Fragility

He’s not fragile, really. Thin, for sure, but tough in the way young men are, scars and scrapes earned from surfing, rowing, physical play. He surfed two sessions at South Beach, the second under a full moon. The night capped a long overdue sunshiney day at the Noll Longboard Classic. He’d mentioned his set, the tiny tube adhesived to his back and connected to his insulin pump, felt loose. I plastered waterproof bandaids around it to hold it in place. The next morning though, his blood sugar has escalated to over 400. Then over 500. (Over 300 is considered Serious.) The insulin doses weren’t bringing his glucose level down. We decided to replace the set – the tube had maybe slipped out, the bandages failing to hold it in place. So there we stood as the waves peeled and heats progressed, me maneuvering the needle into the soft flesh above and behind his hip, him holding steady against the truck. We couldn’t surf until his blood sugar dropped – by the time the number landed in a suitable place, the time had come to leave. The not surfing disappointed him. The speed at which the equipment failure turned dangerous sent my heart spinning. Everything feels so normal most of the time. But we can’t forget that it’s not.

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