  As the weeks went on and oldest daughter grew more comfortable in her role, our youngest decided that she wanted a bigger part.  Unfortunately, there were no options at her grade level.  Making the most of her stage time, she started to improvise with fun gestures and silly dance moves. The stage manager fully approved and so a little ham was born!  

After four months of rehearsals, the big production weekend of shows finally arrived.  Performances were held nightly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday - with an additional matinee show on Saturday as well.  

On Thursday night, as my husband and I were watching the performance with giggles and delight for both of our daughters' performance, my cell phone silently alerted to a new message.  Trying to discreetly look down, I notice that it is from another mom, also in the audience, that is fully enjoying the performance, but most especially, youngest daughter.  

"She is cracking me up!  Salt, pepper and sugar in her Coke?  Taste.  Make a face and repeat.  Ha ha ha!"   

The Naturally Sweet Dad and I quietly laugh and agree that the antics of youngest daughter are beyond silly.  She was enjoying her time in the spotlight, even more than we could have possibly imagined.  

When the first performance ended, the cast met with the audience in the atrium as part of a 'meet and greet' while in costume.  The texting mom came up to youngest daughter and explained that she thought her performance was absolutely delightful and made the show extra fun to watch.  A couple of other parents approached youngest daughter and also offered the same sentiments.  As the evening ended, youngest daughter was skipping out of the theater and more than excited for the rest of the shows to come.  

Now during each practice and performance, the girls and I had arranged for a certain number of texts with blood sugar information.  Both girls were also wearing their CGMs, so it was easy to for each to keep track of what was happening in-between checks - as long as they looked at the sensors.  Oldest daughter was assigned the role of reminding the little sister and conversely, youngest daughter was tasked with checking up on her big sister.  Teamwork seems to help.  

The second show on Friday night was probably the hardest, especially on youngest daughter.  I wasn't fully aware of where her blood sugar was heading when that same mom texted me this during the first act. 

As we exchanged texts, the message started to resonate.  While I thought the mom was initially checking in to make sure our youngest daughter wasn't embarrassed, she was really pointing out something that alarmed me enough to question blood sugar.  

In between texting the mom, I shot off a quick test to oldest daughter who was back stage awaiting for her next scene.  

And then I endured the horrible thing that sometimes happens in our world.  I waited for a response. 

And waited. 

And waited.  

More texts from the mom came in, which caused that tingly sensation of bubbling panic... how many more minutes until the break?

Still no answer from oldest daughter.

When the picture arrived on my phone, my last bit of calm shot out the door.  I had been trying to play it cool and keep the conversation light so as not to panic the mom.  In not being able to actually see the part of the stage where our youngest was at, allowed me to keep things a bit lighter.  The picture though, spoke clearly of a low blood sugar.  

See that little red-skirted girl?  That is not the picture of a girl that loves to be on stage.  That is a little girl that is dropping.  

Seconds later and before the curtain was down, I was already racing out of the theater and around to the backstage to find our youngest.  She was just walking into her dressing room in search of a meter to check because she felt 'low'.  Beep.  Whirrrrrr.  Beep.  63mg/dl.  Retrieving her CGM, she points to an arrow pointing down.  

Oldest daughter walked into the dressing room shortly after we are already treating the low with an assortment of juice and candy.  She explained that she missed the text from me as she was watching the show from behind the stage.  The noise level is LOUD and frankly, T1d does NOT take center stage at times like these.  (Which also makes me kind of proud - my girls are enjoying life!).

However, because we had already had enough 'drama', I asked oldest daughter to check her own blood sugar while I watched.  Her number was perfectly in range and I was able to head back to the audience just like any other parent.  

Before I sat down, I walked over to the other parent and gave her a hug.  I explained how she probably didn't even know how great her timing was, but her observation skills really did save the day.  She was in awe and said she never once even gave thought to T1d (also another proud moment for not creating a persona that screams T1d family, but instead, a non-labeled family!). 

Then I sat back down, next to my husband and gave him a hug and squeeze as we both processed what just happened.  

After all, in T1d world, no matter the highs or the lows, the show must go on.

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