We met at the International House of Pancakes at 8:30 Saturday morning. I had seen M at church before but had never really talked to him. My kids had told me that he was cool because he helped out at Vacation Bible School over the summer and he was a lot of fun.
When I shook his hand I noticed black and orange rubber bands on his braces and I knew in an instant that this was the beginning of a good friendship. That is totally something I would have done.
With sat down with Sean, the youth pastor at church and also one of my very good friends, and started the getting to know you chit chat. We shared diagnosis stories and he was laughing at me (as most people do) about my “maybe I had a large dinner” statement.
Anyhow, he was laughing at the fact that he also was thirsty all the time. In fact, Sean mentioned how he was in the bathroom every 10 minutes last Sunday night at youth group. It was great seeing him laughing about it all and thinking it was funny because he didn’t know what was wrong at the time.
He wanted to know if was going to be able to enjoy the foods and things in life that used to before the D and I told him that he just needs to make sure he manages it correctly but there is no reason he should feel he is missing out on anything.
The waiter stopped by and asked if we were ready to order and of course, with all the gabbing I was doing we were not. We asked him to come back to the table in a few and we opened up our menus. M looked at me and said, “what should I have?” He had told me that with his breakfast dose of insulin, he was to have 105 carbs. He is a very thin kid and is very active. I was a bit jealous but I did not tell him that!
I told him, “Why don’t you pick what you want and we will see if we need to order it differently or minus some carbs if we must. What do you want dude?”
“I haven’t had pigs in a blanket since I was like in single digits,” he said which cracked me up.
I opened up my Calorie King book and figured out the carbs for the breakfast he wanted. We decided to add an order of toast to finish off his required carb intake and then ordered. He took out his syringe and asked if one of us could help him take his shot. The pharmacy gave him 1/2” syringes so he could not take it in his stomach or leg. He has hardly any fat there (jealous again). So he asked if one of us could give it to him in his arm. I told Sean, “Dude, you do it!” I wish I would have had a camera. His face was a white as a ghost. I let him off the hook of course and M and I went into the bathroom (his request) and I gave him his shot.
When we got back to the table he wanted to look through the Carb book I had. He really liked it but his favorite part was looking up food that he would probably never eat.
“Dude, we can eat all the ants and hog ears we want! Opossum and Canned Bee Maggots are also no carbs. SWEET!” Did I mention how cool this kid is?
All and all it was a very good experience. He seemed to have a very good attitude.
Last night I ran into his parents at a Halloween Event at our church called “Trunk or Treat.” All of the parents decorate their car trunks and the kids come around and trick or treat in the parking lot. Always a lot of fun.
Anyhow, his parents were so thankful and kind. I assured them that it was my pleasure and that I would love to be there for them too. My wife came over and introduced herself and also offered her help and ear if Mom or Dad ever has a question or needs to vent. (my wife is so great like that) I saw both of them well up with tears which caused me to join in.
Seeing the look of uncertainty. The look of fear and confusion. I remembered back to hearing my father crying on the phone when I was diagnosed and it brought back so many awful feelings.
I am so thankful that I can be there for them.
Of course, I wish I didn’t have to at all.