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1) M’s school did speak to the two year groups as promised. M reports it was handled well: an analogy with a key was used apparently, such that the key is the workings of the pancreas. In type 2 the key is a bit broken, not working so well, but a bit. In type 1 there is no key. Somehow this was used to illustrate how the types of diabetes were completely different, and most especially that type 1 is not something you can catch, or something that is the person’s fault, or anything. M did not feel on the spot. And the ‘friends’ who had teased her just the day before said nothing, even though she was sitting next to one. 

It’s interesting, isn’t it, how quiet a bully goes when shown to be wrong?

So all in all, satisfactory outcome! M is infinitely happier now that the ‘truth is out’, and we’re pleased with the school, will write a note saying so.

2) We have yet to try the Bayer Contour USB. Things have been too frantic. We need a bit of head space. And E is, as I’ve said, always slightly resistant to another unfamiliar thing when he’s full swing into his life. And who can blame him? May well be Easter break now….

3) E received a Distinction for his Grade 7 piano exam! Dig it. Barely 14 years old. Absolutely brilliant news.

4) M won a poetry reading competition on the same day. The girl understands it.

5) And I have been given a mini-residency at the Little Blue Hut on Tankerton beach. In which I will sit and write, and walk and think, for three days a week over six weeks, starting 21 April! I am so excited about this I could pop, seriously…It seems so out of reach at the moment to be able to do anything like that — but hey, it will happen. I will finish teaching next week, take a break during which I do my marking, and return to write. To write! To think! To just BE. Incredible. Watch this space.

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…anyone thought that life with diabetes was anything less or more than consistently inconsistent, last night things stayed weird and also got weirder.

6.8mmols at 10.30pm. Too low given last few nights. So, a whole piece of bread and some cheese — 15g carb, quite a lot — which we did not give insulin for. We actually anticipated a high reading this morning with that…

Woke on 3.6mmols. Half a carton of juice.

Sigh.

No, we did not get up in the night. He, for once, just couldn’t handle it. He is exhausted from his nightly 4 hour performances, and needs sleep desperately.

Not to speak of us too.

However. We will get up tonight to see if we can find out at which point the drop is happening. Traditionally any change with E seems to take place before 2am. If it is happening after this time, this is truly a different turn of events.

We will get up and test, and treat accordingly.

Latest theory: he is eating dinner very early in order to get out the door for the performance. He is also then sort of burning it all off, playing in the performance (though it’s only a little physical, really, blowing in a reed! Brain activity?).

So we now wonder if somehow this is all adding up, bringing him lower than usual, with no food at all knocking around, and high levels of concentration for the performance…?

If tonight shows this again, we will use a low temp basal function (eg lower his insulin over the course of the whole night) rather than actually change what has been a very stable basal pattern for him overnight… Until the performances are over, and then see where we are… If indeed we can even see the wood for the trees.

***

GCSE went very well apparently. I spent half of yesterday morning berating myself for not having clarified with the invigilator E’s procedures for hypos etc…Fortunately, not necessary.

***

I need to do a Life 101 post. Too much diabetes! Too much diabetes! Pah to diabetes!

After seemingly solving high night time blood sugars through a tiny raising of insulin, over the last two nights we’ve had to steadily drop it down again. Sigh. He woke up one morning VERY low…We’ve been lucky that he’s never been so low as to be unconscious or not able to look after himself…but some people with diabetes, when they encounter numbers as low as he has had, find themselves unconsciousness, or worse.

SO. We had two nights of unbroken sleep (the first since Christmas), but are now back on the treadmill of night testing. Things are just too unpredictable at the moment.

***

All that aside (yay!), meanwhile two more furry creatures have entered our lives. Meet Mimi:

and

Peaches:

They are very gorgeous, good fun, cuddly, and make a pretty hilarious soundtrack, with their squeaks and boinks…

This is the first time we have ever had guinea pigs, and they arrive after three years of soulful longing by daughter M, who had reached the point of weeping when we left pet shops, and railing against all who keep pets and don’t take care of them, because she would do so much better a job and REALLY love them…This is all true, of course. Love them she does, taking full responsibility for feeding and cuddles.

The cats of course are bemused: what could possibly lie behind that closed door? Obviously, we aren’t letting  them in there yet. If ever. Schubert has caught an astonishing array of beasties in the garden over the last couple of years — countless voles, mice, a snake, three birds, two rabbits….I know, I know. It’s a bit much. So we are being wary, to say the least. Last night I had to get up and put a suitcase in front of the door, they were scratching at it so much. It’s cat-night-fun as much as anything, I’m sure…

***

Also in this category was a happy gym morning yesterday: this time another song from E’s playlist, and one that is so bouncy  and postivie that I never do anything but smile when I hear it. I realise now that the ups and downs of all this often bear little relation to the ups and downs of blood sugar numbers. They are as much if not more to do my own relative fragility. Anyway, the song. Peace and love man…

As anyone who moved over from my other blog will know, I am prone to weeping both on the way to the gym (hearing Obama’s acceptance speech, for instance) and while actually in the gym (endorphins, no doubt).

In general — and I’m sure you’ll understand — I have cried more than I have ever cried in my life these last 15 months, since E’s diagnosis. That’s just the fact of it.

However, I don’t cry as much as I used to, or as uncontrollably, or without warning. Which is altogether easier to manage!

However. Again. I do still often — VERY often — feel tearful in the gym. The harder I work, the more I cry.

I always listen to music there. And I almost always listen to playlists that E has put together and put on my iPod (sorry, now iPhone!). These two are from his original playlist, made for me about two months before his diagnosis. And they are this morning’s gym weeps. I almost had to get off the bike.

Mainly because I love his passion for life. And I won’t let all this get the best of me. Just as he hasn’t right from the beginning.

and

Setting sail

In November 2008 my 12 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The effect of this event on me -- and on our nuclear family -- was like being thrown overboard and watching the ship leave.

'Dealing with type 1' in the family has morphed into another sort of 'dealing' -- a wholesale resituating of parenting, of family dynamics...of life.

At my son's diagnosis I could not to locate a record of what living with a type 1 child in the family is like. I could not see myself or our family anywhere. I longed for a starting point, a resource and a sense of the future. Being a writer, my instinct is to write it. This space, I hope, is a start.

Blood Sugar Ranges (UK)

<4 mmols = low or hypo, life-threatening if untreated
4-8 mmols = within target range
8-13 mmols = high but not usually dangerous
14+ mmols = very high, or hyper, life-threatening if untreated

Bubbles

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Distance Travelled

Disclaimer

I am not a medical professional. Any view expressed here is my opinion, gleaned from experience, anecdote or available research.