Saturday, June 7, 2014


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

"A Day In the Life of Jacob, aka, Juggernaut"

Football practice and workout has begun in our home. Maybe for your family, it's dance class, karate, baseball, or anything your child loves being a part of from sports to the arts. Here, we wake up early on Saturdays, well, at least I do, and get ready to sit and watch my son along with his team mates and coaches work really hard with drills, running, and techniques to help them become successful players.

So, the football team is doing their thing, running laps and jumping up and down, and after a few minutes, they get the much longed for break. At their coaches signal, they run unanimously to the spot where they've left their water bottles and guzzle that water up like thirsty bears. And, that's when my son, Jacob, looks at me and I know, something is wrong.

I planned it all so carefully. At least I thought I did. He's not feeling well and we quickly check his sugar. Thing is, it's not high. Could it be the extreme heat beaming down upon him as he's working out? He takes some water, I give him a bolus correction (a little bit of insulin that he needed) and off he goes once more to leave it all on the field. 

As he's running, he turns and heads towards me. "I think my sugar is high." he tells me and once more, we check it. "No. It's 116. It has actually gone down." I reply. He's red, warm, overheated and needs rest. He gets it and then feels ready to head back. "Give me your pump again." I tell him. He begins to twist it to remove it and as luck may have it, he somehow twists it so powerfully, he ends up completely removing the site. "AUGH!" My insides say. But, I stay quiet. We have a long time here in the field and the morning has not started out well.

Thank God, I remembered to come prepared with insulin pen and feel confident all will be well. He goes through four hours of working out, learning, and practicing moves. He drinks all his water and I really thought everything was fine. I go get him some water and notice that the last hour of practice, he has begun to need to use the restroom. This immediately tells me, his sugar (although he's only been on water for four hours) has somehow begun to increase.

Practice in done and Jacob joins me on the side. I tell him to change into his sneakers, as we have a pretty long walk, and have some more water. He looks at me and says, "Mom, I can't any more." 

I check his sugar and it is almost 400. Remember, I told you earlier, his site came off, so although he was covered before playing, his levels continued to go up even though he was only with water. He sits for a few minutes, takes a few sips of water, then goes to the side of the field to vomit. Here I am, alone with him, parents have gone home, and even though I have given him insulin, he doesn't seem to be improving. 

What do we do when this happens? As a parent we want to give up sometimes and say, "No more sports." or "No more activities." We get tired of seeing our kids go through these changes in their bodies and it seems there is nothing we can do or say to help them feel better. You may be wondering why didn't I leave the park earlier, an hour earlier, and let him end up getting this sick? I'll tell you this. My son is not one to quit easily. He loves what he is doing and he loves the people in his life that surround him when they're all together. He is continuously encouraging and motivating his team mates, applauding, cheering them on as they run or tackle. 

He pushes them on with words of encouragement when they catch the football or it falls. He gives them a high five and celebrates their victories as if they were his own. He smiles when a coach says, "Good job, Jacob." and looks as if he was born to live on this field playing football.

So, ask me again and you'll hear my son, Jacob reminding you that we should never stop. "Don't stop! Keep moving forward." Keep going. We were born to win. We will always face some kind of adversity in life, physically or however they come. But, we press onward. We go one step at a time. We push through and don't look back. We hold on through the challenges, wipe our faces clean after we finish puking, and with our heads held high, once more, we get up, and face the world.

Are you facing a difficult challenge today? Do you feel tired, sick, or discouraged? Then, take some comfort in this. As I write, Jacob is feeling better. I got the courage to ask his coaches to help us and give us a ride home. They were all quick to help out and we did get a ride home. We were blessed. I just prayed that Jacob wouldn't throw up in the car. (Thank you, Lord!) I feel blessed. The coaches support and show my son great love and concern and this keeps him believing he's in the right place, he's motivated and will not quit. 

You can't give up, either. God has help coming your way. Press forward and don't give in, even when you feel sick. Pursue your dreams, your desire to participate in something you feel especially gifted in. And, when it gets hard, pray and trust the Lord to see you through. He's the greatest Coach ever. He is ready to carry you through the hard times. Don't stop! Keep moving forward.

#JacobDuran #diabetes #diabetic #footballanddiabetes #typeonediabeticboy #jacobdiabetes #t1n #faith #hope #sports #encouragement #determination #givingup #believe #holdon #Jacobwins

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