Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Meri to teachers: Just keep them alive


I have a history of the back to school crazies.  The worry usually eats me alive.  My MO has always been:  Cry a lot, panic a lot, and then pretend in public that I don't cry a lot and panic a lot.

This year I have bigger fishes to fry, so for some reason, (I think we all know the reason,) the kids at school are the last thing I'm worried about...

Ok...maybe the next to last thing I'm worried about.

Monday I met with L's new teacher.  He is a teacher we haven't had before, but one I'm looking forward to L having none the less.  On Sunday night I was up late in bed going over in my head what I was going to say to him.

I had grand visions of writing on the white board.  Using object lessons and similes that would make the best professor proud.  In my head it was simple and brilliant.  It was going to be an easy peasy presentation.

The next day I walked into his classroom, sat down and went, "BBLLLLLLLARRRRGGGGGGGG!"  And threw up all the information on the table.  There was no rhyme or reason to the way I presented any of it.  It was like, "BLARG...here's all the information, try to sort through the craziness of it...just keep him alive, ok?"

That is my goal this year.  Keep them alive.  I believe in setting reasonable goals and this one seems the most reasonable to me.

I explained to the new teacher that insulin is a hormone, and imitating a hormone is not an easy thing to do.  I'm aiming for a moving target, I do the best I can...but diabetes has a wicked curve ball, and he likes to use it often.  I told him that I am connected to thousands of families with children with Type 1, and on my blog I try never to give advice.  Because what works for L, doesn't always work for B, and if diabetes varies that much within my own family, just think what it is like around the world.  Sure there are rules of thumb, but all those rules have their own sets of variables and sub lists depending on the person who has diabetes. 

B is having the same teacher he had last year.  SCORE!  When I went in to drop off B's supplies, he wanted a little refresher course.  "We want him in the 100's, right?"

"If we lived in a paradisiacal utopia, yes...always in the 100's."  

I reiterated, lows are treated when under 100.  Anything over 120 needs insulin.  Anything over 300 starts to get uncomfortable.  But if a number is off, it isn't because B didn't do the work.  He does the work, and I do the work.  Diabetes just messes with us sometimes.  No good numbers, no bad numbers...just a road map to get us where we want to be. 

Is it that obvious I am worried about being judged by the boys blood sugar numbers?

Now J is starting High School.  I left a note stating I would like a 504 meeting and they haven't contacted me.  (I totally expected that.)  Luckily J is self sufficient.  The only thing I'm worried about is PE, though I'll fry that fish before it starts to stink.  I made some laminated sheets stating some of J's rights to put into his teacher's boxes today.  Hopefully they will read them and call me if they have any questions.

Now I'm heading to the high school soon with the laminated cards along with a letter explaining his life.  I was afraid they wouldn't read my letter, so I highlighted, "J has Type 1 Diabetes," and "J's father is fighting an intense battle with cancer."  Try highlighting those sentences over and over and over again without crying.  Not cool.

Tomorrow is the big day for the boys.  They are all excited...and I'm excited for them.  I know it will be a crazy year...and not necessarily because of their diabetes.  But we can do it.  We always do!

Here's to keeping everyone alive!

Seriously.

37 comments:

  1. Some days staying alive is a huge accomplishment. I love the realistic goals. Sending prayers and hugs to you all!

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    1. Thank you, Cara! I'm trying really hard to be realistic! Hugs back!

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    1. Thank you! I'm totally patting myself on the back for thinking of it! <3

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  3. Yes, completely reasonable goal. BLARG? I'm pretty sure teachers are supposed to know how to decipher that. They had to learn how not to say BLARG (or any variation thereof) on the road to becoming teachers. Wishing the boys an awesome start to the year.

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    1. It didn't even occur to me that BLARG might be part of their education road. I feel better! Thanks!

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  4. Sometimes, this is what it all comes down to. I hope the boys have an awesome year!

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    1. Thank you, Penny! I SO hope so too! <3

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  5. ALIVE! YES!! Alive is what we're aiming for, people. Let's just make that happen, and everything else will fall into place!!!!

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    1. Yes, let's make that happen all around for the Schuhmacher family! Done!

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  6. Hi Meri,

    You don't know me but I faithfully read your blog as my 3 year old was diagnosed at fifteen months. I find so much inspiration and strength in your words. Your family is amazing. I want you to know you are all in my prayers.

    And, totally get the self-worry that our D-mama efforts are being judged. I find myself defending his numbers at daycare all the time..."he may hit 300 more than you think is okay, but it's partly because we test so often and he is so sensitive...BLARG!"

    Many hugs from this D-mama stranger.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, stranger! I remember the preschool judgement days all too well! I had to have our endo write them a note to tell them I'm actually pretty good at what I do! Many hugs back, and thanks for being a friend!

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  7. Thank you Uber Geek! AKA Dad of Bean...right? Am I right? I think I'm right...

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  8. oh, Meri I can't even imagine getting four boys ready for school PERIOD let alone training new teachers and filling them in on life situations. Here's to an incredible year, a year filled with not only keeping them alive but helping them strive, here's to a year of joys and new experiences, here's to a year where you see that others do see your awesome pancreating (sp?!) skills, here is to a fabulous first week of school and beyond! It is going to be a wonderful ride...I just know it :)

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    1. It makes me happy that you "just know it!" And it makes me happy you are my friend!

