Sunday, June 03, 2007

Saved her again

In the last six months, I've had to save my mother in the middle of the night four times. Mom has Type II diabetes and is on insulin injections. She's had it for about 20 years. Her mother, and her mother's mother also were diagnosed with it after menopause. That is one inheritance that I would love to refuse. It is a major reason that I am on a quest to lose weight and get healthy! (So far I am down 7 pounds and working out 3-4 times a week. Only about 25 more pounds to go!)

Five years ago, my son was diagnosed with Type I diabetes (juvenile diabetes). While he was in the hospital, we went through five days of 'training'. He was included in the training at all levels (he was twelve years old at the time). And he knows what he has to do, and when he has to do it. My mother either never had the training, or she just doesn't 'get it' because she really messes up her insulin doses these days. There are differences between Type I and Type II, but no difference in the way insulin is dosed and how it works. Of course, mom also takes oral medicines which affect the insulin and that is one thing I don't understand. I admit that. But, she doesn't know to adjust the insulin doses, nor does she eat enough after she takes it! That much is a given.

It is a scary thing to be jarred awake in the middle of the night by a ghastly moaning. Mom's blood glucose levels have been as low as 43 on these occasions. Imagine someone absolutely drunk, with no control over themselves and that is what it is like. Most of the time, I am able to get her to drink some orange juice or coke. But the last two times, she hasn't even been able to sit up. I keep a couple of glucagon emergency kits in the house (my son's doctor prescribed them). Two of the last incidents, I have had to use them on her to bring her sugar levels up. (I've never had to use them on my son).

Mom never adjusts her insulin dosage. She waits until she sees her doctor (every six months). My son wears an insulin pump, and he knows how to adjust his basal insulin rate according to a formula he learned from the doctor. He covers any food he eats with extra insulin according to an insulin-to-carb ratio that he was taught. He knows how to read food labels, and he is good a judging carb amounts in the food he eats outside the house. My mom? Not so much.

My son tells her not to take her insulin dose so late at night! I tell her not to take a dose at night. It's supposed to be taken before dinner! You are supposed to eat within twenty minutes of the dose. And the dose should be adjusted according to your blood glucose levels....... She doesn't understand the amount of carbs needed to level out the insulin and when to eat them. She doesn't understand how to adjust her dose, no matter how often we try to help her.

She just doesn't get it. My biggest fear is that someday she isn't going to be able to moan loud enough for me (or anyone) to hear.

The incidents have been happening more often lately. My sleep is almost always uneasy.

No comments: