I know That Tune

Yesterday both my boys had games. Middle kiddo had a lacrosse game and youngest kiddo had a soccer game. The games would play nearly at the same time in opposite directions from each other. My husband had to be at work all day. Thankfully we have been with the soccer team since August and I have a number of friends on the team. Friends that understand diabetes because Sugarboy has developed friendships with his teammates and has hung out with them before. That meant I could send my youngest into Seattle with another family to play his game and not worry about him. Sadly it meant I would be missing his game. My Middles has only been with the LAX team for about a month or so. I don’t know the coaches or any of the parents on his team. Middles has talked to his coach about diabetes and the coach keeps a bottle of mountain dew in his coach bag in case Middles needs it. Middles obviously keeps many fast carbs with him as well. Still I’m not quite ready to send the boy off for a 45 min warm up and 2 hour fast paced LAX game without me or his dad.

After wishing Sugarboy luck and sending him off with friends to his soccer game I loaded up Middles and drove him 30 minutes away to his game. It was raining so instead of watching the 45 minute warm up I dropped the boy and headed to the Starbucks just up the road. A mom and young girl (4 maybe) were ahead of me in line. She mom ordered a latte and the girl a glass of milk and old-fashioned donut. Then the young girl found a comfy seat by the window. I ordered my drink and took my place by the pick-up counter. Just behind me in the plush chairs I thought I heard the familiar sound of a pop. The pop that you hear when the plunger on a lancing device releases to pierce the skin of a tiny finger. I honestly thought I had imagined it. I didn’t turn around to look because at the time I was watching a baby goat play with a dog on my phone.

A moment later the mom was standing at the pick-up counter looking desperate. She called out to one of the baristas to get their attention. The one who heard her said “I’ll be right with you ma’am”. She spoke again – she said “I just need some juice”. Then I turned around. I saw that same sweet young girl from the front this time. Her face was pale. Her eyes sunk. Her body seemed like it was being held up with silly string. I looked at the mom. She was agitated and nearly frantic. I opened my purse took out 4oz box of juicy juice and a roll of smarties. I tapped her shoulder. She didn’t look at me first she looked behind her at her daughter. Then she looked at me and I put the juice and smarties in her hand. She didn’t thank me. She barely made eye contact. She just popped the straw as she rushed the 6 feet back to her daughter.

Her daughter sucked the box until it collapsed on itself as mom opened the smarties.

I looked around – it was something out of a science fiction movie where everyone was frozen. A dozen strangers were watching the comfy chairs. I heard an “excuse me” behind me and turned to find the barista standing there. He handed me my venti latte and asked if I was with the woman and child. I said no and then said “but if you could just pour a half cup of any kind of juice into a cup it would really help her”. He looked past me and then did what I asked. I took the juice to the mom.

Looking up I could see the strangers turning back to their own conversations, phones and laptops.

I turned to walk away and a shaking hand took mine. I stopped. I didn’t know what to say because honestly I felt like any word would make this mom – this Dmom burst into tears. There was so much fear in her eyes.

I put my other hand on the moms shoulder and told her it would all be fine. The child seemed greatly recovered. The mom motioned with her head for me to sit in another plush chair. I did. I think she was afraid to talk too.

I asked what the number was.


I asked when her daughter was diagnosed.

13 days ago.

The child was now eating her old-fashioned donut.

The mom said “I was so scared”

I said “I know”

We sat in silence for a bit.

Then she asked, “how did you know?”

I said “I heard a pop and saw myself in your face”

We chatted for about 15 minutes. When was my child diagnosed and how old was she? Wow, all three kids, is that common?

I assured her multiples were not common.

Then she said “everyone was just staring at us”

I said “it happens, they don’t mean anything, its human nature”

I had to head to my son’s game. She was off somewhere too.

I gave her my card and invited her to contact me anytime.

Driving back to the LAX field, in those 10 minutes after a conversation that we all think of all the better things we could have said I thought I should have quoted Fredrick Nietzsche.

“And those seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”

EDITED – Since posting this yesterday I have come back to add something:

Many of you have left comments here, on twitter or on the SWIS Facebook page praising me. I appreciate that – I truly do. However I didn’t really do anything that any of you wouldn’t have done, plus I am severely uncomfortable accepting praise in this situation. I would like you to consider the other mom. Her daughter had been diagnosed just 13 days prior. Yet she has her daughter at Starbucks, buying her an old-fashioned donut (which are my favorite too btw) and is checking her child’s blood sugar in public and had the child not been severely low had intended on injecting her daughter right there in the plush chairs of the local Starbucks before her daughter consumed her milk and donut. The real ‘hero’ in this story is not another parent of a cwd that happened to have some juice – the hero is the mom who has not allowed diabetes to change their Saturday morning routine of a donut at Starbucks. The hero is the mom who admitted to a stranger she was scared. I hope the mom calls me or texts me. I didn’t have any of my business cards for my advocacy I only have my substitute teacher cards. I told her she could find SWIS on FB and the web but it was a short visit that focused on her daughter not me. I do hope she finds here way here though and when she does I hope she will read comments about her bravery not me.

(not that I don’t appreciate all the love guys – I prefer it in the form of Egg shaped Reeses cups though)

11 thoughts on “I know That Tune

    1. Colleen – just to clarify. The mom had fast carbs in her car. They were going to take their donut and latte to go. She had her daughter’s meter and insulin in her purse. The mom did exactly what any of us would have done – sought out fast carbs as quickly as possible. Honestly – if that were me 13 days in from our first diagnosis I wouldn’t have had my shit together as well as she did. I probably would have been screaming to call 911.
      Also – I believe we are all exactly where the universe needs us to be.


  1. First: I thought, from the subject line, this would be about tunes played from an insulin pump. It wasn’t.

    Second: I thought you (or other readers) might second-guess how you could leave one kid at a soccer game and another at a lacrosse game without your being there with an arsenal of backup emergency supplies and maternal oversight was neglegent. You (and I assume the readers) didn’t. And for what it’s worth, I think that sending your kid off with his own supplies, including an ample amount of your trust, is the absolute BEST thing you could do.

    Third: I thought this would be just another story of a D-Meetup/D-savior. But I was wrong; it was more than that. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I read “21” — and I could feel the emotion in her voice when I read “13 days” and “I was so scared”.

    Your being there to provide the immediate help the child needed may have saved the day, but your calmness, reassuring confidence, and example may have saved decades.

    Fourth: After reading the entire post in my feed-reader, I clicked on the link to come directly to the site to comment. The first thing I saw was the subtitle of this blog: “it never gets easier, you get better.” That summarizes, perfectly, the day you described, and hopefully the message you passed on to the family at Starbucks.

    Well done. But at this rate, you may accomplish so much so quickly that you run out of ways to get better. Then what?


    1. Thanks Scott. I do take readers on a trip before getting to my point sometimes.
      As far as running out of ways to get better I’d like to modify Vice President John Hoynes quote to Toby from the Steakhouse Filibuster episode “The total tonnage of what I DON’T know that others do could stun a team of oxen in its tracks”


  2. crying. so much ugly crying. first at the original post, then at the edit. thank you for sharing. I know for a fact I wasn’t at starbucks 13 days in!


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