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  9. 'I'm aiming for a moving target, I do the best I can...but diabetes has a wicked curve ball, and he likes to use it often. ' This just sums Diabetes up perfectly!
    One week into school here and so far so good - just waiting for the curve ball!!
    Love and hugs
    Amanda

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    1. Isn't that the worst. Sometimes we can't enjoy all the good days 'cause we know the crazy days are just around the corner! Here's to not taking for granted all the good! <3

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  10. I cannot say anything as articulately as Sarah, so Im going to say HAVE a WONDERFUL year. Hope it all goes smoothly so you can catch your breathe!

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    1. Thank you, Jules! Breathing is good! That will be my new goal for ME! Hugs!

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  11. The laminator! Love you, Meri! I am sure if felt like you threw up, but I bet you didn't! I did my own version of vomit yesterday and I have no excuse other than Caleb's teacher was surprisingly proactive and caught me earlier than I expected and I wasn't completely prepared and thought I could just "wing it". I hope today is going fabulously! Loved seeing the pics of the boys!

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    1. Today DID go fabulously, partly to do with that awesome dirt cheap laminator from Costco! The councelor at the High School called me to tell me they were perfect. ((Big fat sigh of relief!))

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  12. Hi Meri,
    I have read your blog faithfully since my son was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago at age 9 and feel as if you are my close friend!! Since the beginning of this journey I have said to the teachers (and my son's friends who have become as learned in Ethan's care as I am...) that let's just all work together to keep Ethan alive! Honestly, there are days I don't care if he learns a thing in school- just that he comes home at the end of the day!

    Stay strong- you are such a hero of mine!

    Mindy Morris
    Memphis, TN

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    1. Thank you so much, Mindy! I'm so happy to be your friend! The teacher at school today told me he thought it was successful because L checked and called and everything went smoothly. I said, "He's alive. That means success to me!"

      Thanks for leaving some comment love! <3

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  13. I love your realistic goals, and your positive spin on everything, Meri! You rock at advocating for your boys, and that is awesome! :) You are a super dMama, and a super woman with everything on your shoulders right now, and I just want you to know that I think that you are A M A Z I N G !!! :) dHUGS!!! <3 <3 <3

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    1. I know! You would totally think I'm some AMAZING person! But I'm just a regular ol' mom doing the best she can! Thank you for the super sweet comment!

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  14. Christi, fellow DMomAugust 23, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    What a wonderful post. I read it, like most of your posts, with a tug at my heart, a lump in my throat, tear in eye and smile on face. Same here sister! My son is 8yrs old and is starting 3rd grd. He has the same teacher he had in first grade. She is great, but I still panic. They are with us all summer, 24/7, then suddenly a 6hr chunk of time they are with someone else. Someone who doesn't live this crazy life all the time. Yes please Lord, keep them all alive! I pray for your family often. God Bless!

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    1. Thank you SO Much for the prayers! We need them more than ever this week!

      How we hand our babies over to the school system I'll never know. Somehow we know we have to, and we just do! Amazing how we talk ourselves into such a crazy prospect!

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  15. I would love to see a sample of the card you are giving the teachers.
    That would be awesome!
    Andrea

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    1. Andrea, email me. My email address is under my contact info. I'll send it over!

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  16. You rock, Meri! I learn so much from you. This year I'm still being all particular, but realize I'll grow out of it. (At least in terms of my D-mom/school nurse relations.)

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    1. I think being particular is Aok...it's the remembering that everything will be alright even if things don't go as we plan, that's the trick to keeping our sanity! Here's to a great year!

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  17. Gosh, still praying for you and your family, sweet Meri. My goal is alive too, with a side of math please. ; ) Yes, we will need to know what you are passing out to older kid teachers..MC will be in middle school changing classes next year! Whew, can't imagine. We keep having to keep up with D, and D goes places..like school! SO hard. You are rocking it, I don't know how, but I pray you keep riding the wave. Hugs, girl!!

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    1. Email me Holly and I'll send a template your way. ourdiabeticlife (at) yahoo (dot) com.

      And thank you for the prayers! We need em, friend! <3

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  18. I just found your blog (through another) and am one of the folks that had. no. idea. how hard managing diabetes is and everything that is involved! Wow, I'm so incredibly impressed with your endurance--how in the world do you manage it all? Wow, it's all I can say. Just...wow. Sounds like you are more than on top of things--amazing. Anyway, didn't want to be a lurker, so hi!
    Hoping you guys have a good start to the year.
    Molly

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  19. Hello Meri. First, a huge hug...and one for each of your five amazing boys/men. Is it that ironic that the first thing I want to say is something I always balk at when people learn I have a young child with T1D? They say, "I don't know how you do what you do!" It's kind of funny to me, because you don't know til you are thrown the diabetic curve ball. But you do what you do, you have to. Like you said, we are just trying to keep them alive. But I know your story. And I have to throw it out there...I don't know how you do what you do. But you do. And amidst it all, you continue to inspire, amaze, encourage, comfort and simply nurture others. Wow.
    I think I'll send another hug to you.
    xo Jules

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    1. By the way, Meri...I forgot to add that I'm not much of a praying type, but I'm sending everything Ive got your way this week. Everything.
      xo Jules

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