Thursday, June 12, 2014

Insulin Wrangling

While Andrew is at diabetes camp this week, I've been looking at my computer archives and found this picture of him, which was taken about a year prior to his diagnosis. He's not quite five years old in this picture.

We had gone to a local ranch for their annual BBQ/calf sale, and one of the events there was a "sheep riding" competition for the kids, with prizes for those who could ride the bucking bronco sheep the longest. Our older child went first and was immediately thrown ("it's like riding a soft cloud that's trying to kill you" was his description), then it was Andrew's turn.

The sheep stood for a moment after they released him, then (as this picture was taken) took off at full speed around the pen, my son hanging on for dear life. After a few seconds, the sheep finally ran out of our view around a corner, followed by a loud CRASH as the sheep bucked our son into the fence. I ran over to that part of the corral to find my son on the ground on his back, legs sticking out from under the fence, and an old cowboy standing over him.

"Well, you OK?" I heard the cowboy ask. A pause, then Andrew said loudly, "LET'S DO THAT AGAIN!"

"By God, he ate the fence and walked away! Now that's a COWBOY!" the old cowboy said as everyone around us laughed and I pulled Andrew from under the fence, both of us laughing too. He even got a trophy for 2nd place, having rode for just over seven seconds.

I've read that animal insulin, including insulin from sheep, used to be used in diabetics until the 1970's - maybe he was thinking ahead and trying to lay in a supply before his diagnosis (kidding, only kidding).

However, I can't help but wonder at this picture now, thinking about his struggles (past, present and future) with this disease and how it's been like trying to stay on the bucking sheep without getting thrown or eating any fences. So far, he's done well on his ride. We hope he'll continue to do so for a long time to come.

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