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On the Outside

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Have you ever felt like you were on the outside?  Like you were looking into a life that used to be yours... Should have been yours... But is not your life?

I have.  Saturday. At our pool.

It started out like any other trip to the pool.  We found our suits, applied generous amounts of lotion to our pasty white skin, and crammed floaties and balls and towels, and goggles, and other pool toys into our bag.  I also packed a cooler bag with an icepack, 2 bottles of water and Sweetpea's insulin pump  and cgm on top.

I tested Sweets before we left the house.  She was at a good number.  Although a somewhat low number considering I had treated a low at breakfast with oj and she had gone on to eat chocolate chip pancakes.  I knew I'd need to keep am eye on things. 

I never know how to approach swimming.  In true D form, she never does the same thing twice.  Sometimes the activity will hold her steady.  Sometimes she will drop low. And sometimes being unhooked from the pump is too much and she goes high.  You never know what you're going to get. 

Sweets had a grand ol time jumping in the pool and playing with her toys and such.  She had a bast!  

For me?  It was one of those days...

Sweets enjoys playing with pool toys in the baby pool. I like it because I can sit there and get some sun.  So there we were...  We had just started our day.  I realize that I have no idea what her bg is going to do and we have no safety of Dex. So I remind her that if she feels low, she needs to tell me right away.

The lady sitting next to me says, "Oh!  You must be our neighbors!  We just moved into soandso's house". She was very nice.  

But here I am thinking, "Great.  This lady knows me because she heard me tell Sweets to tell if she was low. Yeah.... We are the house where the ambulance came a couple of weeks ago and the alarms went off and woke the neighborhood.  Yup.  That's us..."

And then I overhear this conversation.  
Mom 1:  Johnny, you need to settle down.  You are not listening to me at all today.
Mom 2:  Mine are acting the same way.  Must be a sugar high.
Mom 1:  Oh yes... I'm sure.  I know how awful that can be and how awful they can behave!

D Mama on side of pool:  (to self) Ladies.... You have NO IDEA what a sugar high is.  You have NO IDEA how "awful" it can be or how it can affect your child's behavior. Do not say another word about a sugar high or I may have to strangle you with the Twizzlers your child is eating directly from the bag that you are paying zero attention to.

And then... I realize the wall clock didn't work. It took awhile for me to realize this.  To most people there it may have been a minor inconvenience. To me, it was a big deal.

  When I finally checked Sweets (Dex was out of range and not picking her up), she was 140. She had received a BIG bolus for the pancakes....  And it hadnt peaked yet.  I needed to check her in 15-20 minutes.  

But how do you gauge that without a clock?  The only thing I had was my phone. Which was in my bag on the other side of the pool - the only empty seat when we got to the pool.  I waited what I thought to be a good guess of time and checked her again.  She was 130. 

Hmmm....  And so it went.  Me guessing on the time, trying to figure out 20 -30 minute increments by the movement of the sun.  Me dragging my kid across the pool to our stuff to pierce her wrinkly little flesh over and over.  (Have you noticed how wrinkly, wet fingers show the holes and damage much more clearly... Ugh...)

To her credit, she did not complain once.  

And then there are the kids running around with chips and candy and soft drinks and what not.... No one is paying any attention to what they are eating. No one is counting.  

And so between the testing, the guessing the time, the eating, the conversation....  I just felt like such an outsider.  p not her.  And I know that we'll go back to the pool and everything will be fine (we have- and it was). And I know there's nothing I can do about some of these things...  My child DOES have diabetes. And this is just our life. And even with all the crappy D things included...  It's a great life!

There are just times when it hurts, when it stings more than others.  There are just days when it feels like we are on outside.  And Saturday was one of those days. 



  1. Oh I so know what you are talking about. In fact, I've had one of those days very recently. You described it well. Thanks for such a great post. ((HUGS))

  2. I love this post caused described my day to a t.

    I think they knew who you were cause your the most fab mamas on the block!

    Sometimes a DOC island sounds amazing.

    I get it.

  3. Swim season is always tough for us too, both emotionally AND sugar wise. :(

  4. This post reminds me of how I feel at birthday parties, barbecues, events with buffets, and even the park. The difference is always there.

