Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A day in the life...

A day in the life. The life of someone who has to work all day long to keep themselves alive. Not in a dramatic way, but in the small ways that make the biggest difference way down the line.

What you and I and most of the free world take for granted my children cannot. They can't stop by the fridge, pop it open, grab a small snack and then move on. If my kids want a snack they have to stop, test their blood, count carbs and bolus insulin. It can be a time consuming process and its not fun for a seven yr old boy who just wants to head outside with his friends. To be honest its just a sheer pain. My kids have to poke their fingers up to six times a day, sometimes even more, take several shots or live with a pump that's attached to them like a small IV, and always be aware of how their feeling. Always.

Today I will tell you how my nights go. Not every night, but I would say more than half my nights since the day Megan was diagnosed more than 15 years ago. I think I can safely say I have redefined "exhausted". At bedtime I test every ones blood. Two nights ago Colby's blood was ok, so was Megan's, but Skyler was 120. Now, that's a beautiful blood sugar. However, if you have a diabetic you need to understand one very important concept. A diabetics blood sugar is never level. Now what I mean by that is that it's never just "stationary". It's always going up, like after they eat, or it's going down, after their insulin starts to work. So if Skyler's blood sugar is 120 a bedtime you have to know that if there's insulin on board during the night he surely will start to drop low. That night he did. By four in the morning I heard the ever so familiar sound of weird crying. This type of crying sounds like the child is having the worst nightmare ever. Everyone of my kids have cried in the same way when they go too low at night. It also means that he isn't capable of walking or even talking, just crying. So, after jolting up, and trying to calm my pounding heart I grab the blood machine and some glucagon (emergency sugar shot) and head in there. I test him and sure enough he's low. So, after trying to get him to eat, which proves futile because he doesn't even recognize I'm even there, I give him a mini glucagon shot and then I wait. I sit with him a while, test him again, confirm he's coming up and then I go to watch TV. I watch for 30 minutes and test him again. This goes on for about an hour or two until I feel confident he's ok till morning. By then I drop in bed and pass out. This routine has gone on more many more nights than I would care to admit. Sometimes its not as bad, sometimes the kids can sit up and eat and are ok after just a few minutes, and sometimes they are in full blown seizure mode where we have to keep them from hurting themselves and us while we try to desperately bring up their sugars. Once or twice we have had to call the aid of an ambulance, but luckily not as often as you would think.

So there is a night readers digest style. Its long, hard and exhausting, but it is what it is. I will get up every night if it means my kids keep their health. I will do whatever I have to and more at the end of the day. I will addict myself to Dr Pepper just to keep my eyes open during the day. It is what it is. Some days are harder than others, but I hope that by showing them how much I care about them that they will then care about themselves that much and take care of themselves. I want them to all outlive me, and in today's day and age I think it's possible. But it starts with the small things. Like getting up in the middle of a night with a cry.

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