Hey everyone, My 11 year old son was diagnosed on Monday and I’m having a really hard time with bedtime. Am I supposed to check his blood sugar 2 hours after his last meal or after his last snack (given with insulin)? I find myself worrying so much and second-guessing myself through the night. This is so hard. Thanks for any help you can give me.
Welcome to the party! (A party I wouldn’t wish on any parent…)
Im the diabetic in our family so I really cant address how often you get up to check your son. However, as a parent, I’d guess that anything I’d say would fall on deaf ears. I’m betting you’d be testing every 30 minutes, and testing and retesting and then testing again, (just to be sure) before allowing your head to hit the pillow. Then, within 15-30 minutes, you’d be up again. Lather…rinse…repeat…
Once you get more comfortable with this new reality, I’d suggest getting a CGM and tying it into your phone so you get alarms if blood sugar starts going kaflooey in the middle of the night.
@lucyinthesky827 hi Lucy, welcome to Type One Nation. The next year will be tough for everybody. The very near future holds a time where your son will be still making insulin. if he has not taken too much, then his overnights will be fairly stable. Watch out for days when he is more active than other days, because activity will make insulin work 2x to 3x harder.
This whole thing - the new language you have to learn, and what to do for high and low blood sugar, will take a little over a year to get used to. Your observations, and whatever amount of technology you want to use, will be your best tools in the coming months. If no one told you yet, type 1 is where you get to be the doctor and make the minute-to-minute choices about blood sugar and trends.
there’s a great reference called “Think Like a Pancreas” I urge you to get a copy, as well as build relationships with a certified diabetes educator (CDE) as well as his doctor.
if it’s any consolation, at all, there are many thousands of years of experience with treating type 1 here, for example I have had it since 12 years old and that was 40 years ago.
good luck, feel free to lean on us, hope to hear from you.
We’ve all been there if that helps! I don’t miss those middle of the night checks! Having a new born seemed easier right? Definitely echoing the other message on getting a CGM. We use the Dexcom 6 and now we (usually) make it through the night.
Have yourself a good cry and know that it is hard. I have dreams that I’m the diabetic and can never find my supplies - lol and it’s my son that has T1D. Before you know it you will be the favorite person to any of your friends that try an Atkins diet because you’ll be able to eyeball something and know exactly how many carbs it has.
Hugs and feel free to message back!
Thank you all so much for the responses and support. I laughed out loud at the Atkins comment. We went to the pool today and I know I will be a nervous wreck through the night tonight as I have no idea how the sun and exercise affect him yet. But I am proud of us for trying it out and I am sure we will make it through whatever the night brings us. Also, whoever mentioned the monitoring device, I don’t think our insurance covers that until 6 months after diagnosis.
Don’t let it overwhelm you. It’s a fact of life now, another chore that has to be done every day lIke eating or brushing your teeth.
The first time I drove a car, I was very nervous. Things could happen so fast, my life was in jeopardy. There were so many pedals and knobs to operate, so many things I needed to constantly watch. But then, I got used to driving, it’s just automatic now. I’m constantly watching my mirrors, making speed adjustments for traffic, or dodging potential accidents, but it’s so natural and practiced I could almost do it in my sleep. Diabetes is just like that. Usually, youre just cruising down the road, making minor adjustments, and on rare occasions it requires your full attention.
Has your son experienced any low blood sugars yet? The human body responds to low blood sugars by raising it with 4 different hormones. The first one is broken in type 1s, but the second line of defense is pretty smart. Adrenaline is released when the blood sugar drops rapidly or begins to go low. The adrenaline slightly raises blood sugar, but it let’s you know that something is wrong. It’s pretty hard to sleep through an adrenaline rush for one thing, it makes you feel terrible and gives you the “shakes”, it makes you feel weak, and perhaps most importantly it makes you desire nothing more than to eat food. There are some hilarious memes on the internet about hypoglycemia, we’ve all woken up at least once on the kitchen floor in the morning, surrounded by evidence that we consumed half the food in the kitchen. In fact, the real struggle of hypoglycemia is often having the willpower to not overcorrect and eat too much, all your body wants is food in that moment.
My Endocrinologist told me today about a patient who needed a glucagon shot, and her brother accidently gave her 100 units of Humalog insulin instead of her Glucagon. He said the paramedics showed up and hooked her up to a bag of dextrose, and she was totally fine. The moral of his story was the the human body is incredibly resilient.
