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  Back to Parent' Voices Laurie Ridgel

Diabetes, A Day, My Child

Morning.
I must awake, rise, test. Can't afford more sleep.
Stick a tiny finger.
The meter counts the seconds.
I wait, my heart thuds.
Too high? Too low? Just right?
At last, a number.
Measure the insulin.
A quick hug, a deep breath.
Stick the needle under soft, young skin.
My heart tears a bit as the insulin goes in.
Another hug to quiet the tiny tears and my heart.

Measure breakfast. Count the carbs. Add some protein. Watch her eat.
Is it too much? Not enough? Just right?
Time to play, to run, to be a child.
I watch the clock.
Snacktime soon. I count the carbs.
The snack disappears, as does the child.
She plays. I watch the clock.

Time to test again. My stomach rolls. Call the child.
Stick a tiny finger.
The meter counts the seconds.
We wait, my heart thuds.
Too high? Another shot.... Too low? Add more carbs… Just right?
We wait.
At last, a number.

Measure out the lunch. Count the carbs. Add some protein. Watch her eat.
Time to play again, and read a book.
I relax a little.
I watch her bounce and run.
Will the lunch carbs last? Will the protein make her high?
The clock counts the time.

"Mom, I feel funny."
Quick, get the meter.
Stick a tiny finger.
The meter counts the seconds.
We wait. My heart pounds. She watches the numbers.
Too low? How many more carbs? Too high? Do I risk an extra shot?
By any strange chance, is it just right?
Oh please ...
At last, another number.
We adjust our lives to adjust to her numbers.
Then back to being a child.
I watch the clock to wait for the next round, and dinner.

The clock says it's time.
I begin to fix the dinner.
I count the carbs. I figure the protein. I watch the fats.
I call the child.
Stick a tiny finger.
The meter counts the seconds.
We wait. My stomach growls. She reads off the numbers.
Too high? Extra insulin and dinner waits a bit.
Too low? Quick, a snack, and heat everything faster.
Just right? Let it be just right...
At last, a number.
Measure the insulin. Calculate to match the dinner. Am I right?
A quick hug, a deep breath.
Stick the needle under soft, young skin.
I weep inside as the insulin goes in. Someday...
Another hug to quiet tiny tears and my soul.
We set the table and eat.

She's off to bathe, and then we read.
She yawns. I smell her hair.
I watch the clock.
We have to stay up for one more test.
Another book, maybe two.

Time to test.
Stick a tiny finger.
The meter counts the seconds, always the same.
We wait. She yawns. I close my eyes.
Too high? Insulin before bed and I won't sleep!
Too low? A larger snack, but I still won't sleep!
Oh, please let it be just right. Please...
At last, the bedtime number.
A snack, big hugs, and she's off to bed.

I only wish I could sleep.
I only wish . . .

Laurie Ridgel
California, USA
laurie.scheibner@gmail.com

Published April 26, 2001



                 
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