What’s a birthday party without a little bit of diabetes crazy?
Benny turned 8 in late December, but because of winter break and vacations we always have his party in January. This year it was Great Wolf Lodge.
If you haven’t been, GWL is a hotel and conference center with a huge indoor water park and tons of other fun for kids. Our group was having a soaking-wet blast until Benny started feeling tired and lousy. Of course he was low (67) and of course I’d accidentally sent the bag with the juice boxes up to our room. I did have some fruit gushers (with liquid centers) but Benny said he didn’t want them. Uh-oh. This kid doesn’t turn down candy.
I ran over to the snack bar and cut a pretty big line (sorry!) to explain the situation. “My son has type 1 diabetes and he’s having a dangerous low. Can you please give me a cup of regular soda or a bottle of juice?” I wish I’d asked for that young woman’s name, because she didn’t skip a beat. She quickly handed me a big cup of regular Coke and said, “Don’t worry about paying, just take care of your son.”
Since Coke is one of Benny’s favorite things and he’s so rarely allowed to have one, I was sure he’d gulp it down. But he didn’t want it! Now I was nervous. He wouldn’t eat. He wouldn’t drink. He just sat there, in his bathing suit, shaking his head at me. “I’m full,” he said. “I don’t want anything.”
I’m sure only a few minutes went by, but it felt like forever. Please, please drink the stupid Coke! Finally, I got him to take a sip. Then another. He held it with shaking hands and asked, “Can I have this AND the Gushers?” Whew. That’s when I knew it was going to be okay.
The kids went back to the wave pool and water slide. The only other glitch happened when the inset came out just before we were ready to go up to our room for pizza. But Benny decided it would be cool to show his friends how it works. It was great; the kids couldn’t believe how big the needle is and that Benny didn’t scream when it went in. Tough guy.
Then it was back to talking about what 8, 9 and ten year old boys like. Football, pizza, Gangnum style (yes, still) and Minecraft. They ran around like maniacs at the arcade and we went over-time at the waterpark.
The next day I asked Benny what he was thinking when he wouldn’t drink the Coke. He said he felt like his blood sugar was actually really high and that he didn’t need to eat; he felt full. I must have looked confused, because he just shook his head and said it was hard to explain. I didn’t push. He’s a year older, but he’s still only eight. And after six years of type 1, we’re still figuring some things out.
(Quick note about Great Wolf Lodge. We’ve always had fun there, but Slade and I both noticed even better customer service than usual. Not just the super nice lady who gave me the Coke; it felt like everyone was very friendly, happy to see us and went out of their way to make sure we were having a good time. And they kept our homemade cupcakes safe until our room was ready!)