Monday, August 27, 2007

He's at school

Well, Riley's at school and, somehow, the world didn't end.

It's been a rough weekend. My internet modem was fried by lightening, so I wasn't able to blog all weekend, which is probably a good thing for you. My posts wouldn't have been pretty.

It all started on Friday. The school that Riley attends celebrates Gingerbread Day every year. It's a time for the kindergartners to come to school with their parents to see their classroom and meet the teacher. They read the story of the gingerbread man and then eat gingerbread cookies.

I was so nervous that morning that I was literally shaking. I felt like I was going to be sick on my stomach and I wasn't even leaving Riley there, I would be with him the whole time. I could only imagine how I'd be when I had to leave him there.

I knew he would be eating gingerbread cookies, so I'd gone to Calorie King to see if I could figure out the carb count. But, it wasn't very helpful because it really depended on how big the cookie was. So, I had absolutely no idea how to count carbs for this cookie.

When we walked in the door, the teacher, Mrs. W, exclaimed "Hi there Riley!!" then she leaned over and whispered in my ear, "The gingerbread cookies came in a box. They are 14g of carbohydrates a piece." That was music to my ears. She was already looking out for my boy.

Riley thoroughly enjoyed himself and got to meet his classmates for the year.

I did just fine on Saturday. I was a little on edge, but I did OK most of the day.

Sunday is when things went really awry.

It all started going down hill at church, of all places. My pastor's wife gathered all the kids that are in school and read them a book called "The Kissing Hand". It is about a little raccoon going to school for the first time and he doesn't want to go. So, his mom tells him to open his hand and gives him a kiss in the palm. She tells him that anytime he feels scared or alone at school to press his hand to his cheek and it will be like getting a kiss from his mom. While she's reading a tear or two slipped down my cheek, but it wasn't too bad.

At the end of the book the little raccoon and his mom are standing in front of the school. The little raccoon turns to his mom, opens her hand, and kisses her palm too. The tears increased a little.

Then, our pastor prayed. And, as he prayed for God to watch over the children and keep them safe at school it's like a flood gate opened and the tears started to pour. I was holding back sobs. As soon as the prayer ended I quickly got up and went outside before Riley got back to his seat and saw me crying.

I stayed outside a few minutes and got myself straight. I felt so stupid for crying. I didn't cry when Holden started school. But, with Riley, I was terrified that something bad will happen. I kept having visions of him passing out at school and no one noticing.

We went to the beach after church and Riley had a great time. He was still very excited about starting school the next day.

Once we got home from the beach the reality of the next day set in. I became very quiet. I couldn't seem to keep a thought in my head. Riley went to bed (after a few tears). He's never had to go to bed early and he wasn't happy to be starting that.

I decided I should try to get some sleep. I knew I probably wouldn't sleep well, if at all, but I knew I might as well try. Once I got to bed I couldn't get the image out of my head of Riley checking his sugar at school on Friday. It was very painful for me to watch my child prick his finger while all the other kids were already devouring their cookies.

And, then, I cried like I haven't cried since he was diagnosed. I cried and I prayed. And, in between the two I talked to Michael, who, bless his heart, had to get up at 5:30 AM and probably just wanted his silly wife to be quiet so he could go to sleep.

At first, I talked about being scared that something bad would happen to Riley. But, I didn't linger there long. As I kept talking I realized what really was the matter.

I was mad, very mad, at diabetes. Michael said, "I just look at it this way, Riley is going to be a stronger person because of this." I've said that same thing before. But, last night, I wasn't having any of it.

I told Michael that that's just a nice way of saying someone has to go through a lot of crap. You only get stronger because of bad things, not good things. And, no mother wants anything bad to happen to her children.

I began to rant about how unfair it was that he had to check his sugar before he eats and how unfair it is that he's hooked to a machine 24/7, and the unfairness of having to sit out at PE or recess when his sugar is too low.

It sucks and it pissed me off. Instead of tears of pain, I cried hot tears of anger. I hated diabetes and everything that came along with it.

At around midnight I finally became tired and after checking Riley's sugar, I fell asleep. And, I slept pretty well. Other than the usual nighttime checks I slept all night.

This morning I went in to wake Riley. When he rolled over in bed I whispered, "Do you know what today is?"

With his eyes still closed and a huge grin on his face he said, "My first day of school."

He got up, had breakfast, brushed his teeth and was ready to go.

He walked into school with his head held high, not a bit of trepidation in his steps. He sat down at this desk and began to color the picture of a school bus that the teacher had put there.

We hadn't been there 2 minutes when he turned to me and said, "Aren't you going to leave now?" I told him I needed to speak to Mrs. W first and then I'd leave.

I went to speak to her one more time about checking Riley's sugars and getting Holden out of class to give his insulin. And, I gave her some juice boxes to use for lows.

Then, I stood back and watched my little boy color like he didn't have a care in the world. When I stepped closer Riley looked at me and said, "OK, now that you've talked to Mrs. W, are you going to leave?"

It was just his way of telling me that he was going to be fine.

And, I know that he is.


Kassie said...

see now I didn't cry until I read THIS! And my guy's not dealing with the extra layer(s) of diabetes.

They'll be fine, we'll be fine, but it is one of those moments, isn't it?

Hope you are having a good morning.

Penny said...

Yes, Kassie, it's one of those moments. I wonder how many more of these moments I'll have in Riley's lifetime.

My morning isn't so great. Riley's snack time sugar was 360. I'll probably post about that later.

I just want to run to school and pick him up and take him home.

Nicole P said...

Thinking of you guys today. I know I can't understand what you're going through - but boy, do I understand the anger at diabetes. It isn't fair. You're right about that.

I hope the rest of the day smooths out bg wise - and that you're hanging in there.


Danny said...

Sounds to me like Riley's got a great teacher who is already looking out for him. My son's teachers have been great as well. And if his teacher has any questions, he/she can always call you, right?

Most teachers are really amazing when it comes to looking after their kids, especially those with special needs. Just be willing to stand up to -- I mean, "educate" -- administrators who get nervous about "needles in the classroom," and feel free to say NO when pressured to sell candy for the school fundraiser.

Kassie said...

penny, I hope the rest of the day improved!

Ryan just got home and in his folder was a note about how they read "The Kissing Hand"

It was all I could do to not cry

Carey said...

I hope the rest of the day went well. Great that Riley took to it right away. Charlie will likely ask us to leave, but I'd love to be a fly on the wall.

Laura Kockelkorn said...

I cried like 5 tiems reading this

cesnh said...

Oh my,

I am awed by you and other parents dealing with your children with diabetes.

And it's really hard to read the code to post this (I know it has a name but I don't keep up w/ that) through my tears.