Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FAQ: Night Checks......

Night Vision
J.J. wearing the headlamp we use at night when we check his blood!!

I often get asked if we still get up in the night with J.J. When I answer "yes", then the inevitable next question is "When will that stop?". I smile and curtly say "Never!". I think then people get a little glimpse that this disease is 24/7/365. Diabetes doesn't go to sleep guys!!

The first question I'll tackle in this post is....Why? ---Why do we get up in the night? We have to get up in the night to check J.J.'s blood to see how he is trending. We want to make sure he's not going too low.....which can kill him......or staying too high for a really long time....which over time can kill him or cause some serious damage!! Dosing insulin is not an exact science so every dose we give him can in reality throw us a curve ball. We kind of know what he "should" do with the amount of insulin we give him, but we still very often scratch our heads and say "Where did that number come from?"

Most often we check when there has been a dose adjustment.....especially with our long acting insulin, Lantus. But even the short acting insulin (or hard exercise) can affect his blood in the night. It's so hard to tell what he is going to we have a habit of checking at least once in the night, if not up to 3 times depending on the "trend".

110....good range for sleeping
Good sleeping number!!

Night time is unique because he's not awake to let us know which way he is trending. If he were awake he could tell us he feels shaky or really hungry (at an odd time) or super tired. But when he's asleep we have no way of we check.

So what goes on in a typical night? Well, ideally you should be talking to my husband. He has devoted himself to the night watch, which I am so thankful. I am the night owl, so if I can I will take the midnight or 1 am check, depending on how late I'm up. If J.J. seems to be at a fairly good number for sleeping through the night, I'll let hubby sleep and set his alarm for his normal wake up time. If however, and this is most nights, the number is's really in a good range but a bit low to safely let him sleep through the whole night, I'll set hubby's alarm for 2-3 am. Sometimes the checks reveal high numbers, and then we have to dose insulin. If this happens, then we must wake up in 3 hours for another check.

Perfect....a hand exposed for poking!!
GREAT!! A hand exposed for poking!!:-)

How does J.J. handle the pokes in the night? The finger pokes usually don't even wake him up anymore. When we first started doing it, he woke up every time. But now he sleeps through them. When we have to give him juice or milk for a low he barely wakes up. We learned to use a sippy cup and tip his head back like a baby because he just kind of sleeps through it. The shots are the hardest to give in the night......he really reacts to these....and we really want him to wake up so he doesn't jerk, but it's most often he gets a rude awakening!!

Diabetes Bear tucked in beside J.J.
The night I took these pictures, J.J. had tucked his diabetes bear in next to him!! They looked so cute laying next to one another.


dani said...

I am so grateful for you sharing in your blog, even though we can't completely comprehend what your lives are now like, it is good to be able to understand. Thanks for taking the time to share with us~ so we can kind of get it! Saw your fam this morning at church, they are still well!!

That first picture of JJ looks so much like Jason to me!

love you!

Darling16 said...

When I read this post I felt like I was reading about my life to a "T" it is amazing how this disease can bring people together. Tell J.J. that my little Olivia thinks that he is brave just like her.

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