Elementary School.....My Dear Watson

Elementary School was a very formative time. My parents were adapting to having a child with T1D and I was wrapping my head around my new "condition". I simply saw it as an excuse to bring snacks to school to eat "whenever I felt weird". Shakiness was not a term used quite yet but, Hey! I have snacks. 

Because the doctors were still sorting out my carbohydrate ratio and we were still in the NO-SUGAR Era of Diabetes, my diet was pretty restrictive. I was picked up everyday at lunch to go home to eat a regulated lunch and watch Wishbone and the dumb kids on Where In the World is Carmen San Diego? (Those kids were so dumb they don't know where the Eiffel Tower is!). 

This is what I describe as the "Parental Supervision and Planning" stage. My parents spent so many hours supervising my every hunger pain, headache, stomachache, and food intake. It was all so foreign for a fist-hand point of view. My mom helped raise her brother, but this was a whole new job to keep an eye on their newly diagnosed son. It tough to try and form labels to how a little developing boy is feeling and at a certain point it gets confusing and frustrating. My parents always had a plan - both High BG levels and Low BG levels. My little brother also adapted and labeled himself as a strict observer to my every behavior. If I started saying anything weird or confusion (to him) I had to test my BG. Snacks and juice were plentiful, injections happened randomly, and I didn't feel too connected to my Diabetes. My parents had taken such a strong stance as my Diabetes managers that I felt disconnected. It wasn't disconnected in any negative sense - It was disconnected like I didn't really need to pay any attention. 

I believe it's due to a mixture of my inability to fully understand my condition and my parents drive to ensure that I wouldn't have to deal with any complications. At that point without my full acknowledgement my management was reaction-focused. My parents had a plan for either side of the BG spectrum and I was just along for the ride. 

By the time 4th and 5th grade came around, I felt like I was able to describe my symptoms and I had a sliver of control to react to any symptoms at school. I found the best understanding of Diabetes to be when I had to start explaining to classmates why I was able to bring snacks and why I had to go to the office for injections. After the 100th time explaining it, I had a fair-to-good grasp of what I was talking about. Then, Insulin was not advanced to the point where we would have a BG drop within the first 30 minutes of delivery, so up until 1999 we were riding the wave of highs and lows with very little control.