One of the things they don't tell you about at Diabetic Clinic - or if they do, you can never truly understand until you've experienced it - is mood swings. The kind you get when your Type One child goes from being very low to being very high in a short amount of time - the kind you only get to experience when your child comes in and out of being Hypo.
A Hypo is classed as anything under a blood glucose reading of 4 - 4 is the floor they tell you, but sometimes your meter reading isn't always that accurate and a reading of 4 might mean that they are sligtly under and even closer to borderline Hypoglycaemic than you realise.
The first thing you have to do is treat the Hypo - give them something sweet to bring them back like half a glass of Ribena. If after 15 minutes you check again and their blood sugar levels aren't going up, you have to take corrective treatment a step further with liquid glucose or an energy sweet. So far, we've not had that, but give it time...
The consequences of ignoring a potential Hypo are what happened yo that 17 year old girl I mentioned yesterday, so you can see it's pretty serious.
Tonight, myself and Mrs. sparky had first-hand experience of such mood swings, and not for the first time. Emilie dropped rapidly just before tea and needed Ribena. Then she took a long while finishing her tea and had a meltdown because she didn't want her insulin yet, but didn't know what else she wanted to eat. Before we could inject her, we had to calm her down.
The problem was she had gone from being very low to becoming very high, and the longer we waited to give her insulin, the higher she got. Remember Ribena is designed to lift her blood glucose levels, add tea on top of that and you see why she needed her insulin sooner rather than later.
People will say all kids have meltdowns, but a mood swing triggered by erratic sugar levels is slightly
different in that you can't punish them because it's not entirely their fault. They feel crummy and this heightens the way they feel emotionally. All you have to do is deal with it, and despite what anyone says that is not always easy.
She had another meltdown at bedtime. Again, this was not helped by her sugar levels going up and down, but also because such a yo-yo effect leaves her feeling quite exhausted. There was no point getting cross with her, I just had to sit with her and calm her down; try and relax her so eventually she would go to sleep.
Being a Type One parent is never easy. There are always new challenges, greater hurdles to deal with. The Diabetic Clinic nurses tell you you should be trying this, should try adjusting that, but it is you who have to live with the consequences day in, day out. And you never stop worrying.
Every time I come home late from work and see an ambulance pulling into our estate, I wonder if it is for Emilie. Every night, I wonder is she going to be alright? And it is worse for Mrs.Sparky because she deals with it much more than I do. Except for holidays and my two days off, she gets to deal with every tea time, every weekend. I often wish that I was there more, could do more for her, but I can't.
And that is the true life of a Diabetic Type One parent. Every day you're fighting a battle, struggling up a steep hill that seems to have no summit.
Being a parent of any child is hard. Being a parent of a Type One is like taking it to the next level.
That is our life now. Maybe eventually we'll get used to it - but then again, maybe we'll just keep on doing what we're doing now - living each day one day as it comes.
After all, what more can you do?
See you in 24 people...by Friday, I'll try and make this Blog a bit more uplifting, I promise.