So what are you doing with your summer vacation? This seems like a silly question to me, right now, with a global pandemic, and from someone who lives nearby and visits with me regularly. You know perfectly well what I'm doing...nothing. So what does nothing look like for a teacher and mom of a son with type 1 diabetes?
4:30 a.m. My son's cat scratches at the bedroom door. He is an indoor/outdoor cat but we don't let him out at night because he is the WORST FIGHTER EVER! He has been to the vet so many times for scratches and bites that have gotten infected. The vet is pretty sure that he likes to test his strength against raccoons and hasn't yet learned that he can't win. So he has to stay inside form dusk til dawn but at the crack of dawn he starts moaning about trying to get me to open the cat "freedom" doors. I always give in too because if I don't just get up and open the door he will sit in N's bedroom and bawl. I then go back to bed.
6:30 a.m. My other son's dog stands outside my bedroom and shakes and shakes his head to make his collar rattle so I will know he needs to go out. Ugh!!! I got these animals on purpose. He can't have a dog door because the cat would use it to go outside and brawl so he is stuck inside overnight too and by this time he has to pee. He is 12 years old so I take pity on him and let him out. I try to let him out the back door without letting my cat out of my bedroom. If she makes it out of my bedroom she will get lonely in about 30 minutes and start singing in the kids' hallway but if she stays in my room she will get back in bed with me. I go back to bed but 9/10 I cannot get back to sleep.
7:20ish a.m. I give up. I'm wide awake. I get up, let the cat out, let the dog out again, and make coffee. Now this is the golden time in my day. All the other humans in my house are asleep No one needs anything! I can sip my coffee and enjoy my solitude. This is when I can get things done too because there are no interruptions but I can't do anything that would wake the others. Most days this is sipping coffee, scrolling through facebook, and completing any online professional development work I am doing. This summer I'm also on a couple of school district planning teams so this is when I work on those tasks too.
8:30is a.m N wakes up. BG check, insulin injection, and make his breakfast. He likes his morning to be spent in his room so he gets his T1D stuff out of the way then heads back to his room to play on his computer or watch netflix and waits for me to bring his breakfast. We've come to some trial & error timings that work for us and we've found that if he wakes up in range he should get his breakfast 25 minutes after his insulin. If he wakes at the higher end or above his range he gets his breakfast 45 minutes after insulin. He eats cereal and bacon every morning (if I don't force him to try something else) so we know what works for this breakfast most of the time.
9:15 a.m. Breakfast is delivered and no one else will be awake for a while so out to the garage I go to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Here is what I know about me and exercise...we aren't really compatible. I give myself full permission to refuse the treadmill any day I want but I have to go out and turn it on and walk on it for 1 minute before I can choose I don't want to do it. Most days that means I go ahead and walk for 30 minutes. About once a week I just do the 1 minute.
10:00-Lunch This time is continuing with work meetings, professional development, setting activities for the student who is still doing online work, or my own personal projects like painting or sewing masks or reading a book. I'm into the sewing right now so that wins most days. I have watched some painting tutorials but haven't done a new painting this summer yet. It feels like I don't really feel like it is summer because I don't know what the plan for fall is going to be. I'm hoping that after our superintendent gives us the plan I will be able to relax for a couple of weeks before I start back into it.
After lunch there is a long stretch when there will not be a need for insulin so this is when I might visit my dad/sister at their house or I will go for a walk in the park with my mom. If I don't get out of the house then this time is spent procrastinating household chores while binge watching netflix. Sometimes I do laundry or make masks to feel productive. Today I researched if I want an embroidery machine or not while watching the Mysteries of the Abandoned marathon.
4:00ish is when I start making dinner. A thankless dinner that will take between 20-60 minutes to create so that the two humans I built can spend 6 minutes eating it and about that same amount of time telling me they don't really like X,Y, or Z about it. I don't enjoy cooking. I've written about this before and I'll write about it again but it isn't getting any more enjoyable for me. I don't mind the parts of cooking. Chopping onions, slicing bread, putting rice in the cooker, stirring sauces. I don't mind any of that but the sum total of making a meal is a loss for me.
Dinner is between 5 & 6 and comes with insulin and timing issues. We were eating at the table every night before Covid19 shut us down but now we don't seem to make it to the table more than a couple times a week. Everyone is so involved in their activities and their schedules are all wonky from being home since mid-March. Also, there is some sorrow in following our dinner routine since we aren't able to engage in a lot of our other routines of the summer. Usually we would be discussing our upcoming vacation plans or reliving our recent vacation. We'd talk about the friends we'd seen or who we had spent time with and what we were planning for tomorrow. It isn't very interesting to talk about staying home and how we will be doing more of that. We don't even talk ahead about fall so conversation can be kind of stunted. The boys are all building a new gaming computer together so lately that has been the conversation but once it is done who knows.
Evening After dinner is the first time R and I really spend any time together. He is a very outgoing and busy guy and he can't sit in the house like the rest of us. He isn't content to play video games all day or watch TV. He needs to expend some energy so he spends most of the day working outside in the yard, visiting his mom, walking in parks, pokemon hunting in his truck, or running errands. Now he and I have a couple hours before bedtime to hang out together and we spend it trying to find something that we both want on TV but this is futile. We should get back to playing cribbage, which we used to do every evening. I'm going to get out the cribbage board tonight...I've decided.
8:00 Snack time for N with insulin to get his BG to about 150 so he can go to bed. He finishes his snack and he and R read a chapter book together. M grew out of wanting to read with me when he started middle school and N is starting middle school in the fall so I'm not sure how much more time we're going to have for this routine but we are enjoying it while it lasts.
9:30 N and I are both in bed. R & M stay up later. R comes to bed by 11 usually and I hear M do his nightly bedtime routine at about 1 a.m.
11:30 I naturally wake up at about this time after months of T1D. N's BG comes down at this time of night from his snack and it can drop by quite a bit so I just peek then am back to sleep (most of the time). If he doesn't drop below his range between 11:30 & 12 he probably will stay steady through the night. Before the Dexcom, we were checking BG at 3 a.m. and found him low quite a lot. Since we've gotten the Dexcom and refined our practice we've found that if he never goes low at 3 a.m. He goes low between 11:30 & 12 or not at all. Pretty much. Who knew.
Not thrilling but this is what we do. It's funny reading it. I feel so stressed and worried so much of the time right now that when I read back through this I'm wondering how I spend all my time. It isn't wasted because I'm using it but it sure doesn't look like I'm using it for productivity. Ah well.