This picture might seem a little shocking or perhaps a bit exaggerated to those that don’t understand the reality of diabetes.
This is how the majority of us “D Parents” imagine diabetes trying to sneak up on our kids, especially at night time. Night time is always the scariest time that one can imagine. It doesn’t show on the outside, but on the inside I’m scared to death of what is going on.
Unfortunately, we require sleep no matter how much we hard we want to stay up and monitor our children’s blood sugars throughout the night. We will be no good or of no help to anyone without sleep, especially our kids. So we have to put our children to sleep, and have faith and trust that they will wake up in the morning ready to get started with their day.
I’ve learned to let go a little bit on the constant overnight testing but still perhaps not as much as the children’s doctors would recommend. I used to get up each night at midnight and three am to test the kids religiously each and every night. This lead to severe fatigue throughout the day. While this is recommended highly in the beginning of a new diagnosis and is very beneficial to understanding how to set the right basal doses for kids, you don’t always have to continue on with this process. I speak from experience not as a doctor, so please remember to speak with your doctor and medical team before changing anything in your diabetes treatment routine.
I’ve learned over the past 6 years of this disease how to read and understand how my children’s bodies work. I am comfortable in knowing if they go to bed within a certain range, they should be good throughout the night. While there are those times I’m not 100% correct in this, I’ve gotten pretty good at understanding what range to put my children to bed in.
This means, I test them before they go to bed, and once again when I go to go to sleep for the night. This allows me to get an idea of where they will be throughout the night. I really do wish there was a better way of knowing and monitoring my children then my trust in my own instincts and experience with dealing with diabetes, but for now it’s what I rely on because I need sleep too.
In the Beginning…
If you are new to this world, it’s still very fresh, the wounds are still open, so it’s understandable for you to be unable to see a light at the end of the tunnel right now. But believe me, you will be able to get back a small amount of freedom that you once experienced in sleeping overnight.
Diabetes takes so much from us that it can be an energy sucker and drainer throughout the day. You need to remember that you TOO need to sleep. Whether you are a parent of someone with diabetes, a spouse, caregiver or the person with diabetes, you need to find a balance and a schedule that works for you. By not allowing yourself to sleep, and living in constant worry or fear, you are giving into the lack of control that diabetes wants you to have.
It may seem strange to refer to it in a way that makes it a living thing, but let’s face it, it is. It’s always there, taking from you, never going away, it’s living and not planning on dying any time soon.
Because of this, you must look at this new life in a different way, with a new set of eyes. Not everything about it will be disappointing, in fact, diabetes can bring into your life a bunch of positives including new friends you never would have met otherwise.
In order to live with diabetes, you need to make sure you are able to see things from a different perspective, to gain a better more positive understanding about the disease. This will allow you to remain in control and not allow diabetes to be the one in charge.