Monday, December 16, 2013

The Tightrope

I started a blog post almost a month ago and the first sentence was ... Just last weekend Ben was invited to a sleep over ... Since I started typing that sentence it seems life got very busy and for the first time, in a very long time, Diabetes has not been dominating all my thoughts, which really is a great thing.  But I miss writing and this blog ... And so I am back.  Back to finish that half written blog about Ben's big sleepover!  Here I go ...

Just last weekend month Ben was invited to a sleep over.  Since Ben's diagnosis he has had a handful of sleepovers, all over at his best buddy's house with his best buddy's parents waking up for his middle of the night BG checks. But he has slept over NO where else, not even his grandparent's house.  We have always been hesitant to allow him to sleep over anyone else's house ... to be honest, a few years back we had one very scary middle of the night incident (like really, really scary) and Jeff and I were a bit traumatized.  So when Ben received this invitation for a sleepover my first thought was ... No way.

But that was not the answer Ben was hoping for and it was not the answer he was going to settle for. Ben promised he would take good care of himself and with his handy dandy new CGM he would keep a close eye on his BG.  Then he gave me his pouty face and said “Pleeeeease.”  I quickly caved, like I always do when he gives me that look, and we RSVPd … Yes.

Now to make this work we had to make a few decisions.

First, the day of the sleepover Ben had a hockey game scheduled.  I reminded him that managing his BG overnight after a game can be tricky business.  Ben quickly suggested he skip the game.  With that settled, we agreed to a few more rules.

  1. You must check your BG before eating
  2. If you question a carb count, text me
  3. If you question if you need to correct a BG, text me
  4. Before you go to bed check CGM and text me
  5. Don’t forget your cell phone so you can text me!
Ben happily agreed to the rules and then asked, “What should my number be at bed time?”

Now this was a tricky question for me.  Ideally we like Ben to be around 120 before bed.  For the most part Ben’s BGs hold nice and steady all night (as long as he didn’t have a hockey game that day.)  The steady line on the CGM always reminds me of tightrope.

But, and that is a big BUT, unlike the Great Wallendas, we still occasionally fall off the tightrope.  Sometimes we see inexplicable lows in the middle of the night.  Yep, this is my greatest fear; Ben falls of the tightrope without Jeff or me to catch him.

Except … there may be an easy answer here … you can’t fall off the tightrope if you never get on it!  Maybe, for this one night only, it will be OK for Ben to go to bed with a much higher BG than 120. (I want to make it clear here, I am NOT a doctor, a nurse, or a therapist.  I am just a mom.  So please don’t take this as expert advice!)  In the end, Ben and I agreed the night of his sleepover his target bed time BG should be greater than 150 and closer to 200.

Fast forward to the night of the sleepover … I drop a very, very happy Ben off at this buddy’s house.  I run through a quick T1 training with his buddy’s mom.  Basically, I tell her, Ben is in charge.  I just ask her to keep an eye on him and if she has any questions at all please call/text me! 

Ben did everything we asked.  He checked himself, counted all his own carbs, and texted me through the evening.  We never corrected any highs and let his BG stay around 200.  Now I know these aren’t ideal numbers, and his high BG likely was harming his body in some way … but he got to sleep over at a friend’s house.  And he got to do that without his mom or dad hovering around and pricking his fingers.

Even though the sleepover worked out, I still worry we may not have made the best choice.  I worry that I have set a bad precedent.  Even though we are right back on that tightrope, I have now shown Ben that it’s OK to just not worry about his diabetes for a time.  I worry that my future teenage Ben might throw this all back in my face. But then, T1 does come with a whole boatload of worry!  So I think I will just add this new worry to the pile.  And for now, I will be happy that for one night Ben got to be just a kid! 

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