I had had a long night the night before. Now don’t feel bad for me. This long night wasn’t actually diabetes-related at all. I believe the reason I was so very tired had a lot more to do with catching up with a favorite TV series online! But the truth is, I was extremely tired.
James came to me before his usual wakeup time of around 7 a.m. This was a school break, so I was enjoying not having to rush around like a crazy person in the early mornings. Craig had already left for work. Luke and Ben were still sawing logs. I had James test himself, and his blood sugar was PERFECT. Well, truth be told, it was a little too low for me to feel comfortable telling him to go back to sleep and come get me in an hour; but for him, it was a perfect starting point for the high-carb breakfast of cold cereal that James usually loves to have.
Luckily, James has been on an independence kick. He proposed to me that he’d get up on his own. “Mom, I know how to get my breakfast, and I’ll just make sure that I give myself a bolus. You don’t even have to get up.” In years of diabetes, we’ve never done this before! Had I been slightly more awake, I might have balked at this attempt at independence. It was almost too monumental, and the sentimental side of me might not have been ready for this step. But the tired, groggy me that answered James that morning told him to go ahead.
I think I ended up getting about 45 extra minutes of rest before Ben started howling in his crib. I went to check on James, and he looked happy and content. I glanced down at his continuous glucose monitor and saw a slight rise in blood sugar consistent with what usually happens after a large and carb-heavy meal but nothing alarming. At all. In fact, it looked exactly as I expected it to.
Well, actually, what happened was kind of funny. Turns out that he couldn’t reach the cold cereal boxes on the top shelf of the pantry. So rather than get on the kitchen step stool, he decided to just eat tortillas. I mean plain tortillas with nothing on them. Four of them. One hundred and twenty grams of CARBS worth of them! Now, this might not be my first choice for a nutritious breakfast, but I had to give James kudos for a few reasons. First of all, his choice could be much worse. At least the tortillas could be part of a healthy breakfast (I’m thinking of something like a breakfast burrito?). But most importantly, he read the label perfectly and bolused himself, and his blood sugar seemed to be responding nicely!
When James was first diagnosed and I had to do EVERYTHING for him, I really thought this day would never come. It seemed so daunting and so inconceivable that my little guy would one day be so responsible as to be able to test himself in the morning, serve himself a meal and calculate the correct insulin dose. But that day is here, and James is really READY to start doing more to take care of himself. He was so proud of his independence and was clearly adequately prepared! Now, we might need to have a little discussion about proper nutrition, but the diabetes part of this story was a true success!
About the author: My name is Jennifer, and I live in Southern California with my husband, Craig, and our three boys. Our oldest son James has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I’m thankful for this opportunity -- along with my sister-in-law Kim and her daughter Kaitlyn, who also has type 1 diabetes -- to share our struggles and triumphs with our friends in the diabetes community.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.
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