So many questions…
…when a person dies of Type 1 diabetes. Understandably, to the family and friend of the person who died that question may not matter. All they know is their father, mother, daughter, son, friend or other family member has died and they are left to pick up the pieces. But to an outsider, an outsider with a young son living with Type 1 diabetes, that question is of the utmost importance. It is important so that I can know what to do or not do to keep my son alive. I do everything I can to keep him alive.
I check his sugar 10 times a day including while he sleeps.
I review his numbers on a daily basis to make sure the settings in his pump are right.
I maintain all his supplies to make sure he always has enough.
I check his equipment (pump, meter) to make sure they work and have full batteries.
I weigh his food to keep his number as close to range as possible.
I treat every low with respect and treat immediately.
But what if that’s not enough?
And I’m sure the people that die from Type 1 diabetes thought they were doing enough. I’m sure their families trusted that when they were going to bed at night, that all was well, and they would indeed wake up the next day. Instead they die.
See, death from Type 1 diabetes is not a one shot deal. You don’t die from Type 1 diabetes. You die from a low blood sugar. Or lots of high blood sugars. Or DKA. You die from pumps not working. Or settings being completely off. You die from too much insulin being given. Or not enough insulin.
As a mom of a son with Type 1 the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ are important. If the person died from a pump failure, dead pump, then I know to be more vigilant in checking my son’s pump. If the person died from a low in their sleep than that just makes me all the more positive that checking in the middle of the night is the right thing to do. If a person died from high blood sugar from not checking his sugar, then I need to remember that when my heart aches because I am poking my son’s finger again that it IS the right the to do. It might just be so right that it’s the thing that keeps him alive and with me one more day.
I think of my son dying every single day. In fact, it’s the very first thought that pops into my head when I wake up in the morning. Except of course, the mornings where he crawled into bed with me and I can feel him breathing. Those are good mornings. But if he’s not in my bed, my first thought is…well, you get what my first thought is. Even though I think it, I can’t seem to write it.
So, it is with no disrespect that I inquire of the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of the death of someone with Type 1. No disrespect at all. It is just the curiosity of a mom who works everyday to keep her son alive for just one more day.