I’ve been told lately that I might think too much about diabetes sugar surfing and trends and what have you. When She is with dad I sometimes manage to take a break from opening the blueloop text notificatons or Dexcom Follow app to peek at trends. Last night wasn’t one of those nights and I thought it’s a good example to share, because this a real problem in the life of managing divorced diabetes.
If you are reading this and are a parent of a child with diabetes living in the same house as the other parent of your child with diabetes, count yourself lucky. Even if you have different parenting styles, or a difference in the knowledge of diabetes, or in the drive to continue to grow in that knowledge, you are still lucky. Communication is fast, and nudging a sleeping spouse to say you’re scared about a delayed low wouldn’t be taboo as what I did last night. If you are reading this and are a divorced parent of a child with diabetes, I feel your pain.
While I’m no expert I do have a certain grasp over my kid and my diabetes “if this then do that” care list is long. Last night I didn’t take a break from looking at numbers because she had just finished an evening of a rigorous marching band rehearsal, was fighting illness and overly exhausted. It’s the perfect storm for a low.
Her phone died right at the end of practice, which meant Dexcom Share was down.
A BlueLoop notification from Dad showed a healthy bedtime BG if no activity, and basal reduction that was too slight, and too short. It was 11:20pm. This wasn’t enough. My brain screeched to a halt on all other thought and starting ticking on the “ifs and thens”. I got scared fast. I tried to text the sister. My thought was to reach the kid and chat with the kid because I knew dad was likely asleep. It didn’t work.
So I did the most uncomfortable thing ever and called to wake him up.
Calling an ex to discuss the here and now of your child’s diabetes management is as weird as calling the parent of a friend of your kid who lives in your house so much that you love her just the same as if she were yours.
Me: I’m so sorry to do this to you but I’m considering her numbers and activity and Dexcom Share only vibrates (need replacement) and I’m scared what you did isn’t going to cover the low that’s sure to come.
Okay, so here is what I think worked. “I’m sorry. I’m scared.” I kept repeating that I was sorry and I was just scared. Calling him and waking him up is something I’ve seldom done in our 3 years, 8 months and 3 days since diagnosis.
Dad: Well, I’ll hear the vibration.
Me in my head: You want to risk not catching a low on a vibration?
Me out loud: If I remember correctly, (chuckle, chuckle), you sleep like the dead. Do you really wake up? I’m so sorry, that scares me a little.
Me in my head: No effing way I’m going to hang up and trust you waking to Zzzzt Zzzzt Zzzzt!!!!
Me: Could you please wake her up and give her some chocolate milk, or do a greater basal reduction, or maybe both?
Him: Sigh. She said she didn’t want anything before bed.
Me: Oh, well that wasn’t very wise of her, considering the day and all.
Me in my head: What the frick does she know!? She’s a dumb teenager who just wants to forget about diabetes and tumble into bed!
Him: Okay, I’ll do it.
Me: I really do appreciate it. I’ll be able to sleep now and again, I’m really sorry I got you out of bed. I usually don’t do this. < — does he realize I don’t ever do this? Or do I ramble around like a nag in his head that it feels like I always do this?
A few minutes later, a BlueLoop notification comes through and it’s only 15 carbs of chocolate milk. It’s not great, but it’s something. This is when I go to bed because I trust chocolate milk and I sleep like a baby without diabetes. Every day when I wake up the first thing I do is check my texts to see what’s going on in my world. This morning, I notice there were multiple BlueLoop entries and Dexcom Share still isn’t working. Often, I skip opening these texts in the morning but today I’m curious because of that phone call.
There were lows. The first low hit this morning, a full 12 hours after hard activity. Another 2 hour little basal reduction. One hour later is a greater low, and finally action is taken. At this moment she’s still sleeping. And I think, “Is he learning from this?”
As much as many of you reading this might consider that I’m feeling complete satisfaction and steeping in harsh judgement of him because she experienced a low. I’m not. I don’t look at myself as being an “told you so” person, but if I’m being perfectly honest I’m feeling a little bit like, See? See what happened there? Did you learn from that? Is this the same as “I told you so?” Maybe it is, but I don’t want it to be.
Plus I feel icky. The discomfort in calling him carried into morning and I don’t think I’ll be shaking it any time soon. Was I right to interfere? Of course! She’s my child! And, I hope the manner in which I conducted myself hit the spot as helpful, and not any possible negative thing. I mean, who really knows what he’s thinking anyway? Maybe I don’t want to know.
I hope he learned, but not at the expense of his esteem. He’s a good dad. Have I told him this enough? Probably not, and I’m not even sure it would help because he probably wouldn’t believe me. I wonder. While I’m sitting here with zero satisfaction of the See? See what happened there? Is he sitting there feeling as if I’m at my house shouting “I TOLD YOU SO!”
This is one of those things I’ve grown to know I cannot change, so I lower my expectations and just carry on trying to be a helpful and smart human being who is cautious when it comes to his feelings.
I also wish he remembered that wherever She is at the moment, I exist as her parent and have a right to share him my fears when it comes to anything that’s going on in her life. Too many parents want the other to disappear when it’s “their time” with their kid. The hard truth is we never disappear, and there are lines you can cross, and for every living person divorced or not, that line is in a different place. I equate divorced communications to walking a tightrope. Risk. Tension. Fear.
Maybe I need to make another phone call, and this time it’ll be a genuine Thank You.