Thursday, February 19, 2015

Waking up to a mess on the kitchen counter…

I'm not sure why but being the first to wake in our house, I immediately clean up all evidence of nighttime lows.  I quickly wipe the spilled juice, recycle any empty juice boxes and clean up consumed food wrappers before doing anything else as soon as I enter the kitchen.  Last Monday was such a morning.  A measuring cup, an empty juice box, scissors used to quickly get to the juice instead of using the awkward straw and an empty gluten-free chocolate cake wrapper.  All of these reminders were really not necessary given my extreme fatigue.  It was evident that we hadn't had a good night.

Like every single night for the past 12 years, I had done the “gut check” before being able to fall asleep.  This method is part scientific and part just going on feeling.  The scientific part involves math to calculate insulin on board, but there’s also analyzing trends in the last few hours and using a parent’s intuition.  To be honest, it’s really just an educated guess and dealing with puberty for the last while, the guessing has become a bigger part of the final decision.  Our experience has been that a teenage girl’s raging hormones have a HUGE effect on blood glucose levels.  I screwed up this time.  I know that eventually, it's inevitable that you're going to screw up playing this game. It still doesn’t help alleviate the pain and fear when dealing with nighttime lows like these.

At 10:15 pm, Adele's blood sugar was 8.3 (149) slowly coming down from 9.2 (166) an hour earlier.  In my mind and in my gut, I confidently thought we were good and allowed myself to fall asleep.  Less than 2 hours later, I violently jump up in bed after hearing Adele crying and shouting “PAPA!!!” telling me that she felt low.  She very rarely feels her lows during the night, but this time luckily she did.  I jumped out of bed in a panic and immediately knew that she was low.  She was crying, sweating and evidently not well.  I tested and was already in the kitchen getting much needed sugar ready when I saw the 2.4 (43) appear on the meter.  She drank a juice box, ate a gluten free chocolate cake and instantly seemed much calmer as if her body was in a state of euphoria just having received the sugar that it needed to sustain life, but she also still looked quite unwell since the sugar had not yet reached all cells in her body that were literally starving to death.  She looked at me and made me realize how vulnerable that she is.  Inside I felt quite emotional.  I felt helpless.  I felt like crying.  I felt relieved and very grateful that she had woken up since too many never do.  I also really felt bad for her that this is her life.  She did not do anything to deserve this life.  These are the times where Type 1 gaming really hits home.  Sadly, episodes like these usually happen behind closed doors when no one else is looking.  Type 1 gaming is a very lonely game at times.

 I’ve been working on accepting this life for her for the last 12 years and on good days I’m pretty good I think, but every once in a while Type 1 Diabetes reminds you that it’s always lurking, ready to bring you down when you’re not paying attention.