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Diabetes: Type I: Fighting Kids

Fighting Kids

by:Russell Turner

Do your kids fight? As many of you know, I have two girls. My oldest is Kari. She’s the one with type one diabetes. She’s 11 now. My youngest is Kristin. She’s 9. Although she’s two years younger, she’s bigger and taller than her older sister. This isn’t the reason for the fights, it just makes them more intense and last longer. If they were chewing gum that would be a good thing. The fact that all of this happens on my last nerve makes it unbearable.

Now fortunately most of these fights aren’t fistfights. Although in a fistfight there is a clear winner and loser. When it’s over it’s over. Not so when girls fight. It goes on forever. One of Kari’s symptoms of both low and high blood sugar is weepiness. Some days it seems all she does is cry. It breaks my heart. Not so with her sister. At least it’s no so after Kari is feeling better. For no apparent reason other than the fact that the sun is shining Kristin will start in on her sister. “You’re a crybaby, all you ever do is cry”. Have you ever heard a little girl growl? I mean actually growl like an angry grizzly bear. Kari has a growl when she’s mad. I pity the fool who marries her. He had better have the courage of the Crocodile Hunter and the agility of an Olympic gymnast.

I overheard this little commotion the other day.
Kristin: “You’re a crybaby”
Kristin: “All you ever do is cry”
Kari: SMACK!
Kristin: “Waaa, daddy! Kari hit me for no reason”

As Kristin comes wailing down the hallway, I have to compose myself, wipe the smirk off my face, and pretend that some horrible injustice may have just occurred. After some pointed questioning it becomes apparent that Kristin basically asked for it and her sister was only too happy to oblige. As I send her on her way with absolutely no sympathy whatsoever, I know that this is just the beginning. Pretty soon at that end of the house I hear all kinds of yelling, doors swinging open and then slamming shut after various accusations are thrown back and forth and finally the long awaited screams of “I hate you… I hate you too”, and then the final slam of each door.

Now don’t get me wrong, Kristin is not always the aggressor. Actually she usually has a sweeter, quieter temperament than her sister. It’s not too uncommon that first thing in the morning, I mean they haven’t even seen each other for a whole night, and Kristin will walk out of her room and Kari will say something, anything, it could just be “your hair is sticking up”, anything she knows will set Kristin off at the crack of dawn, and the two of them are at it. I don’t let them eat breakfast together anymore. One eats while the other showers.

Now to listen to these two you would think they hated each other. Actually I think sometimes they do, but God help the poor dope (me) who gets after one of them in front of the other. Yesterday morning right before its time to leave for school, Kari informs me that she doesn’t have her meter. Even better, she hasn’t had it all week. She left it at a friend’s house on Monday. She then proceeds to let me know that it’s all my fault because she told me on Monday and I didn’t do anything about it. To top it all off she’s out of strips for her backup meter. The volume between us rises quickly as I let her know she never told me any such thing and I know she had it on Tuesday because I was up all night monitoring her 500+ blood sugars that wouldn’t come down with the very meter in question. That brought us quickly to my pet peeve, the condition of her room. “Your meter is probably in that pigsty you live in” I reasonably offered as a solution at the top of my lungs”. Not to be outdone she loudly protested her innocence and the fact she was an unwitting victim of some Soviet plot to overthrow our American way of life.

As I was drawing my next huge lung-full of air so I could continue this sober and reasoned debate, I become aware of Kristin storming down the hallway with the look of murder in her eyes and surely mayhem in her heart. I had forgotten and broken one of the cardinal rules they both lived by. Nobody is mean to my sister unless it’s me. This little nine year old girl who barely comes up to the middle of my chest planted herself between her sister and me and let me know in no uncertain terms that my aggressive posture and loud tone would not be tolerated for one more second and if I knew what was good for me I would turn it down and smarten up post haste.

I looked at Kristin, I looked at Kari, I shut my mouth, and I smartened up post haste. I wasn’t going to win this one no how, no way. As it turned out she had left her meter at her mother’s who was only too happy to keep the girls while I attended a meeting Wednesday night. Not only that but she had the foresight to bring the meter to work with her that morning so I could trot right over there and pick it up.

I know that had the tables been turned and it was Kristin and me getting into it, Kari would have been there to defend her sister to the death as well. I still don’t understand how two people, whose mission in life appears to be to make the other as miserable as possible, can love each other so much. I just thank God that it is so.

About the Author Russell Turner, USA Russell Turner is the father of a 10 year old diabetic daughter. After she was diagnosed he soon discovered he could find all sorts of medical information on the internet. What he couldn't find was how to prepare his child and family for living with this disease. He started his own website for parents of newly diagnosed diabetic children

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