I am starting to see posts on Facebook and blogs about taking a day off from mentioning the “D” word. Spend a day not talking about diabetes, not posting about it, “diabetes doesn’t define you”, “your life is more than diabetes”. And while I completely agree with the last 2 statements, our lives are completely consumed by diabetes. It works it’s way into everything we do. It always gets the front seat. Always demanding attention. No matter the hour, no matter the activity, no matter the location, it requires a thought, an action, a response, a consideration. So here is a timeline for a “day in the life”

This post will only cover the moments of the day when a diabetic decision had to be made.

Midnight: Alarm goes off. Mom wakes up, checks daughter’s BS. 136. Good number. Make note in log. Back to bed. Alarm set for 3 am.

2:26 am: Raven wakes up dad, checks daughter’s BS. 178. Bolus daughter. Note in log. Reward dog. Wake up wife to change alarm to 5.

5:00 am: Alarm goes off. Time to get up. Check daughter’s BS. 156. Good number. Take shower.

6:15 am: Wake up kids. Get breakfast ready. Add up carbs in breakfast bar and milk. Check daughter’s BS. 162. Bolus for 48 carbs. Get everyone ready for their day.

7:15 am: Leave for school

7:40 am: Major alerts at school. Check daughter’s BS. 223. Still 2 units of insulin on board covering breakfast. Give .75 more units.

9:30 am: Mom gets call from health aid. Stella is 286. Mom must drive back to school to administer insulin, as the health aid isn’t allowed to.

9:43 am: Mom gets to school, parks car, checks in at office and gets name tag, goes to her class, tests again. BS is 292. Bolus 2.5 units of insulin.

11:45 am: Nurse calls to say Stella is 72. Mom lets nurse know she can deduct 10 carbs from the lunch total.

1:15 pm: Teacher calls to inform mom of a “surprise” birthday party popsicle treat. Mom gets back in car to drive to school. Tests Stella, BS 186, still has IOB from lunch. Gives bolus to cover popsicle carbs.

2:15 pm: Health aid calls to inform mom that BS is 268. Stella is about to go to PE. Between IOB, physical activity, and school getting out at 3:15, mom decides to leave it alone for now.

3:30 pm: Test in car on way home. BS is 155.

4:20 pm: Major alerts. Test BS. 105. Tell Major we will check again soon.

4:40 pm: Raven alerts. Then Major re-alerts. Test BS. 68. Great low team blackdogsrule! 2 sips of juice as dinner is coming. Speed up dinner and reward dogs.

5:00 pm: Eat dinner a little early to help treat low. Test again. BS 96. Dinner is 78 carbs total. Bolus

6:00 pm: Both dogs alert. Test BS. 206. IOB working on dinner.

7:30 pm: Both dogs alert. Test BS. 184. IOB still working.

7:45 pm: Stella wants a snack. She asks for peanut butter or a banana. I suggest she have a cheese stick or some lunch meat. We have had a tough diabetes day. An argument ensues. We settle on sugar free Jello

9:00 pm: Bedtime test. BS 146. Stella goes to bed.

10:00 pm: Mom and dad are exhausted. Time for us to go to bed. Raven alerts. Stella is 72. No bed for us yet. Give Stella a juice box and wait.

10:20 pm: Recheck. BS 84. Still not a good sleep number, but it is going up. Mom and Dad have learned to be patient instead of giving more carbs. Wait another 20 minutes, Yawn.

10:35 pm: Recheck. BS is 122. Off to bed. Set alarm for midnight. Tomorrow is a new day.

This is a fairly typical day. And you would like me to stop mentioning diabetes for a day? Really? I can’t stop mentioning it for an hour. When most spouses see each other after work, the conversation starts off with “how was your day honey?”. Our conversation always starts off with “how were her numbers today?”, “have the dogs been alerting?”, “how many times did the school call?”. It is all encompassing. Then after dinner, there is a training session of some sort with the service dogs. We have to wait for showers for Stella. If she showers too soon after dinner, her BS will plummet from the warm water having an affect on insulin absorption. Yes, diabetes even controls when we can bath the kids. I would love to give it a rest for a day. I’d love to give it a rest for an hour. But diabetes rests for no one.

This is not a call for sympathy. We are not alone in this. All t1 families are going through this exact same thing everyday. This is just a reality check for those that may not know.

We need a cure.

Team Blackdogsrule





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  1. I completely agree. Type 1 infiltrates every aspect of our lives. It would be impossible not to mention it for a day.

  2. ….I think my pancreas deserves a big ‘thank you!!!’

  3. My 35 year old daughter was just diagnosed with type 1 in July. It has been an ongoing challenge at her age. I can only imagine what it is like with a small child.

  4. I don’t think that mentioning Diabetes is saying it is controlling your life. You have to embrace what life throws at you so that you can deal with it and over come it. Mentioning it is not letting it control your life. It is accepting it and living a full life DESPITE it. We encourage our daughter to deal with it. We joke about it, we make these hard times lighthearted, to show her it doesn’t have to weigh her down. If we were not allowed to talk about it, that would be a sad thing. It would become a burden. Yes, our daughter had type 1. No, type 1 does NOT have her!!

  5. Loved reading this as we are also the same! No days off, and horrible watching our children go through all they do. We are also starting the process of introducing our 2 year old Springer Spaniel to low bloods. Like you, we process every day by every hour (sometimes more!). Thanks for writing this…it makes me feel just a little less alone.

  6. A life in the day of a diabetic 11 yo:

    October 5, 2013 – Saturday

    3am – 2nd nighttime check BS=190

    8am – Check BS for breakfast. BS=183 Calculate carbs. Calculate carb to insulin ratio to get how much insulin to cover her food. Calculate correction factor because BS is out of target range. Draw up Humalog (short acting insulin). Draw up Lantus (long acting insulin). Inject. Eat Breakfast.

    10:46am – Check BS for mid-morning. BS=280 (Lantus change today will make the next two days of numbers really messed up.) Cannot correct because Humalog hasn’t finished running it’s course. Wait and see what lunch numbers are like at 12pm.

    12pm – Check BS for lunch. BS=260. Weigh food. Calculate carbs to insulin ratio (which is different from the breakfast ratio). Calculate correction factor because BS is out of target range. Draw up Humalog. Inject. Eat lunch.

    3pm – Check BS for snacktime. BS= 115. (yea! Finally!!) Calculate carbs to insulin
    ratio for snack. Draw up Humalog. Inject. Eat snack.

    6:28pm – Check BS for dinner. BS=80. Low but ok as long as we eat now. Measure out her dinner with measuring cups. Calculate carb to insulin ratio (different from the other meals). Draw up insulin. Inject. Eat dinner.

    8:50pm – Check BS for bedtime. BS=74. Way to low to go to bed. Juice given (15g fast acting sugar). Now we wait.

    9:05pm – Check BS again. BS=96. Almost there. Juice given. Wait.

    9:24pm – Check BS again. BS=117. Acceptable for bedtime. Snack given to keep BS up. 3 crackers with peanut butter. Draw up nighttime Lantus dose. Inject. Go to bed.

    11:10pm – First nighttime check. Check BS. BS=124.

    All in all, quite a boring day, diabetes wise. Only 10 BS checks (finger pokes) and only 6 injections. Bare minimum reached.

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