I’m a Dmom. I have two kiddos with Type 1 Diabetes. My job as a Dmom includes any number of things that are normally done by a person’s pancreas but the thing I want to share about today is night-time blood sugar checks. Im not going to suggest that all Dparents need to be doing night-time checks or suggest that night-time checks are unnecessary. Those are personal family decisions that can change daily. I was just reminded lately of a specific night-time check that still makes me giggle years later.
Having two kids with diabetes means the odds are against me when it comes down to getting a full nights sleep. When only one of our kiddos had diabetes I would get to sleep through the night three maybe even four days of the week because blood sugars would be playing nicely and other issues (amount of activity that day, what was for dinner, active insulin still working in my child’s system) were not factors. When my second child was diagnosed the chances of a full nights sleep decreased since all the factors for both kids were less likely to gel.
To check a night-time blood sugar a few things are necessary. First, I need to set an alarm to wake me. This means my alarm clock has to be outside my reach. In my home in Texas I kept my alarm clock in my bathroom, 15 feet from my bed. Thus I was required to get out of bed to turn it off and the chances of me sleeping through it were slim. Second, I need to have the kids glucose meters in their rooms. Normally this isn’t an issue since I check them before I go to bed but there have been times when the meters are left downstairs and so I would need to navigate stairs in the dark to retrieve the meters. Other times the meters would be in their rooms but they would be lacking test strips – this too required a trip downstairs. Third, light. While some meters such as the VerioIQ (we can’t use the Verio because our insurance won’t approve the test strips) have a bright display and a light to illuminate the testing area (finger) our meters do not have a bright LCD display or a light. Without a bright meter a certain amount of bedroom light is necessary to check a night-time blood sugar.
One night a couple years ago I went in to test my son’s blood sugar. I twisted the switch on his bedside lamp but alas no light came. Reluctantly I flipped the wall switch, hoping my boy did not wake up, but that too would not illuminate (light turned off high above via the chain on his light/fan combo). I was tired and likely only half awake so I grabbed the next available light source.
Yes it was an authentic replica of a Star Wars lightsaber. It was a Christmas gift the prior Christmas. It is exceptionally bright and makes the coolest and most realistic lightsaber sounds. I turned it on and heard the ‘whoosh’ sound so familiar to any Star Wars fan or mother of young kids. I wielded it through the room as whooshing and swooshing sounds echoed around me. It provided the light I needed to test his blood sugar which was behaving well. I turned to find my reflection in his dresser mirror. Sporting my bubble gum jammy pants and cami, hair disheveled and face puffy from waking at 3am – yet I stood there waving my Jedi weapon feeling incredibly powerful.
Diabetes has the potential of many terrible complications. I have no desire to go into the physical complications but I wanted to make note of an emotional complication that effects both people with diabetes and those that love them. It is a feeling of being powerless or weak. There are days that Diabetes kicks my butt. On this night in the blue glow of Obi-Wans lightsaber the Force was with me and I felt powerful.
The photo above was not taken the night described above it was taken just last week while chatting with a DOC friend about Star Wars around midnight (yes I am a nerd). I was not blogging back when I used the lightsaber to check a sugar and thus had no inclination to take a photo but having snapped the picture last week I decided to share the story now for the Day 9 prompt – Tell a story about a memory – from the National Health Blog Post Month list. I am 10 days behind the challenge due to travel, construction and life.