My Diabetes Vacation

I’m back!!! Hopefully you enjoyed the stroll down memory lane while I was taking in the amazing beauty and history of Ireland. 

This trip was incredible for many reasons.  Obviously being in a country that is oozing history out of every pore was a dream come true for me. I love history. I spent a few years in university studying British history and this trip brought me back to a subject that I have always enjoyed. 

Another reason for it being incredible? I left Diabetes behind.  This was the very first time in twelve and a half years that Diabetes moved to the very, very back of the bus.  I kept in touch with my son about once per day.  Our conversations occasionally contained “What are your readings like?”  with his usual “Good” response. The amazing thing is that I never said “Good is not a number.  What is your reading?”. 

I began the trip in my usual style. “Don’t forget to reduce your overnight basal.  You were really active today.”  
“Do we need to adjust that time we talked about or do you think the rates are okay?”

After a few days of enjoying the sights of Dublin and taking in a few local pubs, our conversations became more of “How’s it going?”  and “What did you do today?” with only a small smattering of “How are your readings? Do we need to make any changes?” 

“The Brazen Head” The oldest pub in Dublin!

I have read that parents need to take a vacation away from diabetes. I have always felt it was important for my son to get any break he could now and then by me taking over bolusing, site changes, etc.  I often wish that I could do this for many others living with diabetes–give them a break when they have no one around who can.  I have never been able to give myself a vacation however. 

I am a mother. I worry. I wake up in the middle of the night prepared to test whether my son is with me or not. I look at meals and count the carbs.  I search for a meter two hours after a meal thinking that someone should be testing.  

On this trip, I still woke up in the middle of the night. I still wondered how my son’s readings were going but it was not my most pressing concern. Getting up at 6am, being ready for the bus, figuring out where our next stop would be, how I would fit everything into our luggage and where the best Irish coffee was made moved to the forefront of my brain.  I never looked for a carb count until I ate a cookie on the final plane ride home.  

This picture was right side up but after a few coffee…

I will go through my son’s pump and meter with a fine tooth comb when he comes home but while I was away?  It was something that I would deal with later. 

So my advice to all the parents out there? When your child goes to camp, spends a week with Grandma or goes away with their other parent for a period of time–ENJOY! Let go.  If only once.  Take your own vacation.  You have earned it.  As others told me, you have taught your child well so let them fly a little on their own. You are still there to fix any scrapes but the break will do you both good…speaking from experience!  

Back in the Saddle

Its eight o’clock in the morning and I am eagerly waiting for my sons to arrive.  As much as I have enjoyed lounging in my bed and not stumbling around in the wee hours of the morning, I am equally happy to begin the process again tonight.

Last night I went to bed thinking, “Enjoy this. Its your last night to sleep through for a few weeks.”  The other thoughts going through my head were “What if I don’t wake up? What if I just sleep through the nights when he is home? Who will test him? How will I set an alarm and not wake up Larry?

I woke up at two and at four am.  There is no worries about eighteen years of interrupted sleep being cured in the span of two and a half weeks.

I should not have to worry about being shocked by readings that were not done or are completely out of whack.  Texting and calling each day have hopefully alleviated that stress for both of us.  I will simply enjoy having him back in the house again for a few weeks.

I will enjoy the testing, the nagging, the background chatter of video games.  I will appreciate having someone else to take out the garbage and put away the dishes.  There will be more activity in our refrigerator as he spends hours looking for another snack.

Ah, the joys of having a teenager back in the house…yes, I really do miss it when they are gone!

A Diabetes Vacation

Technically I am on a diabetes vacation.  There is no night time testing. There is no carb counting or yelling out “did you test?”.  There are not even any text messages asking “What is your bg level?” The phone smashing to the floor of McDonald’s and never recovering took care of that one.

My son is visiting his brother and his father. He is now in charge of his care.  This does not make my life as carefree as it sounds. I sit here, hundreds of miles away from him, and worry, think and wonder what he is doing. Is he testing? Did you change that site? Does he have a new cartridge in? How are his readings going? Has he been low? How high have his highs been?

I do try to not think of diabetes 24/7.  I have tried to limit my worry and let him enjoy his time away. Before I dropped him off, there were numerous pep talks. There were a lot of reminders. After a bit he said, “Mom, this is me you are talking about.  How can you think that I wouldn’t test or remember these things?”

Um, perhaps because I live with you!

While we wait for me to have the chance to switch his phone over to another model and mail it to him, its messages through his brother and daily phone calls when he gets up to go over readings. I would love him to call twice a day but this is where Mom has been good. He needs his space.  He needs to do his thing.  Mom has to wait…and I have.

We have had calls that consist of…
“7.8 at 10pm, 13.1 at midnight, 4.0 at 3 am, etc.”  but we have also had calls that were “Yeah, I was a bit high but I ate that bread and messed up the bolus.”  Followed by, “okay we will go over specifics on another day when you have a bit of time.  Have fun! Love you!”

The vacation is tough. Its strange having no children and no diabetes.  Its great to be able to rollover at night but there is a lot of prayers at the same time. If I woke up was there a reason? Did he wake as well? Is someone watching over him? So far, yes to all of the above.  He has been doing well with his care and is great at calling.  The honeymoon may wear off and teen forgetfulness may creep back in but only fourteen more days.  Soon enough I will be back to complaining about sleepless nights once again!