I had the pleasure of finally connecting with my dear friend Katie – a busy mother of two active boys, business professional, and person who dedicates time to so many causes. We don’t get to see each other often so I cherish when we can and I was thrilled to have her youngest son Vail (aka BEEF) join us for a stroll around town. I’ve known Vail since birth and he has always been interested in my life with diabetes. He asks the hard hitting questions – some that are honestly hard for me to answer and the very reason why I’m writing this post.
We were off to a late start so it was nice and steamy, but that didn’t stop us. We loaded up on sunscreen, low BG snacks and water. I quickly realized after they arrived that Vail was on a mission to ride a VEO which are everywhere in the downtown Norman/ Campus Corner areas. No problem – he could ride his little heart out while Katie and I caught up on life.
Soon into our outing Katie mentioned that Vail had asked about my diabetes. I can’t recall the details, but my Dexcom was brought up. I’ve been very open about my life with T1D especially when he was my sous chef on a couple of culinary adventures.
When we set off my blood sugar was a little elevated, but I knew the exercise and heat would quickly bring it down. After strolling for about an hour we stopped at Pinkberry so Vail could snag a sweet treat. I purchased a water and they perused the options. Frozen treats in hand we sat and enjoyed the goodies and A/C when my blood sugar started to drop. I asked Vail if he would please share his peachy treat and he kindly obliged.
During our Pinkberry stop we chatted about life, summer plans, etc. when hit me up with a few questions.
- Are you married?
- Do you have kids?
- Do you have pets?
- Are you lonely?
I laughed and reassured him I enjoy my life and didn’t dare bring up dating someone in fear of more questions. I love his curiosity and ability to ask questions. We’ve always had deep conversations and I hope they continue throughout both of our lives.
My blood sugar stabilized so we set out to find another VEO and continue our steps. While navigating the graduation day excitement on Campus he asked – “Why do you have diabetes and how did you get it?” Mind blown!
I started to ramble T1D facts, but quickly remembered my 8 year old audience – the age I was diagnosed. I did my best, but honestly stumbled through how to explain this. I brought up auto immune stuff, the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and that I didn’t catch it from anyone nor could I give it to anyone. As the conversation continued I was honestly disappointed in my inability to clearly explain diabetes to him. This conversation also made me reflect on how I processed the Type 1 diabetes diagnosis at his age.
Definitely a therapy moment and has me asking – how would you describe diabetes to an 8 year old inquiring mind?