Last night was a beautiful evening to suit up for some lacrosse!
We have been placing the POD (omnipod-insulin infusion device) a bit higher up on his torso so it’s protected by his gear when he plays. Last night, in the scuffle that is lacrosse, Frankie’s pod took a direct hit from a stick that went up under his gear, and ended with a player pile up—Frankie on his back—pod taking a bounce on the ground. He stood up and looked across the field right at me, reaching behind to his back for the pod. In that one look, the silent communication between parent and child with diabetes, he told me that something was up. Then I got the hand signal—flat palm up-the ‘don’t need you’ sign. Another communication we have—signals from the field if he needs us. Hard as it was—I respect the signal and stay where I am.
He plays on-sending more signals now and then-the thumbs up-‘I’m okay sign’, the flat palm-‘don’t come over’ sign, the swishing hand-‘my pods messed up’ sign, and right back to the flat palm-‘don’t come over’ sign. If I didn’t get the signals—he knows I would come to the sidelines—he respects that I worry—so he sends them—both to keep me in my seat and to let me know he is okay. Hard as it is—I stay in my seat—I respect him back—his diabetes, his body, his lacrosse game. Frankie has earned this trust and respect—at age 10—he doesn’t mess around with his diabetes—he never has—and these signals were his idea. I am jittery in my seat and thinking about how much older he is than his years.
Finally, game over! Frankie makes his way to me, stripping off all his gear. I have out the glucometer-to check his glucose level. His face is stoic-as he takes his BG he says “will you grab my gear-I’ll be in the car-we need to go Mom” a tear escapes. He sucks a breath in-stoic face comes back. BG 107-great! He grabs an after sports drink-because that 107 will be a dropping number after all the activity, and his kit- heads to the car. I pack the gear-get to the car—where full on crying is taking place. “Drive!” he says. “I need to check the pod” I say. “It’s coming off, please just drive.” Frankie responds. His buddy comes over to ask if Frankie’s okay- “yes, yes-the pod just got knocked” I say. Frankie says “Drive!” I put the car in gear and go.
Car conversation is tough—through tears—“pod got ripped half off, it hurts, I’m getting a headache.” We make it home, and seeing the house Frankie calms down. A check of the pod—the needle didn’t come out—just part of the other side—we need to tape it down—and watch to make sure it’s working still. Frankie eats, insulin delivers successfully! Yahoo! (Okay-several overnight checks it is!)
A few Tylenol for the headache and Frankie tells the story to Dad “I wanted to-but I didn’t cry. I didn’t want them to think I couldn’t play cause of diabetes.” —ending with
“There is no crying in Lacrosse.”