Tuesday 6 July 2010

A kind of vertigo?

Is that what this is?
When in high places I can feel myself falling and hear the scream, it's all kind of playing out inside my head and generally distracting me from being safe and calm.
It is not dissimilar to the late evening glucose test.
Every evening, and I mean EVERY BLOODY EVENING (caps for those of you reading without diabetic children; the rest of you just live it), I trundle upstairs to check Frank's BG before hitting bed myself and as I do this I do the following:
  1. see myself calling the ambulance from the bedroom
  2. see myself racing for the glucogel
  3. see myself holding my boy and hoping for him to come round
  4. See myself crying hysterically and calling out for Andrew

then I

  1. pee, in case I have to call an ambulance and don't get time to do it or in case he's already dead in which case I am pretty sure I will just do it anyway and be a real mess
  2. take several deep breaths at his door
  3. stand over him waiting for signs of life (and I can't tell you how freakily quietly he sleeps)
  4. put his light on and quietly tell him I am going to test his finger
  5. test his finger
  6. wait an interminable five seconds for a result
  7. breathe out, realising I have been holding my breath in true free diving style
  8. go to the bathroom and stare a little at my new D-Mom face
  9. go to bed and try to read something light or challenging but always diverting
  10. turn out the light, reach for Andrew's hand, squeeze it and hope the next day will be as good as this one; tired, never able to really rest but also never complaining really anymore, just accepting.

So, what is this phenomenon?

Diabetes vertigo? Madness? The Method?

I think it is that moment at the end of the day when I have kept him alive another day but know that I will soon be unconscious myself and unable to look at him and observe how he is. That's the time I find it hard to let go and to fall into the arms of sleep in any trusting way. That is the most cruel side of this condition: even when you do it right you can never take your eye off the beast with the thrashing tail.

I am fine today! I've had a great day! But sometimes I want to write about this, with no photos of the cute boy and no chocolate cake!

Sometimes I just need to be really heard and really seen, cake and tortoises aside.

I'll be back soon with how to make your own pretty feather boa using a live chicken and a stick of glue! (Not really).

Love to all of you who do the same dance every night.


  1. You're amazing, in addition to being a d-mom. I don't dance the same dance, but reading about the parents who watch their children every day and every night fills me with awe.

  2. That 10pm check. You know I just can't do it anymore. I died a little every time. I'm thankful my husband has been able to take that one check away from me. It has added years to my life. ((HUGS)) I feel your heart friend. I know.

  3. I don't know what I am going to do when Addison is no longer sleeping with us in our bed! I suppose now instead of having that feeling of dread when I would be getting up and going to another room, I just don't sleep sometimes knowing I need to keep an eye on his blood sugars. It is amazing that all of us d parents can function as well as we do with such worries and lack of sleep...Big hugs to you!

  4. I have a little mantra as I head up the stairs - please be a nice number,please be a nice number.... (between 5 and 10 is good for us). I hate the 2am check if he is high at 10pm - as an 'old' lady I need my sleep!!

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  6. Ok I am going to proof-read my comment here! It was so badly spelt that as a teacher I couldn't let it go out there...
    Thank you all so very much. I cried reading your comments as it still pulls at my heart strings to hear from others experiencing the same things with their children or with themselves.

  7. Yep, it's just been dancing time again, the signs are OK, and it should all be well......
    Sleep well, all of us x x

  8. When our 12-year old was first diagnosed over a year ago, my husband and I both got up for the 2:00am check. Even now, we will BOTH get out of bed when there is a need for a middle of the night check. I'm not sure why, but I guess it became a routine that we didn't want to break, a crazy, middle of the night tradition!

    Thanks for your stories. -Linda

  9. Bless your heart. I so understand. Any time Emma doesn't stir when I come in my heart starts pounding. It is terrifying. These are the kinds of things that I think no one who hasn't had a child with diabetes will ever understand.
    I hope the vertigo/method/madness eases up for you!