Hello, I am a pancreas

pancreas diabetes advocacy

I am up at all hours adjusting, dosing, and praying.  A good pancreas knows that lows occur when you least expect them. They usually happen at the most inopportune times. 

The other night a low blood glucose level arrived at 2:30 in the morning.  I woke up, had my usual fight with myself, got up and tested my son.  I was surprised to see him looking back at me in a questioning sort of way. 

“You are low.”

“Okay, I will go and grab the juice.” he said.

Wow, was this the start of something new? Him treating himself? Him waking on his own?  Dare I hope?

He came up with the juice, put it on the counter and headed off towards his room.

“Where are you going??”

“To bed.”

“I don’t think so. I am up and so are you.  Sit down and drink this.”

I let him go back to sleep after his juice.  No sense both of us being awake to retest.  Besides, he is the child, I am the pancreas. It’s my job to be up.

I headed back to bed once he was in range.  Crisis averted. Now time to unwind because I have to be up at 6am later that morning.  I had to take someone to the airport and then get a few other things done.  Of course, unwind time is not instant even for a pancreas.  I toss.  I turn.  My mind races. I say thank you for being woken up once again at just the right time.  Eventually, I fall asleep knowing that in a matter of hours the alarm will sound to begin another day.

We muddle through the next day.  In order to be a good pancreas, I need to see the results of my efforts. I ask my son to fill out his log book so we can see how things are going.

“There are no problems.”

“Gee thanks for the insight.  Now let me see what has been happening.”

Eventually, he begins to transfer the data onto good old paper for his mother to look at.  I know many people are saying just download the data onto your PC. Who uses a log book? Me, that’s who.  I have to “see the stuff” to make changes.

After a bit of grumbling we head to bed and I call out “Turn off that XBox and what was your last reading?”

“Its off.”

“Yes but what was your reading?”  Silence follows. I know he hasn’t checked yet.

“5.5 (99)”

I silently swear knowing, as a good pancreas does, that I will have to check on him soon because, despite the food in his belly, we are liable to see a repeat of the previous night’s low. 

I remain pretty good at my job of chasing the inevitable havoc wreaked on my son’s body by diabetes.  Sure enough, by 1:30 am I have forced myself out of bed and he is rock bottom low.  Darn, I hate being right!

This night however, my son does not wake up.  I feed him glucose tablets as he sleeps. I chew alongside him as if that will make things go down easier.  Unfortunately I slip a little as a pancreas.  In my sleep-deprived state, I cannot chew and count tablets.  I keep putting them in my child’s lips and he keeps eating unaware of how many we have used. I decide that more is better. He will complain in the morning about the “glucose tablet” hangover he has (a horrible taste in his mouth after too many tablets being fed to him the night before).

After an hour or more, his blood glucose level is on the rise and its safe for me to get a bit of rest.  This pancreas is weary.  The pay is poor.  The hours are atrocious but the benefit of my son being alive and healthy each morning make everything else worthwhile. 

Do you monitor blood glucose levels at night or do you have a continuous glucose monitor to help you along?