We love all the new diabetes technologies here. Technological advances since James’ diagnosis years ago have improved our lives so much, it cannot be overstated. While it took us a while to become accustomed to it, we are now completely in love with the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology. Whenever I ponder the blessings in my life, I thank God for these improvements, for sure!
One new feature that I’ve just loved and has been wonderful for James’ growing autonomy is the ability to get live readings from James’ CGM system through an app on my phone. It means that James can be at school while I’m sitting at home, and I know what his blood sugar is! It means he can go to his friends’ homes or school field trips or competitions, and I can know that he’s OK. I absolutely love this piece of tech.
But…it has had an unforeseen downside. Ever since I’ve been able to monitor James’ blood sugar ALL the time, even when he’s not here with me, I’ve essentially become the only parent to monitor his blood sugar. It’s hard to explain, but while Craig and I both have the app on our phone to follow James’ blood sugar, Craig has to ignore it for much of the day. His work location is physically quite far from our home, and he is often in meetings or working collaboratively such that he has to silence the alerts he gets. I think for that reason, he’s kind of become accustomed to not following James’ blood sugar on the phone—because otherwise it would drive him and everyone else crazy!
James’ own phone also follows his blood sugar, but he has to silence his phone at school. His CGM device itself is turned on both at school and at home, but it’s significantly quieter than the alarms I’ve installed on my phone. Are you following where I’m going with this? Somehow, with the advent of all this monitoring, MY PHONE has become the default diabetes monitoring device, because it is loud and close by and during the day I’m constantly on it. Everybody else has gotten used to tuning out their phone alarms during the day…so they end up continuing to do so in the evening as well. This has made me THE diabetes person all day and all through the night.
This is a change for our family, because Craig has always, always been an equal and involved partner in our diabetes care. He IS gone during much of the work day, and his commute is far, but it has always been the case that while he is home, he is heavily engaged in diabetes management. He counts carbs, changes sites, and constantly monitors and watches with me, and it has made the “burden” of taking care of a kid with type 1 diabetes significantly lighter.
Now, I’m finding that I’m getting a little more tired than usual. I feel like instead of alternating nights like we’ve done in the past during periods of illness or activity, it’s just me doing the nighttime monitoring. Or if we’ve had a particularly carb-heavy evening meal, I’m the one up late trying to get James’ blood sugar in range. So I am on a mission to work with Craig to change things, just a little, and make the balance of care more even like it used to be.
I’m sure there is a way to fix this issue. Craig and I have had to work out lots of stuff like this. The solution is certainly to talk to Craig and work something out. Like everything in diabetes, the key is keeping an attitude free from blame or guilt and instead looking FORWARD to the best possible solution. I know we’ll figure it out!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.