Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kindergarten & Best Friends


Most of you know that Nate starts kindergarten this year.  I've known it was coming and made all of the preparations I know to make.  Last week I was overly stressed about completing Nate's 504 meeting and training the staff on how to care for him.  I was literally in tears for days and poured my heart out to my friend, Shay.  I told her how hard it is to navigate all of this alone and that I was feeling completely overwhelmed.  Not many friends understand, really understand what it takes to care for Nate.  Truthfully, only another parent with a T1 child can know the stress and fear that I have about sending Nate to school and trusting that someone else will keep him alive.

The next morning as I prepared for my meetings and got cleaned up for the day I heard the front door open and in walked Shay!  She came over to go with me to the training and to the 504 meetings for both Sophie and Nate.  I had been quietly crying that morning and was seriously thinking to myself --- I just cannot do this -- is it too late to look into homeschooling?  I know Shay would do anything for me, Ian and for my children but I was blown away by this seemingly small gesture.  Having someone by your side during a difficult time always makes it a bit easier and this was no exception.

She stayed with me through the training and the 504 meetings which lasted over 3 hours all together.  The training went great and I'm feeling good about our school nurse and her back up which is the office manager (whose son happens to have T1).  In the 504 meeting we met with the nurse, the VP, the school counselor, the PE coach (also the head of all specials teachers), both of Sophie's teachers and Nate's kinder teacher.  It was almost like we were old friends! They wanted to know all about Nate and Sophie, both of their diagnosis stories, but mostly they wanted to know what they needed to know and what they needed to do to keep them both safe and healthy.  We laughed, we cried and we put plans in place.  Shay chimed in and gave her opinion and most importantly helped me keep my composure in a very important yet emotional meeting.

Shay knows what I do for all of my babies, she knows I don't sleep, she knows about Crohn's and diabetes and she knows how passionate I am about both.  She's done research on her own about T1 and CD and is pretty knowledgeable but I think even she was emotionally exhausted after the training and meetings.  She now has even more of an understanding of how much has to be done to prepare a school to keep both of these sweet babies safe.

I'm so lucky to have Shay in my life!

On Friday she posted the following message to me on FB:


Dear Laura,

Monday, Nate starts kindergarten and everything will NOT be all right. It will be a stressful, fucked up, bloody nightmare. Literally - there will be blood. There will be tears; yours and his and possibly innocent bystander's. There will be panic attacks, yelling, second guesses, sleeplessness (more so than usual), and Tommy Lee Jones may be there to announce, "we have a runner; search every out house, farm house, and locker." If, by chance, Nate makes it to his class, you may get the call that he has taught everyone a few new choice words like - oh I don't know - holy shitballs, for instance.

Once the dust settles, then you will worry more. Did the nurse check his bs after PE? (you're welcome) Did he get bolused? Has his alarm gone off and nobody noticed? Did some well meaning kid share few twinkies in the lunch room without a teacher seeing? And at the end of each school day you will rush to the school and hug Nate tightly and never want to let him go, just because he made it through the day and is alive.

But on the bright side---> there is no bright side. Diabetes is a MOTHERFUCKER. However, if anyone is an ass-kicking diabetes rockstar, it is you. You do what you do because you love Nate and you must. There is not a choice. Nate is an amazing little dude who will grow into an amazing man. Sending him to school will never get easier, but it will become just another routine in your "new normal" that you'll have to adapt to.

All that said, thank you for allowing me to join you yesterday at the school for the nurse training and 504 meeting (as if you had a choice). I enjoy being a part of your diabetes world, as crazy as that sounds, and gleaning knowledge and understanding about T1 and what D-parents go through. I am in awe of your organizational skills and ability to educate people, make them laugh, make them cry, and impress the shit out of them simultaneously.

Take solace in knowing everyone is jealous of your bad-assery, though they would never admit to it. You got this shit.

STS 

Now that we are all crying ---- that is one bad ass friend that totally knows me, my love of over-cussing in stressful situations, and understands how hard tomorrow is going to be for both me and Nate. 

In case you missed my post about Nate's extreme separation anxiety and how he totally uses the D card to his advantage -- you can read it here {Separation Anxiety & Controlling Diabetes} Tomorow will be overwhelming for all parties involved to say the very least.  

Tonight I read Nate a nice story about kindergarten before bed.  Once done he told me that he HATED kindergarten but would like to wear his new Minecraft shirt tomorrow if he has to go.  ---Seems like a step in the right direction.

So, in conclusion I would like to publicly thank you, Shay for being so supportive and let you know that I bawled like a baby when I read the post but mostly my heart was happy because you get it, you get me and you get D.  Thank you, shit Talking Shay for being so completely fucking bad ass . . . I love you!

PS - even though Ian was talking smack on that post he told me that he teared up when he read it.  You're welcome!  

Shay and Laura - 2013

Shay is in the middle & I'm in back on the right - possibly 1991

It's ok to laugh!

Everyone have a wonderful 1st day back at school.  

Love,

5 comments:

Sassy STS said...

OK- I had watery liquid fall from my eye, but just the left one, so I win!

I know it seems like I understand T1- but like you said, unless you live it, one can not truly understand. I just want to be a close second and let you know you're not alone!

Now GTFTS because tomorrow will be difficult enough with the little amount of sleep you already get.

PS. Wear your running shoes! :)

Cassie Thompson said...

Pretty sure I ♥ your friend Shay. She is bad ass, no doubt. Everyone needs a friend like her!
Good luck tomorrow! I'm sending my t1 senior to his last first day tomorrow.

Penny said...

How wonderful to have a friend like Shay! I loved her letter and you got this, Laura. Nate will kick some booty and you will too.

Kelly said...

Well, I DID laugh at the pictures of you and Shay from 1991ish!! Thats some stylin hair!! What a special friend you have there :)

My heart is with you today as you send Nate off to Kinder! I never left the parking lot the day Maddi returned to school after diagnosis. I just sat there and cried, paralized with fear. But, it sounds like you had a super informative meeting, and I just know you covered all the bases!

And, let me say, it DOES get easier to trust the caregivers and the time they spend at school!! Not anytime soon unfortunately, but it does. Took me at least 5 years to not question and worry about every hour that went by. -Sigh-

My advice to you is to call the school nurse and check in if you need to! I have for the last 7 years, and it helps bring the nurses knowledge of your D child to a whole new level! When we can talk them through decision and reasons of WHY, they learn much more than any meeting could ever provide!

((HUGS))

Sarah said...

Tears...oh man you got an incredible friend. I hope today, day two, of kinder is much smoother. ((HUGS)) We're starting in 9 days and my stomach is in nots. Our 504 meeting wasn't as smooth. It was a mess actually with the school feeling like they already "knew" how it all worked. This will definitely be a long fall with many transitions.