Any other parents out there raising a child on the spectrum and also living with their own chronic illness? It presents an extra tough challenge. What do you do when you're sick? There's no time off from parenting when you are sick. When your child has autism, it's kind of scary. You have to be watching closely all the time. There's one unpredictable danger after the next. You can hardly get a chance for a shower, much less lay down and not feel good.
As many of you know I am a type 1 diabetic. I'm fine most of the time. I've had an insulin pump for almost 20 years. That's me holding it in the picture. The insulin pump is my lifeline. It's with me 24/7, providing me a constant stream of insulin that I need to live, because my pancreas no longer produces it. Last weekend I had an episode of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). I had a bad site, meaning my infusion set, a little plastic cannula that is inserted into my skin with a needle, hit scar tissue in my abdomen and the insulin wasn't absorbing into my bloodstream. Within a few hours, my blood sugar shot up to 400 and I was down - could hardly move and was vomiting. The only way I was able to recognize what was happening was when I started to feel very bad. I was very lucky my mom was here visiting and was watching Liam for me and ready to call 911. Type 1 diabetes is manageable, but crisis can hit rapidly and without warning, and it can be deadly.
Not to worry. I'm fine now. It took me about 10 hours to turn it around and get my blood sugar back to normal. But I'm always a little unnerved after an episode like that. I'm so caught up in Liam's care, it's easy to forget about myself.
Lilah was away a couple of times this summer and I was pretty nervous. I just hate to think what would happen if I had a diabetic crisis and was home alone with Liam. Hopefully he would call a family member, but I don't really know. He's not developmentally far along enough yet to understand what is happening. I rely a lot on Lilah. Thank goodness she's healthy, and very good at looking out for Liam, and me too.
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