    Sugar high? They have NO idea!!!

  5. I have so been there, Hallie!
    To be jealous of 'normal' and want to rip their heads off for the 'sugar high' comments!!
    They have no clue...and honestly I hope they never will.
    Glad Sweetpea enjoyed her pool time! ;)

  6. Oh man, did you hit the nail on the head with this post. You just wrote about my "Summer Life" that I am about to embark on in a week and a half Hallie.

    "keep swimming"...that is our mantra.

    AND...couldn't help but chuckle at the "Strangling with the Twizzler" comment. :)

  7. I know how you feel. When people make comments, it really gets you where it hurts and you want to just strangle them!! But we all move past those feelings and somehow we go on day after day and forget that our normal isn't others and somehow we stay happy and fortunate for what we do have. :) xoxo

  8. Oh Hallie I so get this post and can relate, it brought me to tears. I feel like that a lot and I just want to scream sometimes! I sighed outloud when I read the "sugar high" comment from the other Mom. Twizzler strangling sounds like a great solution. Maybe us D-Moms should start keeping that on hand to treat lows as well as for dealing with annoying people. And the clock....yes, that would be a major pain in the that you were trying to tell time by the movement of the sun!

    We went to a diabetes support group the other night and it was such a good feeling to be surrounded by others who get it. Even though I don't know them very well, I still felt more "known" than I do lately in situations such as you experienced. We get you!

  9. I HATE when people say their kids are on a sugar high. It's so different, and they have NO idea. : (

    Next time? Waterproof watch and better seats? And apparently pancakes got you through! : )
    Hooray for the teensy things. : )

  10. I've been there and have been feeling this way for a week or so no, I'm in a D-slump. I hate those stupid comments about sugar high's and diabetic coma's too. (But when I get pissed and want to kill someone, I try to remember that I said stupid crap like that back before D....a lifetime ago)

  11. Oh boy, I hear ya!
    I often feel like an outsider and sometimes even around people I have known for a very long time that just don't "get it".

    I particulary like the part in your post about strangling the woman with the twizzler.

  12. Hallie, are you living in my house? Pool party last night...hated to pull Kate out of the pool to check BG and then snack and bolus...and wait....looking at my cell phone clock. But I think I'm going to buy a timer to keep in the pool bag.

  13. Oh yes, I feel like the outsider times 2 now. I feel like I stare at my cell phone when we are at the pool.

  14. Oh boy how I can relate to this. I had to sit and listen to "sugar high" comments a couple of weekends ago...from family nonetheless (at least not CLOSE family...they know better). I also hate having to pull C out of the pool every so often...and the never knowing what her sugar is going to Sweets, Charlotte doesn't seem to have a pattern with her sugar and swimming.

  15. There. Feeling very alone and on the outside these days, from EVERY angle. I had the same overwhelming feeling at the pool just yesterday. Ha! I suppose since we have felt the same, we really aren't alone, right?

  16. I so LOVE your posts... thanks for sharing :) It's like reading my own thoughts sometimes! Blessings, Lori

  17. And...yes! I just had the same thought on the pruney fingers and how you can see all the holes. Ugh! We went to the pool last week for the first time this summer and it was empty (because it was COLD and NOT pool weather...but you know the 5 year old and the "you promised to take me today!!!" speech!)
    The only other mother there struck up a conversation with me and for once...nothing about D. She has 5 girls and a boy! OMG! She asked nothing about Ellie and all the devices hanging off of her??? Not the norm for me! But as I left, refreshed and happy from our visit, I thought, ya she has 6 kids...probably NO IDEA about D or what it is we do for Ellie on a daily basis. But she knows exhaustion, chaos, depression, fear, overwhelmed, etc...She knows NOT to ask and just speak to me like she would any other mother at the pool! Made my day really! So I wish for you the Mrs. Holland I met at the pool last week! Loves and hugs!

  18. I think the day that stung the most after my sweet K2's diagnosis was the first time the ice cream truck came after that. I was NOT prepared. She'd already had an afternoon snack but she sees all the neighborhood kids getting treats. She practically chases the ice cream truck saying "me not get none" and I turned into a sobbing mess right in the middle of the front yard. You're soooo right. Sometimes it stings more than others...


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