Friday, July 26, 2013

Things are just different with this one

Twenty days from now, my youngest child will start kindergarten.

I've sent off three others, nervous and unsure of how they would adapt. Some were more ready than the rest. All of them moved seamlessly from preschool to kindergarten in the same building with the same friends and the same familiar faces.

This time it's different.

He didn't go to preschool there. He didn't go to preschool at all for most of this year.

His health got in the way.

Back in October, a fairly routine trip to the doctor for a lingering cold turned into something else entirely when we discovered that his blood sugar was much, much higher than it should have been. Since then, we've had this cycle of testing at home, blood draws every few months, specialist physicians, emergency phone calls, and worry.

A lot of worry.

He is in a rarely experienced pre-diabetic window.

He insists on doing it himself.
He shows many risk factors for Type 1 diabetes, but he isn't there yet. He could turn the corner at any moment, or he could outgrow it and a live a life free of insulin and pumps and needles. We don't know what will happen.

No one does.

There is no crystal ball in anyone's office that tells the future for a kid like him.

His sugar has been in the normal range for a few months now save a few outliers, but he hasn't been sick either. We pulled him from school in October when we realized how much his moods were being dictated by his levels.

Without a firm diagnosis, we don't have any sort of treatment plan other than to wait and watch.

And to keep that emergency phone number handy in case the day comes when we need it.

I feel better when I can lay hands on him, when I can see him with my own eyes, when the monitor is right here and I can check him.

The trouble is that he could be in this limbo stage for years.

His doctor actually recommended against a health plan at this point because he'll only be in school for a few hours a day, in the mornings, when his sugars are normally the most stable. The health clerk isn't even in the building when he will be there. There is no insulin to give him yet because his pancreas is still working. We essentially have no treatment plan to write down.

And I'm scared to death.

I tell myself that he will be fine.

He's a resilient child, maybe the most of them all. He's already had to deal with things that the other kids haven't. He's been though two surgeries and sits patiently for blood draws from his veins when kids twice his age scream and fight.

He just knows that things are different for him. He's sensed it for a while now.

I tell myself that he will be fine.

Maybe I'm convincing myself.

When the day comes that I let this one go, when I put him in the hands of someone else, even though it's only for a few hours a day, it's going to take everything in me to hold it together.

I don't worry about whether he'll adjust to the schedules. I don't worry about his socialization. I don't worry about his motor skills or his readiness. I don't worry about his behavior.

I certainly don't worry about whether his backpack is the right one or whether his clothes match and his hair is perfectly combed.

I have bigger things to worry about with this one.

Much bigger.

To his future teacher, I don't know who you are yet, but I'm apologizing in advance if I hover sometimes. This boy of mine is amazing. He's strong and independent, he's confident and outgoing, he's so excited to be in your classroom every day. He can't wait to be a kindergartener.

You would never think that there is anything that could be going terribly wrong inside his tiny body, but looks can be deceiving.

He's more fragile than he seems, but he won't let you treat him that way.

So, don't.

Treat him like every other five year old in your class. Treat him like he is healthy and normal. Treat him like there is nothing wrong with him. Just teach him.

Let me do the worrying. It comes with the job description.

I will just ask you to please be patient with me when I do it.


  1. Hang in there, Momma. It's so damned hard to trust your child's health to strangers, especially when you can't hand him over with instructions and a plan.

  2. We ran into lactose intolerance in kindergarten..I had no idea until then that it was not always just something you were born with or without. We had frequent notes about headaches and bellyaches and generally just a need to go to the clinic or so they thought. Her teachers were great and really helped. At Five she didn't know yet that cupcakes had milk in them and so did pudding and many other very unsuspecting things. I know it is no where near what you are going through but for me.....I was already a helicopter parent(frequently called preschool at least once a day if not more.I actually had to wean myself off that) We worry. It IS what we do. I feel ya!

    Aka Chronically sick manic mother(because blogspot and I still beg the differ on my existence)

  3. As a mother, I can feel your pain and have been there with my own asthmatic child. It is hard to let go of your child when they have depended on only you for there health needs. However, as a teacher, I am seeing more and more health concerns in the classroom. Know that communication is the key. If you don't tell me, I don't know. If it makes you feel more at ease, as for a communication book or daily email if the teacher notices any changes in behavior that may be a trigger for a more serious issue.
    Don't feel guilty! You are the one person in the world that knows your child best. It's okay to worry. I think that is in the mother's manual, though I never got mine.


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