Friday, February 26, 2010

Pulling the break on the runaway train

A couple days ago I hopped aboard the “Woe Is Me Train” and added fuel to its fire so furiously, the train got completely out of control. It screamed down the tracks of my life, and in true dramatic fashion ran straight through my blog yesterday and then full tilt into my husband’s arms at lunch. You should have seen me barrel towards my husband at the restaurant…crazy hair flying in the wind, blood shot eyes…the only thing I contained were my hands, that a few minutes earlier waved like a Muppet over my head.

My husband, alarmed at the sight, asked me what was wrong.

As I poured out my heart a mile a minute…recounting all the words of my blog yesterday, referring regularly to the post on DiabetesMine, and using the words “High on Freedom” in every other sentence…my husband did what every gentleman would do…

He pulled the emergency break to stop the train and then carefully step by step helped me off until I was on solid ground again.

After listening to my rant, he sat thoughtfully in his seat for a moment before he offered this:

“I think you may have something there,” he said. “But I think that is just a small part of it all…I really think he is just lazy.”

I tried to explain to him that is what all the parents in the comment section thought, but really it was their childs bid for freedom from their diabetic lives. He didn’t totally dismiss it, but he insisted he knew something I didn’t. He insisted J was the mirror image of him when he was that age, and he knew some of what was going on in J’s head.

I value his opinion. I know men think differently than woman. So I let him plead his case.

He presented the facts.

* J checks his sugar every morning and boluses for breakfast on his own. He never forgets.

* We have told J that he only needs to check his sugar once before lunch at school.
For whatever reason, J ignores his snack alarm, and doesn’t test sometimes. (He was determined to get to the bottom of this one.)

* J boluses for his snack every day.

* J calls me after he has eaten his lunch every day and even checks his sugar then when he realizes he forgot to earlier. (Which if course, this number is of no help to me, but it is effort none the less.)

* J always tells me the truth when he doesn’t test. He isn’t lying to us.

* J will check when he feels low. J called us twice in the last two weeks before lunch saying he felt low, checked and had eaten a snack.

* J helps L check his sugar in kindergarten at least 3 times a week. He never complains about this, and always calls us to tell us the number.

* J always brings his monitor on a fieldtrip or the track when they run the mile and never forgets to test there.

In conclusion, he says, J is just not checking sometimes at snack. And after dinner he needs to be reminded to bolus because he has done his homework and usually B lines to the TV or his IPOD.

He insisted on picking up J after school for ice cream and having a talk with him. He was confident he could get to the bottom of it.

And you know what…I think he did.

It turns out his alarms to check before snack go off during Math time. Every day in Math the kids are split up in groups…each group has kids in different levels so the kids who understand the work can tutor the kids who don’t. Jack is a tutor, and when his alarm goes off he is usually helping someone with some problems, and turns it off to check later. But when the snack bell rings, all he can think about is getting onto the playground. Ryan and J came up with a plan to put a second meter in his desk so he doesn’t have to walk across the room to check. J seems to think this is a brilliant idea.

It is agreed that freedom is part of the problem, even if J doesn’t realize it yet. J insists that he has no “issues” with his diabetes. He honestly thinks it doesn’t adversely affect his life at all. Ryan was clear with him that, yes we expect a lot from him, but we would expect the same from all our children, diabetes or not. I even remember now Ryan having to take my older, non diabetic son, out to ice cream to give him the same “take your responsibilities seriously” talk.

Last night J hugged me before bed. He said, “I know you are worried mom, but seriously I’m not forgetting things on purpose…I’m OK. I was just stressed yesterday because we had three assessment tests for our report cards yesterday, and it really stressed me out.”

So I offer this new epiphany that came to me at 2:00am this morning…

Could it be…maybe I’m in denial here…could it be, that yesterdays freak out session had more to do with me than it did J?

That maybe I was so freaked out about handing J the playbook that I freaked out when he didn’t play the game by my rules. That I ran onto the field blowing my whistle like an overzealous coach and called a time out on his play.

That MAYBE I’m so scared of what MAY be coming down the road…that I called it before there was time to let it play out.

That MAYBE I’m not giving him a fair chance.

That MAYBE I’m trying to take back the control I handed over to him just a couple weeks ago?


I’m back in the bleachers. I’ve been kicked off the field. I’ll continue to scrutinize each play…but next time I’ll show more restraint. I won’t stop the game and cry foul all together. I’ll take the role assistant coach and help him figure out how to correct his plays so he can score, and make himself and his family proud.


  1. Love that fantastic Hubby of yours :)

    It's hard to be benched...FWIW, I think you're doing a FANTASTIC job and sincerely appreciate your emotional transparency. It means a lot to me that you're willing to open up a little and pour out the truth about what's going on inside your mind.

    Thank your for your honesty. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    And thank you for just being you.

    Every wind blown, muppet shaking, crazy part of YOU!

    I ♥ U!

