Flyovers (and other unexpected events)

About four years ago, at an Edwardsburg High School Homecoming game, there was a surprise that blew everyone's minds...a flyover! While we had seen this type of thing before at huge Notre Dame games, we never imagined one at our little high school! (Turns out, you just have to have the right connections, and a nice donor.) Since then, we've had something special (i.e. sky divers or flyovers) before every homecoming game. Last night was no exception. And although we have come to almost expect it, we are still surprised every single time, when these amazing jets appear out of seemingly nowhere! Such is the life of a Type 1 Diabetic (T1D). Although we are coming to expect certain events, they still seem to appear out of nowhere, flying right into our faces.

Out of nowhere!

Out of nowhere!

Homecoming week is very busy, with dress-up days, float building, and a wild Friday filled with pep rallies, parades and the big game. It has been wonderful to see Leah back in the saddle, and enjoying all the hullabaloo a junior in high school should. Even so, we are still trying to figure out what the "new normal" is on a daily basis. Just as the flyover planes before the big game last night appeared out of nowhere, a T1D crisis can pop up very quickly. Here's a snapshot of some of the adjustments we've had to make this week:

  • Saturday/Sunday: Leah experienced her first "lows" in her blood sugars. While highs are considered urgent, lows are emergent, and she needs to get some sugar in her system quickly. She's learning to identify her own low symptoms (shakiness is the most evident), and how her body reacts to quick sugars, like glucose tablets. She carries a tube of these tablets with her at all times, and has found that eating four of them will increase her blood sugar by about 30, in 15 minutes.

  • Monday: Not related to her diabetes, Leah went to physical therapy. She is still working on increasing her core strength and stamina after her spinal fusion surgery. It looks like we only have one more visit and we can take that off of our schedule!

  • Tuesday: Leah really needed a new bag so she could carry her diabetic supplies with her and not set things down and forget them. Now, I really think a girl's bag is the type of thing that deserves a post of it's own (with pictures of course), so for now I'll just say we went shopping and got her a new bag. I'm sorry to leave you suspended on the edge of your seats, but you'll hear more about this later! ;)

  • Wednesday: Our usual band rehearsal from 6-9 p.m. was preceded by a Pit Section rehearsal (a "sectional") from 5-6 p.m. We picked up Little Ceasar's for the section, and Leah used her phone to check the number of carbs in a piece of pizza, breadstick, etc. Monitoring these numbers has become a necessary part of our "new normal."

  • Thursday: Leah had another follow-up doctor appointment with our family doctor. Blood tests show that her Vitamin D is low, and may be causing mild back spasms and occasional leg cramps during the night. She will be taking prescription Vitamin D for 4 weeks, and then smaller amounts on a regular basis. I've since read that this deficiency is commonly linked to T1D, and in part might even be related to the cause of it.

  • Friday: We had one hour after school to get ready and back to school for our pre-game band rehearsal. The girls changed, had a quick supper-snack, and Leah checked her blood glucose (BG) and gave her insulin shot. In her rush, she failed to notice that she had used her last test strip (for measuring BG). Sometime in the middle of the 2nd quarter of the game I received a text: "Mom, I'm all out of test strips!!!!!!! :'( " Our conversation went on from there trying to figure out what to do. She felt a little shaky, which could indicate low blood sugar (i.e. emergent), but couldn't know for sure. Since it would be less dangerous for her to be high than low, we decided it was safest for her to take some glucose tablets before playing at half-time. After the float parade (Juniors won!), the crowning of the queen, and the fireworks, I drove home and grabbed a new canister of test strips. A half-hour later when I returned, the game was delayed (and later ended) due to lightning, and the band was heading inside. Leah checked her BG and it was around 100, so I'm glad we had decided to take the glucose tabs. (Btw, our Eddies won...45-7!).

  • Saturday (this morning): The busyness continues...after BG check, breakfast, and insulin, Leah (and Chloe) headed off to school for band pictures, rehearsal and later, competition. She arrived at school to find a surprise treat of Krispy Kreme donuts (Leah LOVES donuts). Again, we needed to text, and strategize, and plan our attack. There's no such thing as spontaneous eating in the life of a T1D.

As you can see, we are learning the ins and outs, and highs and lows, of diabetes. While it feels all-consuming at times, we can't let it be. We do have another daughter at home who loves (and sometimes demands) our attention, not to mention the out-of-town older sons who we're still keeping up with. We watched Chloe enjoy her first homecoming as a high-school student (she did have a great time, btw, and went to her first HS dance!), and we've prayed for Tom's dad and my brother-in-law Steve who were both hospitalized this past week. We're learning to take life one day (or one hour, or one minute) at a time, complete with flyovers and other unexpected events.