Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Tonight, I was putting my kids to bed. With three kids, one of whom is still a baby, nighttime can get pretty crazy. Making sure that everyone has done their homework, washed their hair, brushed teeth, gone potty and read the required 20 minutes before lights out can be a struggle as all parents know! But as a mom of a Type 1 Diabetic there is another level of diligence that must be maintained to make sure that her numbers are set to go before she goes to sleep.
You definitely don't want to put her to bed too low, or when she's trending down. IOB (insulin on board) must be determined, fruit snacks must be distributed... but not too many, and alarms must be working. You also don't want to go to bed too high, then your battling high blood sugar all night which means that alarms are sounding, many boluses are given and not much sleep is happening because if you over bolus then you will be battling the low and then IOB (insulin on board) must be determined, fruit snacks must be distributed... but not too many, and alarms must be working. As you can see if can be a vicious cycle. Some nights are good like tonight..
Tonight while putting my children to bed I forgot for just 1 minute that she was a Type 1 diabetic. I mean, I don't think that you ever really forget but there are those strange moments when maybe a blood sugar, carb count, insulin change, cgm error, food diary does not exist. It's in those tiny moments I feel what it must be like to not have a child with a functioning pancreas . But that is not our reality.
I do not mind caring for my daughter day in and day out. I do not mind taking on the medical tasks necessary to keep her in good health. I do not mind writing carbs on lunch boxes of communicating with teachers and nurses ad nauseum.
What I do mind however, is that my daughter, my baby girl, has to take on some very adult things at such a young age. I am sure that she has moments where she also forgets just for a minute that she is diabetic and is “normal” like her friends. I cannot imagine how much it must suck to be a kid whos mom is constantly asking them “how are you feeling”, “what did you eat”, “let me check your sugar”. Not to mention the kid whos mom is always lurking in the corner at class parties, school events and every social event you have ever attended!
This disease is constant, this disease is relentless, this disease frankly sucks! However, my life goal is to raise her to not be defined by her disease. I want her to be strong and confident. I do my very best to not complain or let her self deprecating on her circumstance because we all know that everyone has something and being negative will not solve a thing. I really am not sure if I will succeed or fail but I will try. In the meantime those tiny fleeting moments that I forget are nice but not real.
Carrying the baggage for another Type 1 is tough. But I cannot imagine what it's like to wear the bag day in and day out.