You will get the hang of this, and so will your son.
I love the idea of looking at it like driving, though I hope I’m better at this because I totalled two cars in the first year of driving! And your comment about 100u of insulin instead of glucagon brings me peace. I know that doctors/nurses/etc. need to give us all of the very serious information because it is a very serious condition, but as I’m learning over the last week it seems to be that as long as I’m trying my best and thinking about it throughout the day, we are going to be just fine. Better than those first two cars at least!
Hi Lucy @lucyinthesky827, welcome to the world of living [through your son] with diabetes and Welcome to the TypeOneNation Forum. Yes, diabetes is a very serious condition and one that can not be ignored and you have already received her some intuitive suggestions and ideas. But I’m going to offer something a little different.
first off, relax a little while still being constantly observant and don’t over-react and “blame” yourself or anyone else when management doesn’t appear to be perfect - we have human bodies that do not always follow what is written in the user-manual. I don’t know what his doctor has told you what “in-range” level his BGL [Body Glucose Level] should be, but I suggest that being at the higher end of the range is better and will allow you to feel more comfortable. Note that the experts say that In-Range for a person with TypeOne is 70 - 180 mg/dl. Somehow I survived without constant BG readings - I was diagnosed more than 30 years before the advent of digital blood glucose meters [BGM] and had to rely in the two days it took a hospital laboratory to calculate “blood sugar”; this happened only a couple of times a year.
My other suggestion is to let yourself learn everything you can about diabetes - 62 years into this diabetes trek I’m still learning - and best how to manage your son’s diabetes and let him have input as you teach him; 11 years old is not too young to learn. Keep in mind that not everything you read or are told will apply to your son, but just let him know that diabetes will not hinder him from achieving and excelling at every thing he wants to do in life.
Lucy- How’s your son handling the injections?
My daughter (now 13) was diagnosed at age 10, and I remember the early days. I would echo the earlier comment about talking with your endocrinologist about a CGM. Sometimes it is the endo and not the insurance company that suggests waiting on the CGM, but I get far more sleep these days with the CGM than I did in the beginning. It took us 6 months to get a CGM, so during that time, I would get up once or twice per night to check her blood sugar. At a minimum, I would check about 3 hours after her last insulin dose. If I needed to treat a low or a high, then I would check again (15 - 20 minutes later for a low and 3 hours later if I dosed insulin to treat a high). It is hard but you will get used to it over time and once you can get a CGM, the frequency of nighttime checks will decrease. It helps to keep a journal of doses, foods, and activities to start to understand what impacts his blood sugar and when. It varies quite a bit between individuals. Some kids get delayed blood sugar drops with physical activity, some have delayed highs with certain foods (especially pizza, burger and fries, and other high fat foods), but the amount of the delay can vary.
I would not strive for perfect blood sugar control, especially at night. Some high blood sugars at this point are normal and should not have any long term consequences. At this point your goal should be to keep him safe and learn how activities and foods affect him. Once you get a CGM (and a pump if he wants one), you can refine things to get better control.
The T1D community is incredible and I would encourage you to continue to use this forum but also to look into local groups, camps, etc for kids and parents with T1D. I was lucky when my daughter was diagnosed to find a local group of parents going through the same thing. My daughter loved meeting other T1Ds and I learned so much from the parents. Camps are also great - my daughter has been to several and loves them. It’s good for them to be around other T1Ds and also to see that T1D doesn’t hold them back. Hang in there and feel free to reach out.
Andy, he’s doing okay, so far. I think we were doing them in the wrong spot on his leg for a while so that bugged him but we fixed it and it’s going better now. We are only 3 weeks in so I think he’s kind of honeymooning re: emotional/mental aspects of dealing with diabetes, too. Ive never seen someone handle something with so much grace.
I read this comment to my kid and it made him feel really good. Thank you so much.
Thank you for your support!
Good to hear!
note: Self administered injections aren’t nearly as nerve wracking as having someone else come at you with a needle. He may be a bit young still, but I speak from experience… When I was first diagnosed, I let my kids each have one turn giving me a shot. I think they just wanted some payback for all those years of dad lectures, because it felt like they were trying to puncture a car tire.
When you do it yourself, you set the pace and the comfort level. So much easier!!!
… as I writhe in phantom pain from this sentence…