Diabetes care is tiring and I feel guilty

diabetes care is tiring

I am worn out, dragged out, dead tired…after just two nights of diabetes care.

I am out of practice.

I want a Continuous Glucose Monitor.

I want a cure.

I feel guilty. I can’t wait to get my sleep back again.

My sons came to visit for a few days.  It was the best Easter gift…having both of my boys here with me for Easter dinner! I was over the moon.

Diabetes had to tag along for the ride.  It could have stayed behind.  It played better than it has on some visits, however.

His blood glucose level was perfect. It made me worry.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got up to check my youngest son’s blood glucose levels on the first night.  He was a perfect 5 (90).  I didn’t sleep.

He was perfect. Exactly in range.  What was next? Would he rise? Would he go low? I didn’t sleep. I rested now and then. I checked.  He dropped a bit. Not enough to worry about. I tried to sleep. I worried instead.

The next night his blood glucose was high.

The next night we had the opposite problem.  The cartridge in his insulin pump had run low. His blood glucose went up.  It didn’t go up as high as it had on previous visits.  He is even more fixated on his health and improving his control on his own.  He corrected. He had command of this.

Once again I awoke during the night. I went to his room and checked. He was high still. He corrected.  I went back to bed.  I wondered if he would drop. I wondered if he would go higher.  I worried. I tried to sleep but I worried.

Tonight he is back home. He will be in charge of his own care again. He will be the one to wake.  I will wake up just like I have for too many years.  I will wonder what his readings are but I will be able to roll over and go back to sleep. I won’t be kept awake with a low. I won’t wonder which direction a high will take even with a correction. I will simply roll over and try to sleep…but I will feel guilty because I can just roll over.

Diabetes care is tiring but I get a break.

I put in my time. I had 16 plus years of sleepless nights between babies and diabetes.  My son has had 16 years of diabetes too. He doesn’t get an end.  

As I said, he has become very conscious of his health and his body. He told me that he already has one faulty organ, so he has to make sure that he doesn’t have any more.

He is growing up.  He is a young adult now. He takes most things in stride.  I still wish that he could have an end to testing, injecting, carb counting, lows, highs and all of the rest.  Wishing doesn’t make it so. Feeling guilty doesn’t change allow us to change places.  This is just the way it is.   I will keep wishing for that day when I can say “that was the way it was.”

How ’bout you check my blood glucose for 11 years?

night checks for 11 years Diabetes Advocay

“Mom, you didn’t check my blood glucose last night”
“Yes I did, but if you are worried about it and you are awake maybe you should be checking yourself during the night. It would be great to give me a break after 10 years.”
“A break? That’s okay.”
“But you should get used to checking yourself. If you are awake at night anyway why not give your old Mom a break?”
“How ’bout we go for you checking me every night for eleven years instead?”

That was the conversation I had with my son the other morning. I had to laugh to myself when he suggested that I didn’t check his blood glucose levels. He never wakes up when I do check him unless he is high and needs to use the washroom or hasn’t gone to sleep yet when he was supposed to.

This child sleeps through everything! I drizzled snow on his bare back that very morning to wake him up (after calling him and blaring music) and he continued to sleep. He used to sleep while eating a sandwich after a low. He can sleep while drinking a juice or chewing glucose tablets. Its all a little unnerving but I watch, make sure everything is chewed and swallowed and that he doesn’t choke.

The fact that my son is such a sound sleeper does scare me a bit. He sleeps through the alarms on his pump so a continuous glucose monitor won’t get him out of bed to treat a low. The only upside is that when he sleeps at a friend’s house, he does wake up to the alarm. Well, maybe the friend wakes up to the alarm and gets him moving. Either way, he does check his blood glucose levels at night when he isn’t at my house. He does wake up to the alarm when he is with his father…and then rolls over and sleeps while waiting for Dad to get up and check on him.

The upside to all of this is that he is still young. My son has a few more years before Mom starts to really get on his case about waking up himself. For now, he is spoiled…Mom gets him up, Mom cooks for him, Mom checks his blood glucose for him, and Mom gets his glucose for any night-time lows. If he is really lucky he will marry a girl who will do even half of this but he may be pushing that one!

After 10 years, I am getting tired of waking up for night-time blood glucose checks. I have been waking up through the night for 16 years. Yes long before diabetes came into our lives, so I am sure that I will continue to wake up at all hours for many years to come. If I am waking up I might as well make sure that he is safe and I have checked his blood glucose levels especially since the rest of the conversation went something like this…

“I have to be checked at night. I might go low and die if no one tests me.”

Ouch! I did clarify that he would probably just go low and worst-case scenario have a seizure. Sadly he knows the reality of what can happen. There are some that argue that your body will kick in, you will rebound, and all will be fine except for a nasty high the next morning. This may be the case for many but my son and I have also seen a different outcome. He knows that I have had friends go low at night and never wake up again. It is not a reality that I enjoy my young child being aware of. He takes it in stride but he knows just how deadly diabetes can really be.

If you need help keeping track of your blood glucose readings, take a look at the Diabetes Advocacy Planner. It has tracking pages as well as more information to help you better manage your diabetes care.