I used to work as a secretary in a large office, and part of my job – since everyone in the office had a candy bowl – was to go to Costco and get hard candy in bulk. It was an assortment of anonymous, generic candy: peppermints, butterscotch, those disappointing gel-filled strawberries whose wrappers were actually the best part of the experience (they say you eat with your eyes first, anyway.)
I think the actual bag weighed twenty pounds. It was the size of a bag of dog food. I used to heft it up into the cart. The brand on the bag was “Sugar Time,” which I thought was the perfect name.
If anyone had ever accosted me in the parking lot, I would’ve said, “It’s Sugar Time,” swung that bag at them, and knocked them out cold. Naturally, they’d be wearing a striped shirt and a mask…
Anyway, I think about that big bag of candy every year about this time, because on top of the normal school supplies, the clothes, and other stuff I buy my kids for school, I also have to buy:
10 icing tubes (if my son can’t swallow, the sugar still gets in his bloodstream through the gums)
3 bags of Starbursts (for plain old low blood sugar)
2 boxes of Chewy Granola Bars (in case it’s a long way till the next meal)
2 packs of juice boxes (yuck).
10 pocket folders of the same color, labeled
Snack-sized zip lock bags
and then I have to go to the T1D Mod Squad site and print out almost all of these things for my student who has Type 1 Diabetes. (T1D Mod Squad has all kinds of resources including this very user-friendly breakdown of ADA regulations, 504 info, travel/TSA links – anything you can imagine.)
Then I put all of that stuff together in 10 packages and distribute them to all of my son’s teachers, the library, and school secretary. (This is not all we do to prepare for the year, there’s a bunch of other forms, medications, diabetes-specific supplies, etc.)
We’re lucky most of the staff remembers the drill from year to year. They’re great with my son, as they are with the many other students who have health issues. (Thanks, school! XO)
Still, I dread sugar time. It’s a reminder that my kid can’t just go out for recess and run around without someone looking out for him. It means his teachers won’t immediately know if he’s just being a goofball (he’s my son, after all) or if his blood sugar is low – or high – diabetes is weird like that.
I know I need to let go, relax, and hope for the best. It gets easier when you know what to expect. Every year, my son gives a short presentation to his class. He’s good at explaining Type 1 and patient with answering questions. I am actually relieved and proud that he’s bright and kindhearted enough to handle most of the diabetes-related social issues that come his way.
But, make no mistake: if anyone decides they’re going to cross my kid this year – It’s Sugar Time!
Psst! – If you want to support a great cause, T1D Mod Squad is a 501(c)3 non-profit that helps families living with T1D and advocates for health care and other important issues.