  2. As always, you continue to amaze me. I love your words. You have such a way of expressing yourself that I can imagine being right there with you. I am sorry that this may be what lies ahead for you and all of us. Thanks for opening up and sharing your thoughts with us.

    I am so lucky to have you!

  3. What a crazy ride our T1's take us on, hu? And thank God for husbands that pull us back down to earth when we need it too.. =)
    Thank you for sharing all of these mixed emotions... it definitely makes my own mixed emotions seem more normal, and for that I thank you! =)

  4. I just love you Meri!!! :) Your honesty and sincerity MEAN SO MUCH!!!!

    Your hubs is a one good man and you two work so well together!! Your boys are amazing and are doing AMAZINGLY well! You're managing to keep those lines of communication open and sitting here on the sidelines, that looks pretty important to me!

    Did I already mention that I just LOVE you???

  5. I guess ya can't coach the superbowl until ya've gone through high scholl and college football. Consider yourself in high school.

    (this high school thing keeps haunting me) ;)

    Good for Ryan. What a fabulous husband! Mine would've freaked out if he saw me 'muppeting' all over the place! LOL!

    Glad you're in a better place today. :)

  6. xoxo...just read yesterday's post. You are an AWESOME assistant coach!

  7. I agree....what an amazing COACH you have been and it's going to take some time to step down to ASST COACH. You're doing a great job and you're one amazing muppet...I mean woman!! :) I know you want him to play by your rules but if he makes his own plays and gets to the goal in the end then you've succeeded! Keep cheering him along from the sideline...not the bleachers ;)

  8. Meri, I am not one of your D friends, but I am your sister (similar genetic and emotional tendencies as you)--and putting the diabetes aside I can ASSURE you that any freak out you have CAN pretty much mostly have do with you and not with what's actually going on. I say this because, if a person thinks straight, they DON'T freak out . . . they are calm. However, all people get overwhelmed and forget that when they are freaking out they are not being logical (not that we don't all need our freak out sessions every once in a while).

    If Jack says Diabetes doesn't really bother him, it probably doesn't. 12 year old boys are lazy and forgetful, and even if Jack was/is "drunk on freedom" he would probably find a number of other things to try to control if he didn't have diabetes. I know D is dangerous . . . but there are other dangerous habits.

    I read that article and, I hate to sound this way, but I think that girl was pushed to her limits in every aspect of her life. She spoke in front of Congress and is going to an Ivy League school or something . . . kids like her are pushed over the limit (maybe not . . . but I have known many an over achiever). Jack has normal parents who just expect him to try hard and be happy and healthy in life. They don't expect him to discover a new element or anything. PLEASE don't compare your kids to that girl.

    I know you have a lot to keep track of and it is scary thinking of the choices he could make, but Jack has everything in his favor.

    Jared and I both love you.

  9. Beautifully said Meri, beautiful.
    You are a great assistant coach and a great mom.
    J is lucky to have you and Ryan as parents.

  10. At times, it's so tough to not freak out. We just love our kids so much and want what's best for them. Don't beat yourself up for the way you reacted. Rather, give yourself a high five for being a great mom! J and Ryan sound great too! :)

    You're going to make an awesome assistant coach!

  11. Ok, I have to say it. I don't know you from Adam, but this post made me laugh out loud. I completely saw myself in your words. That complete freak out, when you know you are freaking out, and you know that everyone else knows that you are freaking out...but you don't care and you keep freaking out. Been there a 100 times. Just to have my husband be patient with me (however we've been together so long that I know he is shaking his head and thinking "what in the hell?" on the inside) and offer me kind words. You are awesome Meri.

  12. I love that you wear your emotions on your sleeve BECAUSE your words always resonate truth in ALL of us...whether we want to admit them or not! Thanks for this. Thanks for putting things in perspective for us. You rock. You have a great family. You are wonderful! Hugs cyber buddy!

  13. I love you too, Meri! You always make me laugh! And I also appreciate how honest and open you are. I know this is something that I'm going to have to deal with at one point and I know I'll have my own hysterical derailed train, windblown hair, bloodshot eyes moment. Positive, my friend! I also am positive that your words will be in my ear - telling me that it's ok and I'm not alone. So thank you!

    Hugs to the hubby! They are so good at putting the breaks on, aren't they? Thank goodness for them!

    You are doing a wonderful job - be it as the coach, the assistant, in the game or on the bench!


  14. I know that everyone here has said how much they love you...Include me!

    I think you are truly amazing! These boy were going to be sent to earth with diabetes no matter what. They each picked you as their mom because they were going to need you! You really are amazing!

    I thank Heavenly Father every day for you (and the others) you have taught me so much about being a mom, a friend, a wife....and how to take care a diabetes x2! You may never know how much of an example you are to me! When I feel like I have been punnished for SOMETHING to have to be dealing with this every day, I think of you! THANK YOU MERI!

    I can't wait to meet you! Do you still want to come to Utah in April?


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