I heard my bedroom door bang open and lights suddenly filled my room. My youngest son was standing over me thrusting his insulin pump into my sleeping face.
“What does this mean?”, he asked.
“It’s telling you how many carbs you need to correct your low. Are you low?”
“No, I’m high.”
Now I was puzzled. What the heck did he mean that his blood sugar was high when the pump was telling him to eat?
The answer was relatively simple. It turns out that he was higher still earlier in the evening. He had given himself some insulin to bring down the reading. The pump suggested that he was dropping way too fast and he needed a lot of carbs to cover the drop.
I told him not to worry about it. I would try to wake up and check his blood glucose levels again for him in a few hours.
I could hear the panic in his voice
“A few hours!!!! Are you kidding?? I could be dead by then!!!” My son’s pitch quickly escalated to panic and I was mildly amused. He had picked the wee hours of the morning to realize that diabetes care was serious business.
“You won’t die. You wake up to your lows now remember?”
“I woke up to a few! It was a fluke!! You can’t risk my life because I might wake up! You have to stay awake. You have to check me!!!”
Okay, I admit it. I was kind of enjoying torturing him. He never takes diabetes seriously. He rarely ever shows concern about any diabetes-related emergencies (or much else actually). This was an entirely new spin on a disease that we have lived with for too long.
My teen with diabetes was showing that he understood that diabetes was serious. Normally it was me freaking out at him! I was both relieved that he was “getting it” and so sad that this was something that he had to understand.
I eventually tried to quell his fears
Finally, I felt bad for him and began to fear that the insulin pump could be right. We could be heading for a serious drop. I told him to have a sandwich and not bolus for it. I would check him again later.
He stomped off to the kitchen and got some food. I then heard him head back into his room where he continued ranting to his older brother.
My teen is understanding that diabetes is serious business
I could hear him stating that he could die and his brother had better stay awake because his mother wasn’t! And did he mention that he could DIE!
I am pleased to state that he did not die. The sandwich he ate kept him up through any unforeseen peaks in his insulin. I didn’t get a lot of sleep because, despite my nonchalant attitude when talking to him, I remained on high alert all night. Ultimately, we both made it through another sleepless night with diabetes!