We started this diabetes nightmare when my son was two years old. Back then my life was filled with lancing tiny fingers, injecting innocent little limbs, and fighting to get food into his body. He would refuse to eat. He would vomit his food. He would store an entire meal in his cheek. His father took to calling him a chipmunk. We were on an old MDI regimen and it took a year or so before I began to learn how to make it work for me rather than let diabetes rule our lives.
Eventually my son grew. He became more independent and he decided that food was great. Where once I fought with him to eat, now I have to tell him to take a break. My how times have changed!
In the old days, my son was always with me. I even went to school with him for a bit. I tested him. I knew what he ate. I was on top of most things and despite fighting diabetes each day, I knew that when the report card came in, I would see a good A1c and my hard work would be rewarded.
The A1c is a blood test that measures the amount of glucose in the blood over the past 2-3 months. I kept the readings lower and the result was usually good. Parents spoke of feeling like they were being graded when they were given the results of the A1c test. To them it spoke to whether they had passed or failed as a pancreas over the past 3 months. I felt that way as well but I had been a good scholar so I rarely experienced “failure”.
My son is no longer a toddler. He is no longer a young boy. He is now a teen. Teenagers go through puberty. Puberty means hormones. Puberty means independence. Puberty means Mom is no longer in every single place that son is. Puberty plus diabetes equals my fast track to insanity.
This summer we moved. This summer my son alternated his time between our new home and his father’s house. When the report card came back on what sort of pancreases we had been (or more specifically he had been) over the summer–well it was not good. We had our worst A1c ever. I was devastated but proud that I didn’t completely lose it with my child. He heard the results. He knew that they were not what I considered good. He knew that he had to pull up his socks before December.
The “report card” was completely foreign to my fiance. He had no idea what the numbers meant or why I would be upset. He kindly told me that if I felt it was bad, then he would do what he could to help me to help my son so that next time it was a lot better. It felt good to know that I was not alone. He would be that second voice reminding my child of all of the things he seems to forget. Bolusing has improved. Its not often that that is forgotten…since he has been home. He is even getting back into pre-bolusing which I like to see. Testing? Well that is an entirely different ball of wax.
I have suggested texting him. I have suggested sitting in class with him. Of course I am only so serious about some of those ideas but he is worried. He is now managing to at least get in the bare minimal amount of testing while he is in school. I am good. I do not check his meter the second he comes home. We usually go over things after supper or before bed.
I really shouldn’t do it before bed though. This diabetes stuff is wearing me out already. We clamped down. We finally saw readings under 10 (180). We were even seeing the occasional 4(72)!! I was over the moon. School days are have changed that. Diabetes seems to love school. Love it as in loves to mess things up terribly! He is double digits for most of the day and yet his basals are set perfectly and if I drop a carb to insulin ratio much lower it will terrify me. I have decided to set a “school” rate. I am going to crank up the insulin while he sits in class and on the bus. It may not be school. We could be looking at another growth spurt…you know because I just had to buy an entire new wardrobe for school so let’s grow again so I can do it all over again for Christmas!
Diabetes should give you more of a break than just a day or two. It has taken me months to finally get settled into our new home. It has taken months to unpack half of our stuff. Couldn’t diabetes give us a few months before it came back with this puberty laden attitude? Thank heavens for a jet tub and a drink because diabetes may drive me to spending a lot more time in there yet trying to drown my frustrations on way or another.