My vision was tunneling, the periphery clouding. I had to hunch myself over a bit in an effort to avoid passing out. I was hoping the lady would stop talking and move on. The lady was an acquaintance-y friend of mine. She is the mother of one of Joe's school-mates. I had not talked to her in a couple of years.
I had just popped off a 5 mile run without hydration. The humidity and heat were elevated. It was on July 4th. I ran into this acquaintance-y friend of mine on the sidewalk about a mile from my home. About a mile from hydration!
"He's doing well."
"How's his diabetes?"
How to answer? How to answer? It's good? I mean really? Is it ever good? Sure. I can smile and pretend it is all well and fine and that Joe and I just luuuuvvvvvvvv checking blood sugars, counting carbohydrates, and changing pump sites and staving off lows, while avoiding the long-term complications of highs. The easy answer... the easy answer is just like the response we all give when someone asks how we are doing in passing. The easy answer is "good".
Still feeling a bit passing-out-ish...
She (Joe's~school-mate's~mother) then went onto tell me about a childhood friend of hers. She had a childhood friend. She had Type 1 Diabetes. She did fine through childhood...grew-up...went to college. She came home from college for a school break (Christmas Break? I cannot remember)...she took a nap... she never woke-up...her mother found her dead ... dead from the diabetes.
Welp. Good to know that I don't have to go with the "good" response here.
"How's Joe's diabetes?"
The words "good" or "bad" are too polarized. I need something more general to describe Joe's diabetes on most days. But then there are some days that "good" sums it up. And then there are days that the word "bad" is perfect.
My general answer when asked "How's Joe's diabetes?" will be:
Joe's diabetes bears watching and managing; not just day-to-day, but hour-to-hour.
In response to Joe's~school~mate's~mother about her friend:
I live with knowing that there is that possibility that I will get "the call" someday. You know, "the call" that your son was found down and has been taken by ambulance to the hospital. I live with being as prepared as one can be for walking in on an unconscious (or worse) Joe. I do not live in fear. I just simply live knowing this is my reality.
A day-in-the-life of trying to explain being a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes.