Thursday, January 30, 2020

So Many Alarms!

Before my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I had one alarm on my phone to wake me every weekday morning.  Things are different now.  I have an alarm set on my phone for every three hours through the day and another for 3 a.m.  That early morning one is the one that is kicking my tail!  I'm TIRED.  In addition to the every three hours we also set alarms for fifteen or twenty minutes after an insulin injection to let us know when we can actually give the food.  This is usually set on the microwave so I can watch the time ticking away as I try to get the food prepared in the time I have.  It is amazing how many meals you can pretty much prepare in fifteen minutes.  Well, not prepare, but cook.  I usually do all the prep, cutting, seasoning, pouring into pots, getting ready.  Then we do the check, give the insulin, and turn on all the burners we need to frantically heat up all the things.  I know some T1D families that give their insulin and then give themselves 40-60 minutes before food is served but we're not there yet.

We've been on this routine since our stay in Children's Hospital and we haven't varied from it by more than about 20 minutes one way or another.  We left the hospital with the instructions to test blood sugar before each of his 3 main meals, and if he wanted an afternoon snack, and at bedtime, and between 1 and 3 in the morning depending on when we were giving the long-acting insulin.  N was super hungry for the first few weeks after his diagnosis so there was no sense trying to make it much further than 3 hours anyway.  Over our winter break from school he had his glucose checked at 8 a.m., 11 a.m, 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. and he pretty much ate something: 
YES, even at 3 in the morning!  For the first couple of weeks the team was adjusting doses and trying to decide what would work best for him.  For the first couple of weeks we didn't really know what we were doing and would respond to some of his numbers in ways that I wouldn't now.  What do I mean?  His target for nighttime is 150 but in the middle of the night he would dip down to 85 and I would give him juice.  It makes me giggle now because I was worried about how far he was from the target number but I wasn't really paying attention to the target range.  Nowadays if I get an 85 in the middle of the night I may offer him two crackers if I woke him up or I may let him sleep depending on how his numbers went throughout the day and what he had for a bedtime snack.  I typically only treat under 70 at night.  

In the beginning we were also correcting highs all day long.  Each time we'd check his blood sugar he'd be over 200 at first.  When he starting getting levels down in the low hundreds he even felt weird because he wasn't used to being in that range.  Nowadays we are usually between 90 and 140 at each check and we are considering ourselves lucky to be on a managed streak.  I know from our T1D friends that these streaks can disappear with no warning and without making any changes so we know things won't always be this easy.  We're thankful for the respite we are getting right now though.  I'm still checking every three hours and we always cover our carbs but we don't often have to make corrections and we aren't falling below 70 very often (once or twice a week at school usually).

Things are falling into a pattern in our daily routines and we are getting things figured out.  But yes, my alarm goes off ALL THE TIME.  Most of the time we don't really need the alarms.  We are almost always sitting down to dinner when that alarm goes off.  I have them set though so that I don't have to worry that I might not notice the time or that I might miss an injection.  I worry enough without checking the clock every few minutes.  It has taken some time for me to trust those alarms and trust myself but the past few nights I have fallen asleep easily and woken to the 3 a.m. alarm only to fall back asleep right after the glucose check.  That's a lot better than the first month when I was looking at the clock every thirty minutes all night long worried I wouldn't hear the alarm and then not being able to fall back to sleep after the 3 a.m. check because my brain would be too full.

I'm still a bit more worn down/tired than when I wasn't waking in the middle of the night but at least it is a brief waking and there is little stress involved in it for now.  I'll count my blessings.

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