Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our Parenting Conversations Are Different

Six years almost.  Six years since Joe has been diagnosed.  It is strange how a certain acceptance has developed.  As I send him out on his bike, on in-line skates, on foot into our community, as I tuck him into bed at night, as I drop him off at school ... a teeny-tiny part of my heart and my brain is always aware and somewhat prepared for the possibility that I may not see him again. 


The kids were out in the 'hood playing with their friends.  Joe was squirting a hose into a gaggle of girls squealing their protests.  I was prepping dinner by laying out the leftovers on the kitchen island.  Dave walked in from his day of work.

This was last evening.

Me:  "Good day?"

Dave: "Yeah..."

*Or I think he said "yeah".  I was only half listening.*

Me:  "Kids had a good first day of school...Bridget loves middle school ... Joe said his day was boring...blah...blah...blah."

*pause*

Me: "A child died last night.  Seven year old.  Diagnosed at two.  Low or Dead In Bed.  Parents slept through a night check alarm. Found him in the morning."

Dave: "Can you imagine?"

Then, we went there.  We went to a place we haven't gone.  Actually, it is something I had not thought about; one of us blaming the other for a missed night check and a gone Joe.  We are human.  We need sleep.  This family is facing our worst fear; the death of their child.  The night check ... done or not ... may or may not have prevented this death.  The thought of struggling with "the blame" and "the guilt" while dealing with "the grief" is overwhelming.

Me:  "We would not blame one another... would we?"

Dave:  "How could you not 'go there' ?"

Me:  "I guess you are right ..."

A day-in-the-life conversation between my husband and I, as we parent a child with Type 1 Diabetes.

12 comments:

katy said...

This is the 3rd reference I've read to this poor family.

Is no one saying who it is to preserve their privacy? If you know who it is, and think it's OK to say, will you tell me? I've been assuming it's a blogger...?

I can't believe this is real.

What I've been telling myself about dead in bed syndrome is that the chances of this happening are about the same as my non-D child dying in his sleep---theoretically possible, but about as likely as being hit by lightning.

We have a friend whose healthy 2 year old died in her sleep. The autopsy revealed no reason for it. She was too old for it to be classified as SIDS. This family's tragedy feels to me like that.

NikDuck said...

We had just about the same conversation about this. All I had to say was "the blue candles were on facebook today". I have slept through sooo many alarm checks. Really hits home today after pumping insulin after dinner because Natalie was high (only 200s) after pod change. She was 160 at bedtime and I figured she would drop, but when she came out of her room 1/2 hour later and felt low and was only 56??! Can't help but think what if. I wouldn't have checked her for another hour probably. Thank God she had not fallen asleep yet. It's a very real reality every day. We can never let our guard down.

Reyna said...

It is not a blogger.

It is very real. It happens.

I think as a community we don't like to focus on these events. I think it is helpful for others to know they are not alone in these emotions. And... Insightful for non-d-peeps.

Sarah said...

Reyna...oye. I know it would tear TJ and I apart, is that awful to say? I just know I wouldn't get past it, but again here I am not truly in that place. I am the one who sleeps through alarms. I am the one who is so tired that I sometimes can't get moving in the morning and wonder if life will ever feel less groggy. Ugh, this makes me so sad. Because I am so tired and have slept through alarms I just stay up, is that crazy?! I stay up until 1 or 2 just to make sure, because then TJ checks at 4:30..this is the part that nobody really gets. The part that makes you less than sane, the part that makes your heart ache and your stomach churn.
Real fear.
I hope this family has a wonderful support system around them and that somehow they don't go there and are able to make it through all the grief that they're going through.
Thanks for tackling this topic on BB, it is definitely one that needs addressing.

Kelly said...

I wish we never had to have these conversations...sigh. xoxo

Denise aka Mom of Bean said...

I know I'd blame myself. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Hate this damn disease. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

Shannon@ The New Normal Life said...

Oh.. yes it is real and I have counted my blessing so many times when we have slept through and caught a low when we woke up starlted just 2 hours later... It is awful to think of and yes I think it would distroy most people because we put so much effort into keeping them alive and safe. my heart is breaking for this family and pray they find peace

Amanda said...

I am so sad for this family too. I don't even tell my husband about these deaths when they happen. I don't know why, but something like this would do it's damage to us too. I don't know if it would tear us apart, but I do know that I'd never be able to get over it and it would make all of us miserable.

Liz said...

This horrible disease should never happen to children! I worry about this every night, not that it would take me (I am type1) but that my sons would feel responsible.

My heart bleeds for the parents of that child :(

sky0138 said...

i would fully and completely blame myself....i know it. :o(

Becky Dustin said...

It terrifies me...and I would only have myself to blame. Hubby works nights, it's all up to me...and sometimes the exhaustion takes hold. I wake up in a cold sweat when my alarm goes off at 6 and it's TOO light outside and I know that I messed up, many prayers are said as I race across the hall to his room to check.

I would never forgive myself and I KNOW my husband would either hold me responsible for the rest of my life..or it would tear our marriage apart.

Wonder why I have sleep issues, huh?

muffinmoon said...

Ah, Reyna, a wonderful post and so important. We talk about it and yet never actually touch n the who would be blamed part of it all. I am a bit like Sarah, in that I woudl truly find it hard to get past it if it had been Andrew forgetting the test. Our reality hre is that most of the nighttime checks fall to me, because Andrew is more able to relax at night. I just can't and so I stay awake until the numbers are good enough to let me sleep. Love to you and the family.x