Friday, December 14, 2012

A Night in the Life

Over the past few weeks we have been struggling with late night high glucose numbers.  We have tried changing the time Ben eats his bed time snack.  We have tried changing around his snack choices.  We have even avoided eating bed time snacks altogether.  We have adjusted his basal rates.  But we have had little success.

Then Sunday night, after a busy weekend, I decided to go to bed early.  Jeff was going to be up late working on his computer, so after I tucked in Ben and his brothers I went straight to bed myself and I quickly fell asleep.  Then around 11:00 pm I woke up and did a groggy debate with myself, "Should I get up (out of my warm and cozy bed) and check Ben?"

I argued, "Why get up?" … "There was no chance Ben would be low. He hadn't been low at this time of night for weeks. I was going to get up at 3:00 am to check him. And if he is high I can correct his blood sugar then."

These all seemed like sound arguments.  So my exhausted brain decided to stay in bed and within seconds I was dreaming again.

Soon I was startled out of my sleep by the bathroom light and the opening and closing of doors.  As I rubbed my eyes open I looked at the clock, it was 12:30 am.  Jeff soon came back in the bedroom looking very unhappy.  I asked, "What is going on?"  He said he had checked Ben when he came up to go to bed and he was 54.  I was shocked, "Seriously?  Are you sure he wasn't 254?"  That would have made more sense to my jumbled brain.  But nope, Ben was low.  Jeff quickly left the room and I heard him walking down the stairs on a mission to retrieve apple juice boxes.  I must have then fallen back to sleep because soon I was again awoken when Jeff pulled the covers back as he eventually got into bed.  Jeff quietly mumbled, "I gave Ben a juice box and will check him again in 15 minutes. Go back to sleep."  I quickly went back to sleep.

But it was a T1 mom sleep.  It was a groggy dreamy sleep, but still not 100% asleep.  It was a worried sleep.  And soon I was hearing the worried voices.  (Yes, I do hear voices in my head.)  The voices first start quietly nagging.  "Wake up.  How is Ben?" But as I already stated I was tired.  It was going to take more then a polite reminder to wake me up.  So soon the voices started yelling at me!  "WAKE UP!  YOU NEED TO CHECK BEN?"

I sat straight up.  I looked around the dark room and saw Jeff sleeping right next to me.  I remembered he had said he would check Ben, but did he?  I didn't hear him get up.  I poked his back until he rolled over, and I asked, "Did you recheck Ben?" Now Jeff sat up startled.  He looked at the clock and then he got out of bed grumbling.  He left the room to check Ben.  And for the second time in one night Jeff came back in the bedroom looking very unhappy.  As Jeff was unwrapping a juice box he said, "He is 52! He went down and it has been 45 minutes since I gave him the last juice box.  How is that possible?" Jeff must have realized I had no good answers, because he left the room without waiting for me to speak a word and gave Ben his second juice box of the night.

When Jeff returned I told him to go to sleep, I would recheck Ben.  It was almost 2:00 am.  I knew there was no way the voices in my head were going to let me sleep now.  So I lied down, rolled on my side and watched the clock tick away 15 more minutes.  When I finally checked Ben again he was 118.

With Ben's numbers heading in the right direction I could now safely go back to sleep ... but it was too late.  The voices in my head were not going to leave me alone.  I suppose the voices felt empowered now and they wanted to solve all my problems. So they started to pepper me with questions.

"Why was Ben low?"
"What do you think his number is now?"
"When are you going to send out your Christmas cards?"
"By the way, you're getting fat and you need to exercise more."
"Is there enough milk in the fridge for breakfast?"
"What do you think Ben's number is now?"
"Are you ready for your work meeting tomorrow?"
"What do you think Ben's number is now!?"
"And, do you hear us? You're getting Fat!"

It took hours for the voices to tire of their endless nagging and questioning.  Though these voices are annoying (and at times mean) and I wished the voices would just shut up and go away, at the same time I was grateful.  I was grateful that they woke me up when I needed to be!  Eventually, I did fall back to sleep.  And I had about as good a night of sleep as I have had since Ben's diagnosis.

I suppose Type 1 Diabetes never sleeps and neither do T1 parents.  So if you run into me and I am unusually grumpy, please forgive me!  It is quite likely that the voices kept me up again ... And though they can be life-saving, they aren't always particularly nice.


  1. I am re-reading this. I still love it!

    1. ah ... thanks! It's nice to know someone is reading this nonsense I post