I'm The Mom of a 17 Year Old Type 1 Diabetic

"Check your blood sugar" I said to Evangeline as we sat at Pluckers Wing Bar last night.

"It's probably going to be high, I went low today." She replied as she took out her meter, pricked her finger and checked her blood sugar.

The meter screen reads "HI" which means her blood sugar is above 600.

"What did you eat to bring up your low?" I ask fearing the answer and wondering why she's so high.

"five glucose tablets." 

"What did you eat after school for a snack?" 

"Apple and peanut butter"

"Well that's probably why you are HI now"

It's now 6:00pm, I think she ate or drank more then what she is saying but I don't say it.

This is such a typical day and conversation for us. That stupid saying "pick your battles" is so lame and cliche but it's true, but with parenting a teenage diabetic it's just one big battle, mostly defeats, set backs, frustrations, fears, and a constant feeling of hopelessness or denial, I've gone there many times, tried to stick my head in the sand, so has she but denial only leads to a hard slap in the face by reality.

I know I have to fight this day.

"You're gonna have to tell the waiter to cancel your fries." I say, knowing this isn't gonna go over well, she loves fries more then life.

"Why?! I'm doing insulin!" She says as she holds the syringe she has filled with insulin in her hand.

"Because I already said we were all going to stay away from fries period but on top of that, your blood sugar is so high right now the meter cant even read it! You can't eat that much carbs right now until it comes down." 

 Dean and the boys are sitting across the table from us. He scoffs at me as I'm explaining to her about why she cant eat those fries now and really should never eat them. He looks at her with sadness, his heart breaks for his baby girl. He's the good cop always when it comes to her diabetes management, I'm the bad cop. In other areas of her life, I am the good cop and he's the bad cop. It is what it is, so we just make it work.

Dean looks at me with that "Just let her have the fries" look. And I give him the "Help me here!" look. Parents, you know that facial exchange I'm sure.

He chooses to take the route both Abel and Steele are taking at the moment, look at the TV and try to escape the very uncomfortable exchange taking place. 

"MOM! I want fries! Ugh!..." She continues with the protest, loudly as the waiter approaches and over hears me say "That's just too many carbs Evangeline!" 

I see the look on his face, "what a bitchy mom, gripping at her daughter about carbs! How shallow."

More than likely I just think he's thinking that because why wouldn't he? I probably would if I over heard a mom sternly telling her daughter who isn't fat, that what she wants to eat has too many carbs.

"Can you just cancel my fries and give me a salad?" She angrily asks him. He says sure.

She starts to lift her shirt to do her shot in her stomach, exactly where her doctor has told her NOT to do it anymore because she has so much scare tissue built up.

 Insulin doesn't travel well through scar tissue, takes longer to get into the system and it causes lumpy areas, fat deposits, so her stomach around her belly button is full of scar tissue from 15 years of doing way too many of her 2-6 injections of insulin a day, in that same place.

"Evangeline don't do that shot in your stomach!" I say.

"Mom, just let me! I'm doing it over to the side more!"

"No Evangeline, just do it in your leg!" 

"Mom!" she says as she continues to her stomach with the syringe."

"Evangeline! Do NOT do that shot in your stomach!" 

"OH MY GOSH!" she exclaims as she rises from the table and heads toward the bathroom, syringe in hand.

I follow her.

"Mom, get out!" she screams at me as I enter the stall.

"No, you are not gonna do that shot in your stomach, the doctor has said not to, YOUR DOCTOR!" 

"Ok!" She screams at me.

 "So I'm gonna watch you to make sure you don't."

"Get out mom!" she say as she starts pushing me out of the stall, "I'm just trying to parent you Evangeline! I hardly ever pull the 'because I said so card' anymore, but I have to now, I'm in charge of keeping you alive! I'm just trying to keep you alive!" I say,  as I allow her to push me out of the stall completely.

I go around to the next stall, stand on the toilet and look over the top of the stall into hers.

"MOM!!!" She says as she starts laughing. She's amused and not amused at the same time so she goes from mad face to smile face every 2 to 3 seconds as she's yelling at me to stop acting like a child and get down.

I get down and walk around trying to enter her stall again, she protests, pushes me out, I climb back atop the toilet seat, looking over the stall.

"MOM! Stop! I'm gonna do it in my leg! That's why I came in here!" She says half laughing, half crying and finally ending up sitting on the floor of her stall, crying and screaming at me.

I relent. I get down, walk to the sink to wash my hands.

She sits on the bathroom stall floor crying, sticking the syringe needle into her leg as she's done over 20,000 times since she was diagnosed with diabetes at age 2.

It sucks.

My heart hurts.

I leave the bathroom.

She returns to the table.

We all eat, laugh, talk like a normal family.
 
Evangeline and I go shopping for Easter dresses afterward.

_____________________


It's 10pm, I have to make sure she's done her long acting insulin..


This morning her blood sugar was 150 which is decent.

We ride the roller coaster another day.


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