highs and lows: a World Diabetes Day post

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November 14, 2012 by matt bortmess


Today is World Diabetes Day. And for us it comes after a long frustrating four day weekend full of high blood sugars. It seemed that nothing I did could get them below 200. Increasing the boluses with meals. Changes to to sites. Extra boluses throughout the day. And it wasn’t just one of the kids — it was both of them. So while it was a weekend for them, it was also full of lots of headaches, stomach aches and just feeling bleh as I tried my best to help them get those numbers to a better place.

It didn’t happen until Tuesday morning. They both woke up with numbers in range. Thank the Lord!

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what it was. Neither one was sick. They weren’t sneaking snacks, desserts or candy. Everything they ate was counted. The only thing remotely connected is that my wife spent the long weekend in Dallas visiting her brother. Were they anxious? Just missing mom and that elevated things? We’ll never know.

And that’s how it is each day. We wake up in the morning to see what the day will hold for both of them. Will they run high? Will they run low? How are their bodies going to react to this disease today? And then we roll with the punches. We make adjustments to their insulin treatment as needed. We change pump sites. We finger poke. We check ketones. And in it all, they are kids — laughing, playing, sometimes aggravating one another but mostly enjoying life.

Diabetes has definitely changed our family. Our eyes have been opened to a whole new world. We’ve built friendships with others who are living lives just like ours. We entered into a community of support and encouragement through JDRF and the ADA. Our kids have had opportunities at diabetes camp and family retreats to connect with lots of other kids who are just like them.

Make no mistake — I hate this disease. I hate that it has so much control over my kids. That they have to poke their fingers multiple times each day. That they have to deal with highs and lows and all that it does to their body. I hate that it is something they are going to have to manage their entire life.

But as a parent, I remain strong for them. I let them express their frustrations with diabetes. I comfort them when they don’t feel great. I celebrate with them when their blood sugars are good and they feel good. I daily manage numbers and carbs and doses.

And in the end, my wife and I do our best each day to make sure they get to live lives just like their peers. At school. In the neighborhood. At church. On the ball field. At the birthday party. Because, after all, they are still just kids. Kids who just happen to have Type 1 Diabetes.


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