#2 however has always desired to be normal - perhaps it is being a middle child or just an innate lack of confidence. We have worked really hard over the years to try and bring her out of her shell - she has always loved the company of adults perhaps because they are non judgmental, and she has rarely played with her peers. She has obviously eventually made friends - not so many though, and they tend to have a similar personality to her. She takes criticism to heart, and whilst she struggled at her first two schools she gained a little in confidence with her music and her sport.
That was perhaps one of the most heartbreaking aspects of her diabetes diagnosis - having got herself to a level with a few really close - not to mention loyal and longstanding - friends, she has encountered a bit of a roadblock. Instead of enjoying a carefree life - outside of school of course - she is now having to test frequently, count carbs, and inject. As a family we live from meal to meal, planning, weighing, counting, interpreting, and building a mental database of glucose levels and how various foods affect these levels at any given time. We spend most of our meals discussing insulin amounts, and try to estimate the best time during the meal at which #2 injects, in order to try and avoid a post meal hypo - which seems to be reasonably frequent.
None of this is normal. We have been for lunch once as a family since this happened and were pleased to have controlled the glucose levels reasonably well around the meal. As a couple, Mrs R and I have not left #2's side let alone have a normal conversation. On Friday, however, #2 went to the new Monaco Starbucks on her own with friends. We were of course in constant contact with her, and once she had ordered she called me and I tried to estimate the carb content of her order. Of course, the drink and snack she bought were not on the Starbucks website, but I made a reasonable stab at it, and she injected an extra couple of units (her 3rd of the day with another 2 to come).
Within half an hour she was hypoglycaemic, which she treated herself with Dextrose and a biscuit, and she came home a little groggy and grumpy. This in turn prompted the "I wish I was normal" conversation, because none of her friends had had their parents on the phone every 5 minutes wondering how they were; none of her friends had to draw blood every 15 minutes to check their glucose levels - in fact some of her friends are afraid of blood (wimps); none of her friends had to administer insulin just to enjoy a snack at a coffee shop.
It was stormy weather last week and all weekend - the perfect opportunity to stay at home, have a log fire, and do lots of home cooking thus keeping the blood glucose levels pretty stable and almost without exception within the range. With practise we are all - including Alice - getting better at managing and controlling the Diabetes - rather than the other way around. There is a tentative plan for Mrs R and I to have a night off this week - I am sure that Diabetes will dominate the discussion over dinner, but a change of scenery might be as good as a rest. We are also planning a ski trip this weekend to try and get to grips with altitude, cold and other factors which can interfere with the condition.
We are moving on, and although #2 is not 'normal', we are trying to continue as normally as possible.