Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sleep? I think I remember that

I was reading Laura's blog post about wanting to change her middle name to Exhausted. It made me laugh. Then I yawned and fell asleep. Because I know exactly what she's talking about. I'm thinking of changing my name to Weary Exhausted McNeedstosleep.

Last night was the first time in three nights that we didn't check Elise almost every hour. I am not even sure how I'm functioning at this point, except that my body is just so used to operating on my usual 3 hours of slumber.

Whenever I tell people about needing to check Elise at night, the response I almost always get is, "wow! It's just like having a newborn!"

Except that it's not. Because with a newborn you know that eventually they will learn to go 10 - 12 hours without waking up to feed. And that knowledge can help you wake up for another 2 am feeding.

And unlike a newborn, there is a chance that this disease will steal your child's life away in the middle of the night. And however small that chance may be, it still doesn't stop you from slipping into your child's room in the wee hours of the morning; holding your breath as you watch the numbers on the monitor count down and finally give way to the 150 that gives you enough peace to sleep for an hour or two more.

And unlike a newborn, it's almost impossible for you to leave your child with someone just so you can get some rest. Pretty much anyone can look after a newborn, but only one who has experience with diabetes can help take the pressure off, especially when they are so young.

Like other D-Mommas, at night I live somewhere between sleep and awake. To paraphrase Jen's blog title, I am Elise's pancreas. And as far as I know, a pancreas doesn't sleep.

So when people say the "newborn" thing to me, I usually laugh and say, "I wish!" I'm betting they give me some weird looks, but I'm just too tired to notice.


  1. I would gladly take a newborn over diabetes anyday ever again . I know when my kids were little they were up every one to two hrs and they seemed like they were always sick with something . I know the feeling .

  2. You are so right..it is not like having a new born! It is major sleep deprivation with no end in sight and lots of worry. I am sending a big hug your way...and hope that your spell of checking every hour is over with for a long while!

  3. Totally agree! Not like a newborn at all. At least with a newborn you can be half awake, feed them, and go right back to sleep.

    Being a pancreas you have to be a little more alert to know what you are doing and make decisions regarding your child's health.

    I don't really remember sleep either.

  4. You are so right Joanne.....
    I get the newborn thing all the time too. I also get "he's 14, he needs to suck it up" I always ask what they mean by that and why in the world should a 14 y/o be able to take care of themselves like an adult.. how many adults actually take care of themselves????
    Big warm hugs! Take care of you, I am trying to take care of me :)
    Sweet Dreams.

  5. I don't know why people have to try to make our lives sound more fun than they are...
    Hello! Newborns are a lot of work, but they are exciting and wonderful! They are bundles of sweet joy...miracles that do something new every day. What a comparison.

  6. We need to leave the children with the dads and have a REAL SLUMBER party. Who's in?

  7. Joanne- you totally hit this on the head. Perfect. I'm going to have to quote you on this. I love sleep. And I miss it so - because even when i sleep, it's different. A few hours at a time, listening, worrying.... I hate diabetes. And it's so frustrating because people think it's no big deal. That it will get better. Ugh. I am so sick of hearing that. Ok- I need to save my rant for my own blog!
    Laura- count me IN!!! I am soooo there!

  8. SLUUUUUUUUMBER PARTY! Bring on the wine, Nyquil, Tylenol/Advil PM and Benadryl and let's get some sleep!

    I am in no way advocating using alcohol/drugs as a sleep aid. Except that I totally just did.

    And Alix? If ANYBODY ever told me that my child needs to suck it up, I would have a perfectly placed knee as a reply to that absolutely stupid statement. I can't believe someone would say that.

  9. YAWN...

    Sleep? What is this thing that you speak of?

    I think I could use some.

    Diabetes and newborn are so different.

    So stinkin' different.

  10. Sleep??? I have heard of that word.

    Love your post by the way! Everyone tells me it is like having a new born. I have never had to shove fruit snack down a sleeping newborn's mouth before, then milk 20 minutes later, then real soda a while after that....this was my night last night...fighting a real NASTY set of lows!

  11. Sleep? I agree. I miss it!! Syd told me once, "mom I know you love me lots because you and daddy wake up to check me in the night so that I can sleep." It was so cute!

  12. I know exactly what you're talking about. I've been sleep deprived for four years now. It still amazes me how I'm able to function. I sometimes wonder how I would feel now and if my personality would be different if I were able to sleep like a "normal" person.

    A co-worker of mine has a 3 month old baby. She is all the time coming to work and complaining about how tired she is because the baby keeps getting up at night. One time I told her I'd been getting up every 2-3 hours a night for the past 4 years. She kind of responded that it was different because I was used to it. I've never mentioned it again. Used to it? I'll never be used to getting up and walking in my child's room and the first thing I do is to check and make sure he's breathing. And, then piercing his finger with a needle and praying that the number is a "good" one.

    Just yesterday she complained again that her baby was up all night and she only got three hours of sleep so she could barely function. I didn't bother to mentioned that I had spent a complete hour that night trying to get Riley's sugar to rise above 70.

    Sorry, didn't mean to leave such a long comment. Just wanted to let you know I know exactly how you feel.


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