"Sleep: the Final Frontier" by Barb Szyszkiewicz (@franciscanmom)

Sleep: the Final Frontier

The other day, we headed over to CHOP for TheKid’s 3,000-mile checkup. He’s doing really well, and we’re grateful for the technology that helps us keep him that way.

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This is not today’s display. If it had been, I’d be asleep right now.

His endocrinologist knows us well enough by now to know, though, that there’s some degree of sleep sacrificed on the altar of a good A1C. Hubs vigilantly watches TheKid’s blood sugar for a good part of the night, aiming for a wakeup around 100, which is an ideal level.

When I wake up in the wee hours, I check my phone to see what’s going on with TheKid’s blood sugar before I do anything else. Lately, I’ve been waking up to a “NO DATA” message from TheKid’s continuous-glucose monitor.

That means I have go go downstairs, force-quit the app, restart it and wait 5 minutes until the CGM measures his blood sugar again and displays the result. If it’s good, I can go back to bed (whether I fall asleep again is another question.) If it’s not, I have to deal with things and stay up some more.

Anyway, the endocrinologist didn’t have too much to tell us, other than making a minor adjustment to the insulin routine for early afternoon, which is a time when TheKid typically experiences low blood sugar. So he turned his attention to us, expressing concern that lack of sleep can negatively impact our health.

He’s right. I don’t know if there’s much I can do about that 4:30 AM data drop–if it goes on for 30 minutes my phone will sound an alarm. That’s an issue on the manufacturer’s end, and I really wish they’d fix it. Technology is a wonderful thing, when it works. When it doesn’t, it’s a thorn in my side, and in this case, it can be dangerous.

I was up at 4:15 this morning to deal with “NO DATA.” My alarm was set for 6, which is still too early for a Saturday morning, but TheKid has a soccer game and has to be at school at 8:30. If I wake up after 4 and have to do more than use the bathroom, I’m up. For the day. Until I crash in midafternoon, on days when I don’t have to go watch a soccer game.

I feel like I run on empty all week long, and this is not because I stayed up too late reading or watching TV (I only do that one night a week). I’m dealing with something that can’t wait. If I’d let the “NO DATA” go this morning and went back to bed, I wouldn’t have noticed that he was veering toward a low, and set his pump to a lower insulin-delivery level to (hopefully) cut that off before it became enough of a problem that I had to wake him up with a glass of juice in my hand. Unfortunately, I just had to deliver that glass of juice. So now I watch again.

One benefit to being up before 5 on a Saturday morning: you can give some encouragement and advice via Facebook to another parent of a diabetic child who’s also awake (and worried) at this crazy hour. I hope, at least, that a little bit of good can come out of this.

"Sleep: the Final Frontier" by Barb Szyszkiewicz (@franciscanmom)
Photo via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.


This month I’m joining all the cool kids in the #Write31Days adventure! I didn’t pick a keyword or a theme, because just getting something written for all 31 days is challenge enough for me right now.

Midnight Run

(Middle-of-the-night, more precisely.)

I was actually awake until almost midnight, which never happens, but The Kid was having 4 friends sleep over and the Super Smash Brothers tournament-in-progress was pretty loud, so I sat in the living room with my Kindle book until I couldn’t see anymore.

At 4:30 AM, The Kid’s low-blood-sugar alarm went off. Hubs asked if I’d go deal with it since he’d been up until 3 with the boys.

(I didn’t ask who won the tournament, figuring that if it had been Hubs, he’d have told me.)

I stumbled grumpily down the stairs, turned on the kitchen light to grab the stuff I needed to double-check that blood sugar, and…nothing.

Figuring the light bulb had burned out (I’m still using up my not-big-enough hoard of incandescents) I tried the downstairs hall light. Nothing. Upstairs hall, nothing. Dining room, nothing.

So I went downstairs in the dark to the basket near the printers where we keep 2 flashlights and 1 battery-operated camping lantern. I went for the lantern, then grabbed the testing supplies and went to wake TheKid.

The two friends who were sleeping on the floor, and who I had to step over to get to him, were awake because they’d heard the alarm. They razzed him as he sleepily told me he’d had a fruit rollup 20 minutes ago, but I made him drink juice anyway.

After that, I asked how long the lights had been out. The kids didn’t know, but they did tell me that the basement lights worked (they’d left those on…) and so did the bathroom and The Kid’s room.

The plot thickens. The family room lights worked too, and two boys were still up, so I asked them how many cell phones they had charging in there.

“ALL of them,” one answered as he yanked chargers out of power strips.


So I had to find a light switch I hadn’t yet tried, so I could turn it on and then head to the garage to fiddle with the breaker box. That did the trick, but then I was good and awake so I sat in bed reading my Kindle for 45 minutes until I realized it was 5:30 and this was Not A Good Idea.

Fitbit OneWhen I woke up two hours later and got ready to go downstairs, I lamented the fact that while I was doing all that running around in the middle of the night, I hadn’t put my Fitbit in my pocket. So I don’t even get credit for the 4:30-AM cardio.


Wake Up, You Sleepyhead

Any parent of a teenager knows how difficult it is to get that teenager out of bed on a school day.

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ZITS comic, January 15, 2012


The ZITS comic has this topic as a recurring, and always hilarious, theme.

Normally I find myself increasingly annoyed by my role as the Human Snooze Alarm for TheKid. But today something different happened.

Me: “Come on, it’s time to wake up. You have to get up for school.”

Kid: “Mmmmm…who’s going to be the president after Abe Lincoln?”

Me: “Ulysses S. Grant.”

Kid: (smiles widely, nods hugely, rolls over and continues sleeping.)