Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Over the past 10 months, our close friends - family now - have banned together to be sure that even with diabetes, life for TJ can be the same as it was pre-diagnoses. The many adults in our lives: S and K, S and M, A and E, not to mention Mimi, Papa, and Grandma, have learned to work the meter, count carbs, and recognize a low so that Thomas can play wherever he wants, whenever he would like.

This teamwork is no small feat - my friends work hard, both for TJ's benefit and mine. Thomas comes home from playdates with records of his BG readings from the day. My friends are even more vigilant than I am in testing every 30-45 minutes while his is playing hard. "S" overcame her life-long fear of needles to learn to give an injection. "A" revealed a "diabetes dream" she had a few weeks ago. As we learn more, and as Thomas learns more, our friends learn along with us. Meter talk, BG discussions, pump inquiries...we are all going through it together.

Today, mid-playdate, Thomas ran over to the table to test, and his wonderful pal TE hurried up alongside him to help. Two boys, heads buried together, working the meter. TE unwrapped the test strip while Thomas used the lancet. TE held the meter up to the drop of blood, while they both chattered to a new friend, C, about what they were doing and why. An unfamiliar bystander would have been hard pressed to pick just one diabetic child out of this scene. TE has tested his own BG a few times, and even weighed in when C asked if it hurt.

I don't believe there is enough room in the blogosphere to count the ways in which our family is blessed. Not for one minute have I felt alone in this journey. I am so lucky to have friends that listen, and have learned to care for TJ. Tom and I have never been stuck in a day care dilemma, and we are offered frequent breaks from the constant vigilance of diabetes care.

Watching TJ test - with a friend - today, it struck me that he is not alone, either. No one makes him feel different. Instead, his friends help him out and their parents remark at how brave he is. He travels with the crowd, regardless of his expanded care plan. He does not have to explain testing, carb counting, injections, or the tiring weight of his lows to his best pals - they are all in it together.

I know as TJ grows, and his circle widens, he will have to answer questions about his diabetes. I know there will be days (like today) when I hosted the playdate even though the other child had invited TJ over because I simply couldn't deal with trying to explain everything to someone else. There will be sleepovers he will miss, and birthday cake he will not eat. I know there will be coaches, teachers, and bosses in TJ's future that might not care to learn about diabetes as much as our current circle of friends.

But, for now, we are so very lucky.

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