Welcome?

If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.

A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.

Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.

I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.

Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pattern Management

When you are learning how to manage Type 1 diabetes, there are many subjects to be covered: carb to insulin ratios, how to treat low blood sugars, high blood sugar corrections, sick day management and so much more. If your healthcare team does not teach you about these, you need to find a team that is knowledgable and can teach you about these subjects. I also highly recommend the book How to Think Like a Pancreas.

A screen shot from my Up App.  
In addition to the crazy new world of blood sugar patterns, you will enter another dimension with your own sleeping pattern. Remember the revelation of how little sleep you needed after kids? If you are the caretaker of a Type 1, you will be even more amazed at how little sleep you can function on - especially the first year or so.

I promise, it will get easier.  I think I went a good two years without much sleep.  Everyone has a learning curve, or a certain level of comfort they can sleep with.  Don't judge yourself for not sleeping. You are normal.

Many people now use CGMs (Continuous Glucose Monitors) and that gives them a certain level of comfort.  There are some CGMs that "talk" to insulin pumps and suspend the pump when a low is approaching to avoid hypoglycemia.

I usually check my son's blood sugar before I sleep.  It gives me a feel for what to anticipate through the night.  If it is incredibly off, I will set an alarm to wake up again and check it after I treated it. Often I wake up in the middle of the night to check him just because I wake up to check it.  Don't' underestimate your instinct.

When managing sick days, I do not sleep much.  If I do, I am up almost every hour to check until the blood sugar is consistent.  You may be too worried to sleep, and that is okay too.

The picture here is a screen shot from my Up App.  My husband got me one of those cool healthy lifestyle mobile devices that tracks my movement and sleep.  It does encourage me to walk more, but there is no direct relationship to this and Type 1 caretaker sleeping patterns.

On this particular day, my son's pump insertion site was off causing some highs that needed to be managed throughout the night.  Blue indicates sleep, orange is awake.  It is a bit extreme, and not every day is like that, but there are times when it will feel like this.

Once you have the sick days behind you, take a rest if you can.

I've not had time to do this either, but it seems like good advice.  More importantly, the "bad" days will become fewer, and you will not want to miss out on the good ones.

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