you're reading...

night watch

I am learning, slowly. I’m working exceedingly hard to interpret data from Pokey and the Meter without letting Worry interfere. Treatment is so simple, so specific, and yet so ambiguous at the same time. This fact does not sit well with me. I like answers. I don’t have them.

Tonight at bedtime, Pokey popped Madeline’s middle toe and the Meter cranked out 119. This, normally, is a beautiful number. Perfect. Within range. And that is the goal of all of the pancreatic acrobatics that we—me, my husband, Madeline’s teachers, Madeline’s sitter—engage in all day long. So, I should be relieved to know that the insulin is doing its job, when there’s a number like that.

But the thing is, I am not relieved. In fact, I’m having the opposite experience: a slowly swelling panic. See, I have realized that I don’t like it when Madeline’s glucose level is below 150 when she goes to bed. I. Don’t. Like. It. She gets an evening dose of a slow-acting insulin before bedtime, but her dinnertime dose of fast-acting insulin is still working its magic then too. This means, as I have observed many nights now, that Madeline’s level might pitch down just as she is going to sleep, and sink further as the night wears on.

So, at bedtime, I had Madeline chow down a small package of peanut butter crackers. A nice, 16 grams-of-carb snack that should help to push her level up steadily. It’s a little trick I’ve discovered, something to keep her level from bottoming out as she sleeps. And, it has worked. But tonight, for some reason, I am plagued by Worry that it will not be enough.

I put Madeline to bed, then began to compulsively Google information on Dead-in-Bed Syndrome. I know, I know. WTF am I doing??? I really don’t need a good scare just before I put my head to the pillow. But I can’t ignore the fact that T1 can kill my daughter. At 9:30, I crept upstairs to check her level again. By this time, the dinner insulin should be just about done with its job, and the crackers should have boosted her level. I grabbed her warm little hand… poke… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…112.  112?!?!

So, I grab a granola bar and coax her awake just enough to eat it in slow-mo. Can’t you see I’m sleeping? she said, annoyed. Yes, baby, and I want you to wake up in the morning.


About Heather Garcia Queen

I am… a mother of 3 spectacular children. A wife of an architect extraordinaire. An MSW. A psychologist in an elementary school. A (wishful) writer. A protector of family and spirit. A worshipper of the natural world. A seeker of knowledge. A lover of the arts. An introvert. A silver-lining kind of girl.


4 thoughts on “night watch

  1. There’s a part of me that wants to say with regard to dead-in-bed-syndrome, don’t go there. Just don’t go there. You will never sleep well again. But the truth is that this disease can be deadly and our kids are so very precious. So we all go there. It’s hard not to go there from time to time. But just keep doing what you’re doing and trust your instincts. It sounds as though you’re taking wonderful care of your dear Madeline.

    Posted by Heidi | 04/13/2011, 4:36 am
  2. I get it. It is part of our reality. The part that no one…even the doctors don’t really talk about. Luckily, it is rare, but it is scary. Our lack of guarantee in this life has been magnified by type 1 diabetes in the mix. It is painful to realize that and it sits in the recesses of my mind…day-in and out.

    You are doing a wonderful job. You are diligent in caring for your daughter. Keep up the great work. By doing what you are doing…you will have no regrets.

    Posted by Reyna Maher | 04/13/2011, 10:36 am
  3. I know that all d-moms struggle with this fear, my friend Reyna has written about it many times. I struggle with a similar fear every time my daughter Mags goes in for surgery or MRI or procedure when they have to put her under (at least every 6 months sometimes more). It never get easier and its never something we forget about, but we push to the recesses of our waking mind so we can continue to do what we do without being paralyzed with fear. Sending many prayers and lover your way.

    Posted by Susanne Ryan | 04/13/2011, 12:06 pm
  4. Your instincts are good. 120 to 130 is our bedtime target number and I keep it there until I go to bed around 3. We use whole milk or a little chocolate milk (Parmalat has them in packs wth a straw) if she is not low but we want to hold her. She does not wake up, drinks it down in her sleep and it holds really well, particularly the chocolate milk. Gogurts work also, she sucks them down in her sleep but not sure if a lot of other kids would wake with the Gogurt.

    Posted by Julia | 04/15/2011, 2:14 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Creative Commons License
This work by Heather Garcia Queen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

%d bloggers like this: