“Caught in a blizzard I didn’t predict, trapped in a time warp. Doomed to relive the same day over and over again until I get it right…”… or until there is a cure.
It’s 3 am. I awake for the third time since 10 pm to an alarm. One boy is 259, one is 59. One gets carbs, one gets insulin. Don’t mix them up. Hair disheveled, face wrangled, I fumble up then back down the stairs. Fall back into bed where sleep quickly retakes hold.
3:30 am. Eyes pop open to glance at the monitor. Need to assure the low sugar is rising.
4 am. Wake up to assure the low sugar is normal and steady and the high sugar is reducing. Attempting to think logically through the veil of chronic fatigue and the fog of waking up again. All appears well.
5:45 am. Wake up for the day. I have to shake off the cobwebs and pull myself together for the long day ahead before I wake up anyone else. Make sure sugars are acceptable for the next half an hour while I selfishly do something for me….you know, like take a shower and comb my hair.
6:10 am. Wake the twins up for school. Check alcohol swabs, glucose tabs, strips and lancets in school kit.
6:30 am. Guinea pigs are fed. Teeth are brushed, hair combed, faces washed…maybe. They are 11 and find such hygiene optional at times. The noise factory arrives downstairs to check sugars, plan breakfast, dose insulin for breakfast, eat breakfast. “Don’t forget to update the Dexcom and write it down!”…lest your OCD mother has a fit because she MUST analyze the numbers regularly.
7:00 am. Bus arrives. “Kits and Dexcoms!” Assured they have them; most days they do. Oh wait! Forgot their water bottle. Run back for the water and an extra hug and kiss while the bus waits because you know, it’s imperative, and everyone else can wait.
7:00 am – 3 pm. Plan dinner. Run errands. Work with burning bloodshot eyes. Frankly, I guess the red makes the green of my eyes “pop”. Arrive home within minutes of the boys.
3:30 pm. “Kits and Dexcoms” The boys drop their school kits and Dexcoms on the kitchen counter. Mommy obsessively writes down sugars from the school day. Scroll through Dexcom to see how they looked over the course of the school day. What are their current sugars? Intervene if necessary. Check alcohol swabs, strips, lancets in home Diabetes kits. Move PDM to home kit and set school kit aside for the next day. Homework, chores, piggy time. Recreation….well, at least for them. Me?....
4:00 pm. Brief gym session; cook; clean; bills; mail; dogs
5:00 pm. Call the boys for dinner. “WASH your HANDS!” Two purposes: a) Wash your hands before dinner, and b) Clean hands for a sugar check. Check sugar. Update Dexcoms. Count dinner carbs and dose insulin. Let’s eat!
5:10 pm. Wait! Seconds already? I haven’t even finished making my own plate! Of course. Have more. Count carbs. Dose insulin.
5:30 pm. Clean kitchen. “Can we take a walk?!” Sure. Bag packed with water and juice boxes, because we can’t just “take a walk” anymore. Nothing is simple, not even a walk. “Kits and Dexcoms, please!” Ear falls off from all the chatter and incessant questions. Stop at duck pond and drink a juice, hoping it will keep the sugars up.
Halfway home, juice wasn’t enough. Sit on the sidewalk, looking half-crazy, eat candy and wait for the glucose level to rise to a safe level to continue our trek home. Boy is feeling better. Walk 20 feet before the next one says, “Wait, I’m low, too!” as Dexcom shows low with arrows dropping. Same treatment, sit in front of a different stranger’s house.
6:15 pm. Home. Showers. Sugars stable. Soap is optional, they think. Finish cleaning. Prepare for tomorrow. Put on PJs while they shower. Dexcoms still show stable sugars. Finally I can relax, so I pour a big glass of water and hit the chair.
BBBEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPP….. The Pod shriek of death. Fantastic. Get back up. Change insulin pump. No rest for the weary.
8:00 pm. Adult time for the man and me; reading time for the boys.
9:00 pm. Bed time. Check sugars. 126, great! 82, great L. That won’t last. Give a couple of ounces of chocolate milk, hope that holds him for the night. Brush teeth. Kisses and hugs good night.
9:20 pm. Boards creek. Someone is tip-toeing downstairs. “I feel low”. Not the one who was 82. It’s Mr. 126. Now he’s 92 and dropping. Chocolate milk for him, too. Try again to hang with the man and watch some TV.
10:20 pm. Dexcom sugars look good. Going to bed. Long day. More work tomorrow.
11:30 pm. First alarm. 82 and chocolate milk didn’t hold. Now 62. Yoo-hoo box it is.
12:00 am. Midnight. Glance at monitor. One going up, the other steady. Back to sleep.
12:30 am. Eyes pop open. Still steady. Doze back off.
It’s 3 am. I awake for the third time since 10 pm to an alarm….
Although activities may vary on a daily basis, this is pretty much how it goes. Some days are better than others. Mind you, I didn’t mention much about the hubby, the dogs, the other kids, all of whom demand and deserve their own level of time and attention. This is just a glimpse of the demands of Diabetes. I feel like I have three Full-time jobs at least.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not feeling sorry for myself. It is what it is because I have kids with Type One Diabetes. Despite it all, I love my life and I am living a different version of “the dream”. Rather, I feel sorry for my kids, and those like them, who have to live with and deal with this disease every day of their lives. Unfortunately, not much will change for any of us until there is a cure.
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