November 29, 2013
Earlier this week, I was awakened in the wee hours of the morning by our power going out. I chose to just doze back off thinking it would resume soon enough. I had a warm man next to me; I'd be fine. When I got up around 9am, it still was not back on. Now, in the past, I would have worried primarily about how I would cook for my kids with no power or I would worry about the meats thawing in the freezer. And, I did still worry about those things…somewhat. Since Diabetes has taken up residence in my house, however, my primary concern was…drum roll, please….INSULIN. It HAS to be refrigerated. Once at room temperature, it’s only good for 30 days. If the power did not go on and the insulin thawed, then we would have a lot of wasted insulin. There’s no way I could have used it all without sending the boys into a coma. As I cuddled with the boys to stay warm, I sent the text message alert to the older boys to NOT open the refrigerator for any reason so that all possible coolness would stay inside.
I called TXU in the morning, and put in our “Out of Service” claim in the morning. When we returned home from lunch to still no power, I phoned again. I spoke to someone and told them to prioritize us as I could not lose the insulin. They were pretty unsympathetic. As the day progressed with still no return of power, I began to come up with alternate plans. A) Put the insulin in a lunchbox and put it outside since it was only 38-degrees; B) Take the insulin to my parents’ house in their fridge; or, C) Put the insulin in a lunch box and put it in the freezer compartment. I chose option C. When the power resumed around 3:30pm (12 hours later), I exhaled and returned the insulin to its safe spot in the refrigerator. All the insulin was saved!
All that back story and rambling leads to this. I obsessed about the insulin all day. I knew we could stay warm (get a hotel worst case scenario); I knew I could feed the kids (special restaurant treat for lunch was a hit!); I knew I could easily (albeit very expensively) replace the meat that could’ve been ruined. But, I was not willing to sacrifice hundreds of dollars worth of insulin. I was not willing to risk the single medication that sustains my babies’ lives. Not to mention, to go through the hassle of explaining why so much insulin was wasted and having it refilled would be more than my last nerve could stand.
All that back story and rambling leads to this: I would have never stressed this much or thought this way if Diabetes wasn’t part of our lives. And, I don’t think anyone except another D-parent understands my stress in this situation. My wheels started turning. Stressing about Insulin is a clear indication that I’m a Diabetes parent. There are other scenarios, too, that only happen if Diabetes is riding shotgun in your life. So, with the help of my TOFN friends…Letterman-style but not necessarily in a particular order….
YOU KNOW YOU’RE A T1D PARENT WHEN:
20. You think any beeping sound you hear is an insulin pump failure alarm, and it causes you to cuss (whether out loud or under your breath..depending on the day).
19. You can drop a conversation (important or not) mid-paragraph/sentence/word (either in person or on the phone) to tend to a Diabetes-related issue, and you will experience zero guilt for your perceived rudeness or abruptness.
18. You carry a D-bag everywhere you go, and the term “D-bag” isn’t the least bit offensive to you.
17. You have turned around or made huge detours, no matter how far from home or close to your destination you are, because you forgot the D-bag.
16. You have to explain to medical professionals (and strangers) the difference between Type One Diabetes and Type Two Diabetes.
15. People think you’re a physician when you discuss Type One Diabetes.
14. You consider “Recognizing a Low Glucose” a developmental milestone.
13. You go to the Pharmacy three times in one day and still do not have everything you need, and you still leave broke.
12. You check for the Carb Counts on the box of Milk Bones, only to realize you’re holding dog treats after you cannot find the Nutrition Facts label.
11. You invite the School Nurse to family functions.
10. You never sleep all night, and six hours feels like a real treat!
9. You want to sucker punch someone who whines about how tired they are after one night of dealing with a sick kid or partying too much.
8. When your child misbehaves, you ask him/her loudly, in public, “Are you high?” Using the same loud voice, you threaten to punish him or her if they are NOT high!
7. People look at you like you’re crazy when you state “He’s been high all day” nonchalantly.
6. Your primary concern in a power outage or pending disaster (ie., fire, flood, storms, apocalypse, etc.) is your insulin stock and/or Diabetes supplies.
5. You make sure your child has candy with him/her at all times.
4. You go to the ER and order people around like your name is on the building (Harper Emergency Pavilion…how can we help you?)
3. You get excited when there is a “sighting in the wild” (randomly meet another T1D family) and you compare doctors, diagnoses, and supplies.
2. You find used test strips in random places…like in your hair after a nap or on your calf while grilling.
And, the Number One Way you know you’re a T1D parent….
1. Your kid “shoots up” in a restaurant in front of police officers…and you proudly post it on Facebook.