Sometimes Your the Windshield

In honor of “throw back Thursday”, here is a post from June of 2009…

Sometimes you’re the windshield,  sometimes you’re the bug

Today I am  definitely feeling like the bug. It was after midnight and of course I was dying to  get to sleep. I set my alarm for early next morning…my boys’ last day of  school. I found a meter and a strip. I grabbed a lancet, waded through all of  the junk that my youngest son had left on the stairs to his room rather than putting away and was off  to test. One last check for a few hours. One check and I could sleep! We had  been out for pizza to celebrate good grades so I was sure that he would still be high. He had been 16 (288) earlier so I was certain that I was going to be able to rest.
Wrong! I  took the meter. I filled his finger with blood. The strip refused to suck. What  the???? Okay, I cleaned the finger. I got more blood. I tried again. It just  barely accepted the blood. I waited for the reading…E5. Error! Not enough blood. Oh the lovely four letter words that were on the tip  of my tongue as I headed back downstairs again. I would try this one more time.
New  meter. This one had to be better. New strip. Same lancing device. Back up the  stairs, this time grumbling and picking up items as I went. I threw the items  off to the side for my young son to deal with tomorrow and headed to his bed. Once  again, I lance his finger. Once again, I got a large amount of blood. The strip  sucked this time. I walked towards the stairs not even considering that I might have to  correct. Good thing…he was 3.2 (57)! More choice words as I shuffled off to get  some juice. I filled a glass, found a straw and went back upstairs for a third time in  less than five minutes.

My son was not keen on drinking. I finally got him to sip.  He drank t all except the last few drops which fly out of the straw and all over his pillow.  My cream pillow cases now have spots of red strawberry juice on them! I am choked. I hate diabetes.  I clean the pillow cases as best as I can and then I wait. Why are 15 minutes a lifetime when  you are dead tired and simply want this day to end?

Yeah! 5.5 (99) and I  was off to bed for two hours. Oh the fun! Oh the joys! Oh where is my DexCom Seven Plus????

Who will do the pouring?

It was 6:30am.  I woke up in shock at first that I had slept so long and then calmed myself. I had gone to bed after 1am and my son was still up doing his “thing” for a few more hours.  He tests before he goes to bed so it was probably just the right time to test. And I was right…

I checked, doing my best to stay 3/4 asleep so I could doze instantly when I returned to bed.  He was low.  No such sleeping allowed. I got a glass of juice and told him to drink.  I continued my routine of heading back to my room to wait for 15 minutes.  As I headed back however, I began to think…what will he do when I am not there to wake him and bring him juice? I know that many adults with Type 1 diabetes handle it fine.  They have glucose or juice boxes by their beds. They wake up and deal with it. Its part of their lives…but this is my kid. He is not an adult that I know.  No matter how big he gets he’s my little boy.

I hope that he will wake on his own. I know he has done it (and complained about this new-found ability) when he was away from me. It still makes me worried. My son is very private about his diabetes. He is also very independent.  That is a good thing and a terrible thing for a mom.  I know he has good friends. I know that they would watch for him if he was living with one of them…but what if he wants to live alone? Well, he should have that right! But as his mom, I worry. I know it will sort itself out. I can’t borrow worry. I can’t predict the future.  At night, nightmares rear their heads though.

Its daytime now.  Time to focus on the today…like getting him to take out the garbage and Swifter the floors! He will soon be 16 and there will be enough to worry about with him learning how to drive.  I will save the worry about how he will handle nights alone for a few more years…or another late night/early morning low worrying session!

juice

Another Night, Another Battle with the DMonster

3:15am.  I looked at the clock and began to do the math. How long was it since my son went to bed? What would his bg level have been? Do I really need to test yet or was it too soon? My bed was comfy.  It took me forever to fall asleep.  Did I need to get up or should I sleep another hour?

I figured that he had probably tested around 1am but something still made me drag my tired butt out of bed. I made sure to not be fully awake. No major movements to disturb the still sleeping parts of my body.  All would be fine. My mind would be appeased and I could go back to bed…or so I would have liked but the meter said differently.

He was 4.3 (77).  Not ideal for sleeping in my world.  I quickly woke the rest of my body and my brain began to fire on a few more cylinders.  It was time to find some glucose! I went to the fridge and for some reason it was filled with diet Pepsi, diet lemonade, and zero calorie flavored water.  Nothing with any decent amount of carbs in it! Okay no panic I had glucose somewhere. Eventually I found a bottle of liquid glucose.  I got my son up enough to drink and sat on the couch to wait.

I checked out the world of Twitter. I caught up on the latest happenings in the world of Facebook and read a few pages of my book.  Soon it was time to check him again.  Success…well sort of. He was now 4.6 (83).  It was still far from ideals but he was on his way up.  I scoured his room and found a bottle of glucose tablets. He would not be happy in the morning. He says that they leave a crappy taste in his mouth when he gets up but a glucose hangover it would be.  I fed him three tablets while he slept and returned to my own bed.

I wish I could say that I instantly fell asleep but I didn’t.  By 5:30 I was still staring at  the clock.  Thankfully its Saturday so I could sleep in a little bit but by 6 I checked one more time just to make sure all was still okay. He was a lovely 7(126) so I was happy to doze for a few more hours.

