**Note: Although our puppy has been chosen from a litter for us, we haven’t actually gotten to bring the puppy home yet – he’s still with the breeder until the end of March**
It was a day filled with running, running miles for track practice for 1½ hours. My Big Guy does a lot of sports: football, soccer, basketball and now track, and he’s quite competitive, so he’s always trying to be ahead of the pack. That means he runs hard. He eats a lot and runs a lot. He runs a lot because he can, but also because he eats a lot. Eat, run, eat, run. That’s his cycle. It has to be, to survive the teenaged years of diabetes. Now, of course, I’m proud as a peacock of him (see my feathers spread!), and feeding him ‘til he’s chock full and watching him run brings me much satisfaction in the form of a proud mama grin on my face, but lurking behind that happy stomach and those speedy legs on the soccer field or basketball court, sits a disease called Diabetes, we’ll UN-affectionately call “the Lurker”. Oh, how I wish I could knock that big fat Diabetes out of the ball park! But linger on It does. And oh, how it lingers, for hours on end into the night, wreaking havoc on a young boy who likes to eat and . . . who has to run.
It’s 9:33 p.m., a little past bedtime for Big Guy, and the never-ending, not-so-subtle, parental mantra “Why don’t you check your blood sugar,” butts its persistent head before his hits the pillow. Blood sugar is 66. Darnit, he’s low. Time to drink, time to eat, time to decide what to do to get that sugar right before the Lurker makes its claim on my Big Guy.
9:47 p.m. - drinks a little juice and he’s now up to 80 (back to “normal range,” so they say). He eats a piece of bread worth 20 carbs and gives only ½ of a bolus of insulin. This is risky, but seems reasonable at this stage in the “game,” so he says his prayers and goes to sleep. “I love you. Good night!” I whisper, and I say a prayer for good blood sugars tonight.
10:30 p.m. Unsure of whether we made the right decision, I re-check his sugar. Now it’s 77! Going down?! What the heck! It’s that stupid insulin. I never should have given him that. The Lurker has kicked in and is on its way to stake its claim on My Guy. Another juice box, 15 grams of carbs; this should hold him.
11:00 p.m. . . . blood sugar 120. Hah! We beat the Lurker. Sugar is going up. Now I’m going to lock it in with a couple of prunes (“Good fiber, just the right amount of carbs,” I shakily try to convince myself). No bolus of insulin this time. I’m not falling for that trick! It should work, shouldn’t it? This is where I have no idea what’s happening. How long will the effects of track practice, 8 hours earlier today, have on him? I’m never sure.
11:30 p.m. . . . blood sugar is now 119, going back down, and he’s drenched the sheets with sweat. Not a good sign. The Lurker is beating me to the punch line. WHERE IS THE DOG WHEN I NEED HIM!? This is when I realize , I AM the dog. I am the one who is “sensing” these lows and trying to catch them before he drops down into a seizure or some worse state that I won’t even mention. Now I get really serious and start messing with the temporary basal rate on his insulin pump. I’ll put him at 30% less insulin for 3 ½ hours and see what happens.
11:45 p.m.. . . . blood sugar is 126. The sweating has stopped and he seems stable. I think to myself, “If I had the dog, he’d be alerting me if Big Guy is dropping down again and I could go to sleep, at least for an hour or two, without worrying.” But the dog isn’t here yet. It’s still just little ‘ole me, doggedly (all puns intended) checking and re-checking, trying to decide if he’s “safe” enough to leave alone or not. I decide to set the alarm for 1:00 a.m. and say a prayer to the Lord asking Him to wake me earlier if Big Guy needs it.
1:00 a.m. . . . .“BZZZZZZ.” I stumble out of bed, tip-toe into his room, armed with his glucometer, flashlight in hand and prick his finger for the seventh time in the last 3 ½ hours. This time it reads 179. Good enough. No sweaty sheets. I’m confident he’s not going down this time.
The Lurker has taken another back seat tonight. Not tonight. Not tonight!