I check my phone. Who is texting me at 6 in the morning? I really wanted to sleep in until at least 8 today. It wasn’t my phone. It must have been my iPad. Probably my oldest messaging me to tell me that he is up for work. I had been teasing him about over sleeping. I tried to go back to sleep.
“Your phone is ringing. Answer your phone. Its your phone. Please answer it!”
Nothing good comes from a phone call at 6:30am. I see my youngest’s phone number. I hear a deep voice. He had a site issue the day before. I am sure its my ex-husband calling to tell me that my son ended up in the hospital or they need help. As my mind clears, and I hear “we need to make some changes. I was low at 6am.” I realize that it is my son!
“What are you doing up this early?”
“Got to get my exercise! The early bird catches the worm! You can’t sleep your life away.” says the child who can easily sleep until two in the afternoon!
Hold on! He said he was low. Now he is saying that he is taking a morning walk. My brain is starting to clear and this does not sound like a good situation. I ask him if he is still low. He says no but he is walking and taking breaks just in case. He swears he is testing and he is okay…and then the connection is gone. I call him back. It goes straight to voice mail. I call again. Same thing. I try to go back to sleep but my imagination fires up in high gear. What if he went low and fell in a ditch somewhere. I text him to call me. I try to go back to sleep. It’s not happening. I call again.
Finally after about 10 minutes I get through. He had been camping with friends, got up this morning and was walking back to his father’s house. He was no longer low. The low was earlier. I asked if he had over bolused the correction from his site failure, been drinking, or made a bolus mistake in some food that he ate. He said to no to all of the above. I am not sure that he would have honestly answered question number two but I threw it in there amongst others so he could say yes, without saying a specific yes to the alcohol part. Either way, we decided to leave the low for another night because the corrections may have had an impact…amongst other things.
We chatted for a bit longer until he informed me that he was back at his dad’s and was hoping for a big cooked breakfast before his father headed off to work. We discussed bolusing strategies after his morning walk and then said good-bye.
I tried to go back to sleep but at that point I was sadly too awake to think about it. Instead and I lay there and realized that this was a foreshadow of times to come. Times when he would be by himself and possibly calling to bounce a diabetes strategy off of me (or not). Times when I would worry and wonder if he was safe after a low. Did he fall and there is no one to help him? Those are things I will worry about but he also showed that he was okay. He was taking it all in stride…literally. I will have to learn to do that too…one day…some time..later.
Over the holidays, my boys and I were sitting at our kitchen table enjoying an after supper conversation. My youngest son happened to look at a drug store receipt on the table and said “$160 for a month of test strips? That’s crazy!”
I quickly explained that sadly that did not cover a month’s worth of testing. I also reminded him that there was still the cost of insulin and pump supplies to add to that monthly diabetes care bill.
He was completely incensed. He was adamant that he would NOT be spending that kind of money on his diabetes care when he was older. This was insane by his calculation. No one should have to pay such crazy amounts to stay alive.
He decided that he would have to seriously cut down his testing when he was forced to cover his own supply costs. He informed me that when we went to diabetes events and he filled out cards, they always asked if he tested only a few times per week. He had to state that he was the child of an obsessive tester and tested closer to 10 times per day. My young son felt that these cards(geared to people with Type 2 diabetes) justified him not testing in his adult years.
I groaned and tried to explain to him that a lack of testing was not an option to consider. I had invested in a Disability Savings Plan for him and reminded him that it would give him some money towards his diabetes supplies when he was older. I also encouraged him to keep contributing and taking advantage of the free government money.
This did nothing to pacify him. He remained horrified at the cost of his care. He decided that it was the job of the government to cover his costs. If they did not pay for his supplies, he would die. It was simple.
I wish it was that simple. I wished that governments actually cared. His throught processes scare me at times. I pray that he does have good coverage when he gets older…and more importantly that he uses the tools available to him to keep himself healthy.
“You were really high last night. Did you forget to bolus something?”
“Mom, you know how I eat in my sleep?”
“Yes, I know that if I feed you, that you will chew without waking. What about it?”
“Well, I think that is why I was high last night! I am pretty sure that while I have been sleeping that Sweedums has been feeding me. You know, she is getting me a sandwich and making me eat it. She has probably been force feeding my some of my Christmas chocolate too!”
Oh my! Where does he come up with this stuff? “Perhaps if she feels the need to feed you at night, you could remind her to bolus as well?”
It may be a new year but somethings never change!
|The boy and his dog, Sweedums…she does have a guilty look!|
Why did I get such perverse pleasure from my son freaking out about his blood glucose dropping and my relatively cavalier attitude? Because this week brought us back full circle to Mom freaking out at him and him basically wishing that I would simply go away or at least give up the rant.
Once again, I looked at his meter. Once again all of those readings that he supposedly had but could not remember five minutes later were because HE DID NOT TEST!!!! Once again I lost it. Once again I yelled. Once again I told him that I HATE being lied to. Once again I said that he cannot be trusted. Once again I wanted to sit and cry. Once again I worried about the future.
I still want to cry. I still am frustrated. I still hate diabetes more and more. My son is a teen. I get that. He has a serious case of “teen brain”. I get that too. He is not my first teenage son but thankfully he is my last.
I hate that no matter what diabetes is there wreaking some sort of havoc in our lives. There have been a lot of changes in our lives recently. I have a lot of other “stuff” on my mind. I am trying to create a new business. I am dealing with new budgetary issues. There is Christmas coming up, my car that needed brakes and tires and so much more of life’s daily challenges. I really did not have a lot of time to sit and hover over my son to make sure that he was testing when I asked. It would appear that I needed to make time but… I DON’T WANT TO!!
I am tired of being the diabetes police. I am tired of testing, bolusing and counting carbs. I am tired of waking up in the middle of the night and convincing myself that I do not want to roll over and go back to sleep. What I really want to do is to get out of bed, wander down the hallway, find my son’s glucometer and test him.
No I don’t!! I want to have a “normal” life. I want to worry about him being happy. I don’t want to have to be the one to remind him that when he looks at his budget in career class, he needs to make sure that he can afford the extra $400+ per month required to keep him alive. I don’t want to be the person to say “I don’t think that career will pay you enough.” “Do you think you will have good medical benefits with that job?”
These aren’t conversations that I have with my other son. My biggest concern with him is that he spend all of his money on restaurants and exotic groceries.
We have been doing this diabetes thing for almost 13 years. Some parts are easier…and some parts remain frustrating. Despite that, I am done. I am tired. I want off of this ride. We have been on it for too long and knowing that my son will never get off tips me closer to the edge.
Once again I rant and scream. Once again it will change nothing. Once again I will breathe. Once again my son will test in front of me. Once again I will pray that he truly “gets it”…one day.
Its weird. When we get our A1c, I hate telling other people what it is. We work hard but I know a lot of other people who work hard too. We use a pump but they use a pump too. The only CGM we have is our own regular testing. Despite all of this, I have friends who struggle to see an A1c under 8. We have rarely, in twelve years, seen one over 7.
I have no delusions of this lasting forever. I know my son will hit his own walls when Mom is not around. I know that I have provided a cushion for those years however. I have been told this cushion may help him during those rough years reducing the chances of complications. I pray so.
Despite that fact, I rarely publicly state his A1c. I feel guilty because we succeed where others struggle. I don’t see us doing anything different. Maybe we are just lucky.
My son actually sees diabetes has relatively easy! That scares me. He says,
“its simple. You count the carbs. You give the insulin. You test. You adjust. What is the big deal?”
Wow. I know its not that simple but perhaps it is good that he doesn’t see it as that big of a burden or a problem. I know he sees it as an annoyance. I know he sees it as something he would rather ignore but it does not appear to be a “challenge” to him. It is simply his life. I guess that is one thing to be grateful for.