Moira McCarthy, Parent of a child with type 1 diabetes
I see real truth in the statement, “sometimes you’ve just gotta laugh.” Life with the ‘slin on board is no different. In fact, I might argue that when you are on the front lines of battling a cruel enemy who is (for the time being) completely refusing to retreat, laughter is not just a good idea: it’s a necessity.
So today I’ve decided to use this blog to share with you some of the funnier moments in my family’s 13+ years with diabetes on board. Some (who are not on this front line) may see it as gallows humor. I don’t. Because . . sometimes you just gotta laugh. Read on and I encourage you to share your own funny diabetes stories in the comment area at the end.
Here’s what’s made me laugh:
• The time I was standing at the sign in desk at my daughter’s elementary school with some other mom’s I don’t really know and a teacher who also understood it’s important to laugh walked by, pointed at me and said to the aid signing us in, “Be careful! She carries a 504 and she’s sooooo not afraid to use it!” The other moms were quiet for a moment as I laughed and the teacher laughed. Then one mom politely said, “My husband is into firearms too. But only for hunting.” God Bless her naïve soul.
• The time my daughter’s swim team was counting on her relay team to seal the deal for the team win and everyone was wondering: where the heck is the 10 and under relay team? It was not unusual at our swim club for the kids to go into the showers as a group and run hot water over their heads for just about forever, so I assumed they were there. I stuck my head in the locker room and yelled “Hurry up girls!” but heard no shower. Out they came, parading to the blocks (that they dive off of) . . . each at every one of them, along with the 12 and under girls as well, with a quick set infusion set inserted into their left front thigh. OMG were they proud, showing solidarity to their teammate like that. Some parents smiled; others freaked out (could they get aids? Seriously . . some thought that) I of course was laughing my butt of trying to imagine how I was going to convince insurance why I needed more of the “sites” that delivered the life sustaining insulin to my daughter’s body. It was one of the funniest, cutest, most touching things I’ve ever seen. I even enjoyed the parents freaking out.
• The time I was at the stable watching my daughter horseback riding and she was thrown. Only the tubing to her insulin pump caught on the horn thing on the saddle (obviously she rides and I don’t) and she was dangling by her pump tubing. (!!!) I ran over and said, “Are you okay?” to which she replied, “man, this tubing is durable!” I think she was seven. Tubing. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
• The time on the sidelines of the youth soccer game when my daughter had just rub back on the field after a quick blood check and insulin bolus and a mom I did not know pronounced loudy – to me and to everyone – “Did you know there are pills you can take for that?” The funny part was – I kid you not – it was like the entire field of players and parents watching all stopped leaned in and waited for my response, which they knew would be snarky and comical. But darn, I don’t remember what I said. I do know my sister still howls about it. As she said, “Every single person there could not WAIT for you to respond.”
• The time we got to the end of the JDRF Walk to Cure and my friend's son, who was walking with diabetes for the first time said, "So, I'm cured now, right? We just walked to cure, right?" Adorable . . and tragically funny.
• The time we attended a baseball game with a bunch of DC staffers (back in the days when they could take such gifts) to sway them to care about diabetes and my daughter, newly on the pump, was able for the first time in a long time to eat ANYTHING she wanted. My husband kept ordering her things and pushing the buttons on the pump with glee. I was horrified because the staffers did not get it at all ("I thought kids with diabetes could not have treats?") I was concerned but there was no stopping my husband. At least Pedro struck out 14 that day.
• The many times in the supermarket or in the halls at school or in the mall when we’ve gotten strange looks when someone has overheard me saying to my daughter “You’re high again? Isn’t that like the third time today?” Ha! Why explain and ruin their shock?
So let’s have it. What are your funny moments?