Vacations are terrible for us. The vacation part is fabulous but the highs that seem to result are torture. You see there is the limited activity while you are driving, flying, boating or visiting. There is also all of those strange carbs. You tend to eat out more and eat new foods at friends and family dinners. On occasion we get the carbs right but more often we seem to miss testing, bolusing or getting the cabs right.
The other problem for me is “mommy guilt”. When we stay in the same hotel room, I hear every turn he makes. I sleep for an hour or two and wake to one of any number of noises. I look across the room and see my son sleeping. I feel like I should be testing. I also definitely want to get some sleep and relax as well. He might be high or with all of the insulin we have been pumping into him, what if he is finally low? I have to test.
Night testing is a personal choice. After reading a recent study stating that 5-27% of people with Type 1 diabetes will die of Dead in Bed Syndrome, my choice is to continue to test at night. I have always been a night tester but I completely admit to getting tired. Often I don’t fall asleep until at least 11pm and seem to wake up within two hours. I will test my son then and then its back to doze for a bit. The first test has happened because I am positive that it must be at least 3 or 4am. The second test will happen because I am paranoid that its later and there is a reason that I have woken up.
The other night, I watched my son sleep. I woke up to test. I watched him sleep. I finally fell asleep. I woke to hearing his pump going off because his insulin was getting low. I tested when I turned off the alarm. I fell asleep. I woke to someone tossing around in bed. I tested. I fell asleep but was woken up by a call reminding me of an endo appointment for next week. The time difference between where the appointment is and where we were located meant that I was answering my phone at 5am. Might as well test but wait, the low insulin alarm is going off as well. I really did not want to get up for half of these tests. I wanted to sleep. I watched the males in my life snoring and enjoying the peace and relaxation of a good sleep, I recently bought a sleep apnea mouthpiece to help get rid of the snoring. I was jealous. I hated diabetes. I wanted to sleep like this. I wanted a break. One day I guess…
This past week has been very full and very emotional. There have been many decisions on my plate and many issues floating around. Always front and center is diabetes care. I was lucky enough to have some wonderful friends to speak with and try to wrap my head around what could be expected of a 12 year old boy. In the process I was told that when it came to diabetes I was a softy. I let my own guilt and issues get in the way of my child’s best interest. I had a friend read through my old blogs and suggest that I had just as many highs and lows as my son. It was suggested that I was weak. I was shocked. I have been called a lot of things in my life but weak was never one of them.
I decided to begin to read back in my old blogs myself and form my opinion of me. Well, first I have the utmost respect for anyone who wants to learn that much about diabetes and my opinions to spend the amount of time required to go through all of my old blogs. I have spent part of a day and have only managed to get through one year! Yes I have been distracted by a few other things but still to maintain that kind of interest takes a very special person and I feel very lucky to have that sort of a person interested and involved in my life.
But back to the point…was I really weak and soft? Well I still don’t see myself as “weak” but I certainly am weak and developed very poor coping skills when it comes to diabetes care. Did I just admit that?? As I read through one year I realized that I took a very tough stance when it came to government. I have lofty goals that are commendable and that I still stand behind when it comes to getting everyone living with diabetes the best of care in school and throughout their life time. I am horrible when it comes to being strong with my son.
I was told by a psychologist that deals with this issue that I was allowing my issues with this disease to overshadow how I teach my son. In reading, he was so right. He gave me new tools to move forward with and funny but when I have started to use them I feel less powerless, less sad, and less pathetic. I have worked very hard over the past two years to overcome many personal issues and to be strong in myself. I have learned to relax and take life as it comes. Sadly I was not doing this with diabetes.
My writings are filled with “but he will have to live with this forever and I should give him a break”. In conversations over the past week I have come to realize that I am not helping him in that. He does know how to “play” me. He looks at me with those puppy dog eyes and while I will never melt for anything else, I will give over and do whatever chore it is that he needs to do. In looking at how I have reacted to issues of forgotten meters, strips and testing–panic is my first mode of attack. This does no one any good.
We will see how I do when the next crisis hits but so far I have been able to be stronger and “just say no”. Now that seems weird but I have seen the look in my child’s face…I can get her to do this. It made me realize that I cannot do this. I am not helping him. I would not do his homework for him and I cannot do his basic D care. Funny, since I have made him more responsible and given consequences for not doing so he is much more on top of things. This may falter. He may test me and I may get frustrated but I am going to try to remain more calm. I read through crisis after crisis and funny but no one died despite my fears. The world did not crumble and life was okay…except for my own nerves. I was the only one damaged and that has to change…well I can hope and work on it anyway!