A notice came through my mail slot today. “You are invited”… a potluck, a neighborhood BBQ. My neighbors are celebrating. You see, we live in a townhouse complex. We’ve lived in this place for almost 3 years now. There used to be a small (and I mean SMALL) playground area, but it was closed off almost immediately after we moved in because the structure was not safe. So, after a while of no access to a play area, some neighbors got together and worked on a community garden, picnic, and play area. It’s finally done, and everyone wants to celebrate and enjoy the rewards their hard work has earned. Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? Yet all I could think when reading the notice was… ugh.
I dislike the idea of potlucks. So many people do gross stuff in their kitchens. The idea of sharing food that strangers made, in a kitchen I’ve never seen, it just doesn’t interest me.
Aside from that, I will not know any carb counts for any of the food my son eats. This doesn’t bother me too much, but it’s an inconvenience I could do without. Still, we SWAG frequently and we know how to fix it later if there are issues with his blood sugar levels.
What really turned me off of the whole thing, was thinking about having to explain my son’s T1D to a bunch of strangers.
“Did you feed him too much sugar when he was little?”
“Does he have the BAD kind of diabetes?”
“Why is he poking his finger?”
“Are you sure he should be eating that?”
It goes on and on and on.
Or they just stare
Either way, there is a lot of educating and explaining required.
This is what I do, I explain T1D to people.
People who think it’s gross.
People who are curious.
People who think they know because their great uncle has T2.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that people don’t know anything about T1D. I certainly didn’t until I had to.
But sometimes, it gets exhausting. Sometimes, I just don’t want to do it.
And I know…
If I share this in the DOC (diabetic online community), if I say that I’m torn on what to do, I know what the answer will be…
“What would you do if T1D wasn’t a factor?”
This is what we ask ourselves. This is what we do. We don’t want to deny our child experiences. So, if it’s hard to decide because of D, take D out of the equation and see what the answer would be.
It’s one of the most common responses.
It makes sense.
Heck, I’ve given that advice.
But here’s the problem
Sometimes, it’s hard to determine what I would do without diabetes. My son wasn’t even 3 when he was diagnosed. We barely had a chance to figure out our parenting style before diabetes took over everything.
Would we go to the potluck if my son didn’t have diabetes?
I don’t know.
I don’t know what I would do if T1D wasn’t a factor. Because it has been for so long.
The majority of our parenting decisions are affected by diabetes. Some in very small ways, and others in more significant ways. It has gradually adjusted the way we parent.
I don’t know if we’re going to our neighborhood potluck
Yes, I’m exhausted from not getting a full nights sleep in over 5 years.
Yes, explaining his disease to strangers gets monotonous and sometimes frustrating.
Yes, T1D is a pain in the butt at gatherings like these.
But no, I won’t say no to a potluck because my son has diabetes.
I still might say no…
because I hate potlucks!
Happy Carb Counting!
What do you think? Have you let T1D become an excuse to say “no” when you’d otherwise say “yes”? Let us know in the comments section below! And don’t forget to ‘like’ Carb Counting Mama on Facebook.