102, 229, 446, 195, 84 this is how time passes now. It’s breakfast 2 units, lunch 2 units, dinner 3 and all include a correction formula. Math is my new best friend. The clock face has lost all its characters, and time is measured in doses, corrections, and syringes. The hours stood still the Monday before Thanksgiving as I learned of my son’s diagnosis. It’s pokes and pricks and “just a little blood,” stomachaches and headaches. There is no “good or bad,” only target, high, and low. I can recite nutritional labels like Mets’ fans know their RBIs. 15 is a magic number and 30 requires correction. Though magic doesn’t conjure anything per se. This isn’t a fairytale it’s a daily life that fluctuates. A constant flux where instability is the norm. 30 equals 1 in this new math I’ve learned and even that can change. Common Core’s ugly stepsister: If Sally has 2 bananas and John has diabetes how many units of insulin will John have to take if Sally shares one of her bananas. Bedtime is different, it is lavender and long-lasting. Mnemonics make it easier if that’s a word I still choose—easier, that is. Though nothing about this is ‘easy.’ Hot cocoa can no longer aid a kiss for comfort, but my son’s a trooper. “A top-notch kid.” Like he has a choice. I know he’s kind and witty and no stranger to compassion, but it’s not like there is any other way. 2 AM is the only time I’m required to know and digital clocks have no face, but I know her sight unseen. She was once the hour of the poet, an enchantress now relegated to swabs and lancets and meters that measure these magic-less digits we chart. This is our kingdom and we will rule with grace. But this is our kingdom, and we can scream or silently weep within these walls as well. All is not well. But we are blessed. And as 2 AM turns to 2 AM and numbers are computed 95, 266 . . . it all begins again.
My son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on November 23, 2015. Writing is a comfort to me, so I decided to share some words here. I know we are not alone and my hope is to reach out to others and let them know that we understand. Together. We are all one.
Love and Ink