#WorthRevisit: I Hope You Never Need Algebra

There’s a fine line between oversensitivity (and the inability to take a joke) and advocacy. I was reminded of that this morning when a friend of mine posted the same Facebook joke that inspired my post from July 2015 about algebra.

Some days I can roll with diabetes jokes, like the song lyric from Shrek:

“. . . like donuts and . . . (what goes with donuts?) . . . donuts and . . . DIABETES!”

Other days, my hackles are raised by a joke that has absolutely nothing to do with diabetes, but I’m making that connection based on my experience. That’s the case with the Facebook joke in question. Four years ago, I’d have shared the same joke.

Seen on Facebook: a T-shirt that says

Well, another day has passed and I didn’t use algebra once.

The person who posted it observed, “Still holds true!”

My fingers have been hovering over that comment button…that’s because there’s algebra right on my kitchen whiteboard, algebra that I use almost every day.

Diabetic algebra

Algebra for diabetics and the people who love them. Because sometimes a person just doesn’t want a whole serving of something, and then you have to do some math.

I can’t afford to indulge the thought that algebra is useless and that I haven’t thought about it once since I took the GREs in 1986.

It’s more useful than you think.

I’m not bitter about having to use algebra. I’m grateful that my husband has a better grasp on it than I do, because he took several semesters of calculus, so he helped work out the formula that comes in handy when The Kid wants something other than the labeled serving size of a particular food. I’m grateful that I can remember a little bit of algebra, thanks to my long-suffering Algebra 2 teacher who never gave up on me.

And I wish, very sincerely, that the people who posted that photo of a T-shirt implying that algebra is useless never have a child with diabetes. I hope they never have to use algebra like I have to use algebra.

As the mom of a teenager with Type 1 Diabetes I often encounter well-meaning misunderstanding about his disease. I try to understand that in most cases, it’s just because people care. Just as I’d ask a person with a known food allergy if the food I am planning to serve is safe for them, so I do appreciate that people think to check in with me about my son’s needs.

It’s all a question of how I deal with the misconceptions. He didn’t get diabetes from eating too many donuts. He can have a donut. He should not have six donuts (then again, neither should anyone else).

I find myself, sometimes, growing impatient when people ask questions, rather than appreciating that they care enough to ask instead of just making assumptions based on bad information.

And sometimes, like today, I just can’t take a joke.

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

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#WorthRevisit: Diabetes Awareness Month

November is not only “Men’s Cancer Month,” as one of the second-graders observed while I was substitute teaching. It’s also Diabetes Awareness Month. We’re all too aware of diabetes around here. Three years ago this Thanksgiving, TheKid was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Because most people with diabetes have Type 2 (and that’s the one that gets the most press) I spend a lot of time correcting misconceptions about Type 1. People aren’t out to be malicious–they just don’t know the difference. So I have conversations like the one I had this past weekend at a family event.

TheKid heads up to the buffet table, is among the first in line, and starts loading his plate.
Relative: “What’s he going to eat?”
Me: “He’s a teenage boy. He’s going to eat All The Food.”
Relative: “I thought he has to be on a special diet.”
Me: “No, he can pretty much eat anything. He just has to take insulin every time he eats.”
Relative: “How many times a day does he take insulin?”
Me: “Every time he eats. He’s a teenage boy, so that’s pretty often…”
Relative: “But he’s going to outgrow this, right?”
Me: “No.”
Relative: …
Me: “He has Type 1. That’s an autoimmune disease. Basically, his body killed his pancreas and it’s not coming back.”

measuring-devices-4

Here’s our story, the story behind Cook and Count, my cooking website, and (most important) the signs of Type 1 Diabetes, which is not caused by eating too many donuts. Yes, TheKid can have a donut. It’s not good for him (or anyone else) to eat the whole box, but he can have a donut if he takes insulin along with it.

He didn’t really have the “usual signs.” Instead, he was battling a so-called virus that caused a low fever, no appetite and a sore throat. His sister had the same thing a week before and had bounced back, so we tempted him with Slurpees and sweet tea and anything else to keep him hydrated. At the third doctor visit in less than ten days we insisted on blood work, thinking he had mono. That blood work showed a blood glucose level of over 600, and we went straight to the emergency room with a very sick child.

Cook and Count is primarily a recipe website, but it was born of my need to figure out the carb count of my family recipes so I can feed TheKid and keep him healthy.

You don’t have to be diabetic, or have a diabetic in your family, to use my recipes. In fact, I’ve been cooking many of these recipes for years. The only difference is that now I know the nutrition information that goes with them.

It’s Diabetes Awareness Month, so please take a moment to learn the signs of Type 1 Diabetes. This knowledge could very well save a life. I pray that you never need to use this information–but if you do, I hope that you find this site helpful.

RECOGNIZING THE WARNING SIGNS FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES (T1D) MAY SAVE A LIFE.

Symptoms may occur suddenly and can include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Drowsiness or lethargy
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sugar in the urine
  • Fruity, sweet or wine-like odor on breath
  • Heavy or labored breathing
  • Stupor or unconsciousness

If you or someone you love exhibits one or more of these symptoms, call a doctor immediately.

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!