A Day in My Shoes....
- Check Blood sugar
- Treat based on blood sugar reading: anything above 150 give insulin, anything below 90 treat with juice or smarties or whatever sugary substance you can force down your SLEEPING kids throat. NOW, factor in a two hour basketball practice that she just came home from 3 hours ago. Factor in how stressed she was because she has a final tomorrow. Factor in she is 12...and in puberty...knowing all that do you still treat with insulin or with sugar? Quick...gotta decide something!!
- Crap! You can't sleep because your worried about all the above. Did you do the right thing? Did you give too much insulin...even though the pump says you should give xxx amount. Is she low, even though you just treated her but a few hours ago?!?
- Worrying your kid will DIE from a low blood sugar. You read right, DIE. It happens.
- You have this nagging feeling or a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) alarms and you go check your blissfully sleeping child and find their little finger prick it, wait for the blood sugar reading and either give yourself a high five because you guessed right, YES, I said guessed because diabetes is NOT an exact science, or beat yourself up because you treated with too much or too little of the above mentioned items.
- Refer to Midnight and 1AM-3AM
- You might as well get up...your not sleeping anyway and if you finally DID drift off to sleep the school alarm is screaming at you to do so!
- You will possibly field 1-10 phone calls from the school nurse. It's a call about being low and continues to be low. Or the call is about being high and she feels like crap and her head is spinning and her tummy hurts but she has to feel better because she is missing part of her testing right now.
- School ends and a blood sugar check reveals she is low. Treat and send her to the carpool pick up. Deal with the low all the way home.
- She walks in the house and raids the refrigerator because she is low and just wants to eat to feel better. OR she is high and feels sick, can't eat, can't do school work and just needs to chill.
- Get homework done if blood sugar is in range.
- Sports practice/Girl Scouts/Tutoring/whatever event your kid is in...pack up a diabetes emergency kit because insulin sites can sweat off or get kinked, glucagon in case she has a severe low, juice boxes, smarties, skittles, peanut butter crackers...just pack up your pantry...you might need to treat a low!! Oh, yea, did you pack up her practice gear?! Water bottle?!
- Fix dinner but she won't eat until after she is home from practice...so figure out carbs and adjust based on activity. Did she practice hard or was it an easy lesson? Did she run low/high during practice.
- Homework and dealing with melt downs because she doesn't understand something but it's really because her blood sugar is out of range.
- Get a shower and get ready for bed.
- Gotta stop everything because she is low/high and not feeling well.
- I have to pack her lunch because our school lunch doesn't have carb counts and really, would she eat it?! Count out and weigh, chips, cookies, sandwich, drink, fruit. Write down on a little piece of paper and include in her lunch sack.
- Check blood sugar.
REPEAT ALL THE ABOVE EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!!!
Are you exhausted yet from just READING this?! Think about actually LIVING this. Factor in stress, colds, the flu, puberty...there is no rhyme or reason to diabetes. This is ONLY the day to day maintenance of living with diabetes. I have this times two. I have TWO daughters with Type 1. I have a son with a bleeding disorder. I haven't even touched on the hours I spend fighting with insurance companies for coverage on medicine that keeps them alive. Or the every 3 month Endo visits I have to take my girls to. Or the fact I worry every time they leave my care that they will die.
I don't want your pity. I just want you to know; it's not JUST diabetes. It's serious. It's life threatening hourly. It's REAL.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading. Thank you for caring.
Thank you for walking a day in my shoes.