Diabetes is hard! Some days you’re the windshield…some days you’re the bug

This post was originally written in 2009.  My son now manages his own diabetes care .  He wakes for his lows.  He treats his highs but one thing remains the same–diabetes is hard no matter who is responsible for care for the daily tasks. 

Diabetes is hard

“Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug.” Today I am definitely feeling like the bug!

It was after midnight and of course I was dying to get to sleep. I had set my alarm for early the next morning.  It would be my son’s last day of school.

I found a meter and a strip. I grabbed a lancet, waded through all of the junk that the boys had left on the stairs rather than putting away and was off to test my son’s blood sugar level. I hope it would be the last check for a few hours. One check and I could sleep!

We had been out for pizza earlier that day to celebrate good grades so I was certain that my youngest son would still be high. He had been  16 mmol (288) earlier in the evening  so you know I was certain that I was  going to be able to rest.

Wrong! Diabetes doesn’t work that way.

I took the meter. I lanced his finger  and created a pool of  blood. The strip refused to suck. What the???? Okay, I cleaned the finger. I got more blood. I tried again. The glucometer just barely accepted the blood. I waited for the reading…E5. It was an error reading!! There hadn’t been enough blood to get a blood sugar reading. Oh the lovely four letter words that were on the tip of my tongue as I headed back downstairs to get new equipment.

I found a new meter. I was certain that this one had to be better than the last. A new test strip was in my hand. The same lancing device was being used. Back up the stairs I went.  This time I grumbled and picked up items as I went.

Once again, I lanced my son’s finger. Again, I got a large amount of blood. The strip sucked the blood  this time! I walked towards the stairs not even considering having to correct a high blood glucose reading. That was a good thing because he didn’t need insulin.  He was 3.2 (57). He was low!

I uttered a few more choice words as I shuffled off to get some juice. I filled a glass, found a straw and trudged up the stairs for a third time in less than five minutes.

My son wasn’t keen on drinking. I continued to cajole him until he finally began to  sip. Thankfully he drank it all except the last few drops. Those were sucked up into the straw and somehow flew all over his pillow.  I was not happy.  There was now strawberry juice all over a cream pillow case.  I cleaned it off as best as I could and  waited.

Fifteen minutes can become a lifetime when you are dying for sleep. These are the moments when you just think to yourself…diabetes is hard.  Why us?

Eventually it was time to retest.  He was  5.5 (99) and I was finally off to bed for two hours before it would be time to test again.

Diabetes is hard.  Diabetes care is a challenge.  Some days things seem okay…and other days you feel like you are a bug squished against a windshield.



Let’s Talk About Me!

Its April 1st already and time to once again join in with the WEGO Health blog challenge!  I enjoy doing this. Its a great time to connect with new blogs that you may not otherwise come across.  The WEGO people also provide interesting prompts that require me to look at life from a slightly different perspective. Its great!

Day one asks us to either write about why we got involved with the Health Activists Writer’s Month Challenge or talk about how we started on this path, so I decided to talk about me!  Actually, its because I can’t remember how long I have been doing the challenge or what made me start…except probably the fact that it was an interesting challenge.

But back to me!! Why do I write about my life with a child with diabetes online?  For the therapy.  Quite simply, that is in part why it began.  Writing, journaling, and such has always been my way of getting out thoughts, feelings and emotions.  If I wrote it out, I could work through it. 

I began to write about my challenges.  I wrote about our successes.  I chronicled my fight with the federal government to get the Disability Tax Credit.  I wrote about trying to choose an insulin pump for the first time.  Eventually I also began to talk about our day to day life.  The challenges of a preteen, and now the challenges faced in living with a teen.  We deal with hormones and independence. 

I write to share my fears.  I write to share our joys.  I write to educate and to create awareness.  My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in March of 2000.  I was an educated young mother of two boys.  I knew about teething.  I had been through the flu, colds and potty training but I knew nothing of diabetes until it barged into our lives and almost killed my son.  In writing about Type 1 diabetes today, I hope to educate other parents, grandparents and the general public on what Type 1 diabetes is and the reality of how it impacts families and their lives.   

Over the years, writing has also allowed me to connect with other parents and those living with diabetes.  It gives those who have not yet reached some of the stages we have to see how we have handled things and what they can expect.  It also helps those who are also living with a teen with type 1 know that they are not alone in their struggles and the strange victories that only those who live here can truly appreciate. 
There you have it…why I write about type 1 diabetes. I am looking forward to the many thought provoking challenges presented over the next 30 days.  I am equally looking forward to learning new things about other health writers.  Let the fun begin!!