Five-Minute Friday: Time

(Note: “Five-Minute Friday” is an activity I participate in based on Kate Motaung’s blog, linked at the bottom of the page. Each week, Kate posts a one-word prompt, and people write for five minutes straight, free-write style with no editing and no over-thinking.)

At the moment, time is my enemy. Tonight is another “bad diabetes” night at my house – a night when diabetes did not get the message that it needs to play by the rules. “The rules” say that if I make sure my son’s blood sugar is a certain number at bedtime, he should be good for the night. When he’s not – when he’s too low to safely tell him to go to bed and hope I see him in the morning – it means loading him up with carbs. “The rules” state that at his weight, 1 gram of carb is supposed to raise his blood sugar by 5, and I should see that mathematical formula play out when I retest him 15 minutes later.

But, tonight, diabetes doesn’t care. I could write the pretty nasty things I imagine it is saying to me right now, but I won’t give it the satisfaction.

Instead, here I am, waiting ANOTHER 15 minutes when really I wanted to be in bed over an hour ago. I will be tired tomorrow. The Friday before a long weekend always goes at its own pace, but tomorrow will be particularly painful.

But Owen will not remember any of it. He will not remember when, this last time I went up with spoonfuls of sugar in a cup of milk (since the sugary OJ I gave him before that did NOTHING), he sat up in bed as I instructed, drank it down obediently (some nights we reenact the scene from Steel Magnolias), and, without even opening his eyes, he said, “BOO!” and promptly fell back asleep.

He will not know that I have had to prick him 6 times (and counting) because I kept getting error messages on his test strips. He will expect me to be my bright-eyed self in the morning, and he will want my attention after school and may even ask for a family movie night since, after all, it’s Friday.

I will do my best to play along. I will not tell him how exhausted I am for having to care for him tonight. I love caring for him. I love making diabetes a little easier for him to manage. I love that he does not fully wake when I tell him he needs to eat this or drink that because he is low, because it means he trusts that I’ve got this. I always promise him I will be back to retest him and he doesn’t need to worry. I am not sure if he even hears me say this, but maybe he does subconsciously and it helps him sleep a little better. That makes one of us.

Time’s up. Time to retest.

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10 thoughts on “Five-Minute Friday: Time

  1. Pam Zahn says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I love your writing, but today I am more interested in the results of last night. How is Owen this am? As a fellow diabetic, I want to mention that if you are getting lots of error messages on his test strips, get a new tube of strips. I have had bad tubes before and sent them back to the company…..you get a bunch of new boxes back in the mail. My second comment has to do with what to drink. What works for me better than OJ or milk is Cranapple. Sweeter than either, need less, and the taste is one I like. So, how is Owen this am? You knew you’d hear from me, right? Take it easy as you can today. Hugs to Mama!!

    • Kirstin says:

      I hit “snooze” multiple times and eventually turned the alarm off, so I woke up to Owen bellowing, “Hello, Family!” as he got out of the shower, and then a perfect, on-target wake up number of 125. Sometimes a night like last night rewards us with a morning like today.

      I will try the Cranapple! Thanks for the tip.

      • Pam Zahn says:

        I am so glad it worked out to a good number. We both know it doesn’t always work that way! Have a great Friday. =)

  2. Mom says:

    Dearest K, I feel your pain. Sleep deprivation for the caretaker of a diabetic is always lurking in the background. Be good to yourself tonight. You deserve it. Sending you hugs and kisses.

    • Kirstin says:

      To be fair, these nights don’t happen often – thank goodness – but when they do, they always have terrible timing. Brendan usually handles the bulk of these types of evenings, but he was more tired than I was, so I was “it.” As it happens, Owen was invited to a sleepover tonight by a new friend, and as I never want diabetes to be a reason he can’t do something, I will let him go. But it means probably another sleepless night as I try to put my trust in someone else’s parents to make sure he wakes up. I guess I will sleep on Saturday!

  3. kamryn2015 says:

    Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
    Without intention, your writing and responses after a short night of sleep speak to this verse. We don’t always know the burdens one another is carrying but I bet you will receive Grace from the family, coworkers and friends you encounter today if instead of smiling and saying it’s a great day you let people see a window into your reality and tell them that last night sucked and you are ready for another chance at sleep tonight! Love to you and Owen!

    • Kirstin says:

      This is true, indeed. Lack of sleep ALWAYS makes me very emotional. I wonder why? Keeping a tough resolve requires too much energy that I don’t have when sleep-deprived? And maybe it’s not an accident, but rather a built-in way to expose my vulnerabilities to those I encounter so I can get the support I need? Maybe there are biological roots to this.

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