Diabetes may have kicked my sleep pattern to the curb for one night but we are ready to fight another day…and make a few changes to summer basal patterns!

fight the d monster

Join me on De-Nial

This has been a very emotional week and I have tried to insulate myself from a lot because…well I don’t know if I can handle too much more.  Recently, my family lost a dear young friend. He spent a lot of time at my house while growing up, was a good friend to my children and had only just become a new father himself. He death was both sudden and shocking.  He was only 21 and I still cannot begin to imagine the pain of his parents.

This week I have been seeing many Facebook posts about 3 or 4 children with Type 1 diabetes who died in the within the past few days.  That is way too much death for me to handle.  I honestly have not read the stories. I have heard of officials questioning the diet of an undiagnosed toddler who died–as if his sugar intake could “cause” type 1 diabetes rather than the medical community not diagnosing him? The horror is unimaginable.

As I mentioned the other day, this was also diabetes clinic week.  I still don’t have our most recent A1c back but we got a great pep talk about how its just a number and its only a concern if there is continued problems. I give that speech but it was nice to hear them saying the same thing to my son.  No matter what  reading comes back, I hope we do watch things more carefully, learn and move with forward with a stronger footing.

After the doctor’s pep talk and my mention of the possibility of a rebound at night after what I assumed was an undetected low, our nurse came in.  She reviewed the documentation and said “Oh, he had a really bad low did he?”

I was kind of puzzled. What bad low? What happened? Where was I?

“He went low at night. How terrifying for you!”

Crap! That low! I had put “that low” out of my head.  It was my big failure. It was my biggest fear almost realized. Did she have to mess with my protective bubble? As I said, this has been a rough week and I was doing a great job at insulating myself against any more stress or guilt.

Mess with my bubble she did! Instantly I had a flood of guilt as I remembered hearing someone else innocently telling me that they had woke up to hear my son moaning in his sleep and knowing that I didn’t wake up!  The panic stormed back in as I relived the fear of “what if his body hadn’t kicked out glycogen?”  Was he really going that low? Could something horrible really have happened between the 3am check when he was perfect and the 7am check when he was high?

I quickly shrugged her comment off stating that I didn’t know “for sure” that it had happened. I made adjustments the following night based on assumptions and the fact that he was insulin resistant for most of the next day.  Extreme testing, him waking and telling me he was dropping, and subsequent basal reductions would suggest that a problem may have occurred, but let’s again say that this was all very theoretical.

She simply nodded as if to say “if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, its probably a duck.”  Or in diabetes terms “If it looked like a rebound, you had subsequent lows at a similar time, and a reduced basal fixed it, he probably went low and you missed it!”  Thank heavens she just nodded and smiled.  That allowed me to slip back into my lounger on the River De-Nial.  Its a beautiful place.  With all of the ugliness of the week, I think I will happily float there a little while longer. The alternative is not a good place to be–terror, guilt, and more sleeplessness.

floating

Opening Tablets at 2am could be an Olympic sport!

According to Facebook, I was not alone in my early morning fight with diabetes.  I noticed that many other parents spent more time awake last night than asleep thanks to the dia-beast!

Last night my son was the picture of health and fitness.  I could hear the weights clambering as he lifted and pressed. I watched him haul his body up and down on his chin up bar and tried to convince myself that I could do that if I really wanted to. As I headed off to bed, he sat at our table chopping fruit and adding it to his plain yogurt for a snack.

He had been high the night before but I was guessing that working out and low-fat foods were going to see bg levels in range.  Well, that is what I hoped but at 2am I woke up and decided to see how things were going. He was 5 (90).  I hate five.  It’s a beautiful number during the day and a nightmare in the early morning hours. I just never know which way it’s heading.

Last night, I was pretty sure that I knew.  There was still a little bit of insulin onboard and I was certain that he was going to drop. Just in case I decided to give him some glucose.  I love glucose tabs for just these occasions–a glucose top up. Its perfect for the times when perhaps a tiny bit of sugar is all that you need.

I dug around in my son’s room trying to figure out where he has hid his Dex stash this week.  It was in the chair beside his bed–under the blanket, the hoodie, the pillow and various other articles of clothing.  The next challenge was to find tablets. Every time I grabbed something it was a bottle of liquid glucose.  I finally found a small container of tablets which of course was sealed.

How the heck is a person who is low supposed to get into those things? They are sealed, stretched and locked up tighter than anything else! I remembered that there were scissors on a table in the room. I grabbed them, cut open the tablets and eventually was able to feed my son a couple of tabs.

I headed back to my room to catch up on 2am Facebook and Twitter.  After 15 minutes, I rechecked to see if it was safe to sleep. It wasn’t.  He had dropped.  I dug back in the stash.  It was time for a bottle of liquid glucose. He loves this stuff but once again I was faced with the difficulty of getting it open. I finally slid my nail around the neck, got it opened and convinced my still sleeping son to drink on demand.

By 3am all was good and I could go back to bed and try to sleep but I was still stuck with the thought of what if I was the one low?  Would I be able to open the tablets? How would I get open the bottles?

glucose tablets

I guess you have to plan ahead and have the seals broke before you go to bed or have someone else willing to crack them open for you.  Not good. Not good at all.

 

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