On this day in 2010 I wondered if it was okay to be obsessed…

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “obsess” as to excessively preoccupy the mind. People have said that I obsess over my son’s diabetes. I have jokingly gone along with it on occasion. I have also been shocked at times to realize how much it is a part of my day and my life.

A couple of times recently, I have had the opportunity to go to lunch with my oldest son while my child with diabetes is involved in other things.  As we sit at a table, I want to ask him to test.  After his meal arrives, I automatically figure out the carbs and then have to stop myself from telling him how much to bolus. Maybe that is a little “obsessed” or perhaps its just habit.  

For over ten years he has been with me most of the time. During most meals, I have had to remind him to wash his hands and to test his blood glucose level.  Even when he has not been with me, I have had the carbohydrates calculated in almost all of his meals done for him ahead of time. I don’t think that wanting to ask someone else to test or calculating carbs is an obsession then. I think its just our way of life. 

Its not just meals that make me think about diabetes related stuff either.  I have been packing and unpacking as we adjust to a new home, new city and new way of life.  Things have been more than just a little stressful as the school year end was happening at the same time. I have been organizing diabetes walks, packing clothes, throwing out items stored for years, filling prescriptions, changing doctors and preparing myself and my son for his two week visit with his father. 

When all of the boxes were packed, the house was cleared, we had made our nine hour drive to our new home.  I had wonderful help in terms of my family to get things boxed up and shipped on. There was nothing left behind that was not meant to be.  Every piece of toilet paper was picked up. I was exhausted when we pulled away from our old house but I was confident that we had everything that we needed and that my son had all that he would need for his two weeks with is father.

Being exhausted and emotionally drained before a nine hour drive can only make your mind worse at the end of said drive. When we arrived here, my son and I grabbed the coolers and began to put things in the fridge and deep freeze.  Where was the insulin? I had about six vials of insulin.  Where was it? I took it out of the fridge. I put it on the counter. There was nothing left on the counter.  I had to have it.  What did I do with it? It was driving me crazy.  How could I have misplaced something so incredibly important?

For those who don’t understand the reaction is obvious…why are you obsessing? The child is not even here and won’t be for two weeks! He has his insulin and you do not need any.  You can buy more when you need it.  What is your problem? Why can’t you let this go? Why is it so important to you now when you should be thinking about sleep?

Those questions did run through my head.  I have to have our prescriptions moved over before he gets home.  There is some insulin here even if I don’t get it done in the next two weeks exactly.  Am I obsessed? The short answer to me at that time was YES! How can I not be? I have lived this life for the past ten and a half years.  I have seen how vital insulin is.  Yes, it may be about my child’s life but this is my life as well. Whether he is here or not, diabetes has become something that I live and breathe.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Some may say its a bad thing and that I need to loosen up.  I think that it is okay.  I have seen too many deaths from this disease. How can anyway say that being concerned, being on top of things and worrying about your child’s complete health is a bad thing? Oh and for the record…I still have about 50 boxes to go through (or so it feels like) and I still have no clue as to where the extra insulin is…or my cheese for that matter!

WARNING: When the Fear takes hold

For some reason lately my internal alarm clock is off. I have been waking at 5am.  That is about two hours after the latest time that I would normally wake up. I am not sure what is going on. The first day it happened, I panicked.  The second day it happened, I panicked and then remembered that it was a weekend and the last test would have been done by son less than four hours ago.  The third day was today and I will have to fix this trend fast!

When I woke this morning, I found my son’s bg level was the dreaded 5 (90).  You know? That perfect number that you don’t know which way it will go and you quickly drive yourself insane wondering? Normally I would have stayed awake for a bit to retest, check and see what was going on. Today I was tired. I was worn out and I literally prayed for the best as I headed back to bed.

I woke up a few hours later with the intention of checking to see where his bg levels were but I fell back to sleep. When I finally woke up again, I lay there heavily buried in guilt.  The what ifs began….

What if he did drop lower while I selfishly slept?
What if he seized while I dreamed  peaceful walks?
What if he didn’t wake up when I went to check on him?
What if he had brain damage?
What if my sweet, quirky young son was hurt because of my selfish desire to rest a little longer?
This would ruin my oldest son’s graduation celebrations in a few weeks.
I would never celebrate a birthday again because I had done this. It would be all my fault.

Plagued by all of the horrific sceneiros racing through my mind, I quickly headed across to his room.  As I entered, he stretched and yawned. He held out his hand for me to test but pretended to remain asleep. I lanced. Not enough blood. I lanced again. I squeezed. I waited. He was 6.5 (115ish).  He was fine. There was no coma, no brain damage–just a perfectly fine teen desperate to sleep until his mother peels his body off of his mattress.

I took a cleansing breath and headed off to the couch to sit and regroup for a bit.  This disease can drive you crazy. I thought I was doing well at living in the now.  Not letting it freak me out very often any more. I thought I was rolling with the punches pretty well. I guess we all have our days.  Today was mine. Tomorrow will be better.