Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I like to tell myself that medicine is an exact science, that every "problem" has a clear and concise solution. If you have a headache - you take a pill. If you brake a bone - you get it set and immobilized. If you have diabetes - you take insulin. I keep learning though, that despite the fact that there are constants, there are far more variables. Medicine is much like teaching in that regard. Just as every student is different, and every strategy doesn't work for every child - every body is different, and even though we got several books on diabetes, none of them where entitled: "Diabetes for Abby".

The last few days have been surreal, to say the least. I don't think I've still fully wrapped my head around the fact that food logs, eating schedules, pokes, and shots are our new norm. Each night, after Abby has gone to sleep, I take time to get things done that I couldn't do when she was awake, and then I head to bed. In short, I haven't had a lot of "down-time" to think and I realized today that this may have been a bit of a blessing.

Yesterday was the first day that Abby and I were on our own for any length of time, since Jason had to head back to work in the afternoon. We had a great time, and even got in a walk (where she filled me in on all sorts of things, like rainbows and unicorns). She even helped with her pre-dinner finger poke, by holding her glucometer. It was when I read 474, though that it clicked why she'd been so thirsty after our walk. That was high, way too high. The instructions we were given said that if her sugar level went above 400 we were to call - and call I did. Luckily, Abby has a wonderful doctor, and I was able to talk directly to him. He changed her insulin dosage and talked me down. Maybe that's when my worries began. Since he'd upped her insulin, would she be okay during the night? Those worries spilled over into today.

One of my questions today prompted me to call the Diabetes Center in town. While talking to a nurse I learned that physical activity can cause both high and low blood sugar, it just depended on the person. I also learned that both high and low sugar can cause sleepiness. In essence, some of the symptoms for both highs and lows are the same. I began to wonder, If the symptoms are the same, how am I ever supposed to know what I'm supposed to do? I can't be pricking the poor kid's finger every time she feels sweaty, or stops moving for more than a few minutes.

These thoughts, along with the fact that tomorrow we will be easing her back into school, left me feeling tired and overwhelmed. It was while I was doing dishes that I was struck with the sudden urge to weep - and since Abby was playing in the other room I felt "safe" to let go. As I worked I let the gulping sobs come out and the tears roll down my face. It was a release I needed.

I came to the realization that diabetes has robbed me of a bit of my joy. Now, when Abby is dancing or running, I can't just sit back and enjoy without wondering what her activity is doing to her blood sugar. It has even spilled over into her pretend play. The last few days, when we've played "check-up", along with listening to our hearts and looking in our ears, she now includes poking fingers and "getting medicine" as a part of the routine - this breaks my heart.

My mind knows that things will get better, but right now my heart hurts.

A couple of buddies enjoying the nice weather. 

After our walk Abby decided that our driveway would look much better
with a nice pink rainbow. I agree!

Daddy was the hero today because the Incredibles outfit that he'd ordered
arrived. I think it is very fitting, don't you? She IS pretty incredible.

Incredible Abby reading through the stack of cards that my class sent.
Have I mentioned how wonderful my students are?

1 comment:

  1. Love that Incredibles costume!! She IS pretty remarkable.