I woke-up at 4:15 a.m. this morning, feeling disoriented and a little sweaty from having too many covers piled on top of my sleeping form.
As I shoved and kicked the sheet and comforter off towards my feet and moved into a more comfortable position, my mind focuses in on the evenings' events. Suddenly one single worry breaks through the clutter.
Oh no! I missed the 2:00 a.m. blood sugar check!
With my heart playing catch-up to my thoughts, I could feel my pulse instantly quicken while I fumbled for my glasses on the bedside table. Racing toward the girls' bedrooms and nearly stepping on the dazed kitty asleep in the hallway, I run straight into oldest daughter's bedroom where both girls were having yet again, 'a sister's sleepover party'.
Throwing a quick glance to their sleeping bodies and heading straight to the blood glucose meters, I make a mental note about their current physical status. One is covered up head to tow (as I was) while the other is without any blankets at all. Worried about the thought that perhaps the one overly smothered in blankets might be having a low blood sugar, I grabbed her little finger first. Quickly injecting a lancet and noting that the resulting blood looked 'normal'; a nice, easy flowing, not-too-dark red. I relaxed slightly and let out a breath. BEEP! 110 mg/dl. Our youngest daughter was fine.
As soon as my breathing had regulated, that uneasy panicky feeling sharply returned. Perhaps it was the other daughter, laying so still that was headed towards a serious low blood sugar.
(And for those without multiple family members living with type 1 diabetes, this might be my world's worst moment in having two with t1d... how do you pick a child to help first when danger might be lurking?)
My fingers robotically changed lancets and test strips on the blood sugar meter. A sharp poke and I noticed that the blood that came forth was lighter, thinner and more watery. Before the alarming BEEP BEEP BEEP, I knew. 59 mg/dl.
While wiping away the smear of red, I quickly uncapped a jumbo sized bottle of glucose tablets and counted out three. My oldest daughter hearing the bottle rattle, sat directly up and held out her hand with her eyes closed.
"How many did you give me?", she asked, still chewing with her eyes shut tight.
"Three." I quietly answer her while carefully watching to make sure that all of the carbohydrate goodness went swiftly into her mouth and hopefully, even faster into her blood stream.
"I think I need one more", she said.
I nod my head because it occurs to me at the same time that she will mostly likely want to sleep in. It is after all, summer vacation. A time where most 12-year olds sleep long into the late hours of the morning.
Handing over another glucose tab, I smooth back her hair and kiss her forehead. I start to apologize because I feel so horrible for having her drop low. I think of a few of the what-ifs and it saddens me to the core. Night watch is not on her shoulders. It is on mine. She shouldn't have to wake up and think about blood sugar numbers and the necessary number of glucose tabs which will allow her to sleep.
A few sips of water and she is already curling back into her coverless cat position.
As I get up to walk out of her bedroom, she calls to me.
"Thank you, mom."
For a long while after, I lay awake and think about that.
How is it ever alright to say thank you for something that you do not deserve?