The Grape Girl

The Grape Girl

Here is the irony in life,

I was always a shite nurse.  As a child when other kids played hospitals I was always the visitor who came with grapes, ate the grapes and then buggered off as quickly as possible.  I had a huge dislike of blood, of anything gory, and no patience with ill people.

Now look at me.

With no real medical training, I can change cannulas, calculate insulin doses, work out insulin changes based on the weather, exercise and fat and protein content.  I can blood test like a demon, and all of this is only for Type 1 Diabetes.

I am also pretty proficient at changing dressings, mainly on ears and hips, administrating drugs from Calpol to morphine, and I am getting a pretty good grounding in physiotherapy as well.

I preferred being the grape girl.

This article is just a bit of a gripe, a get it off my chest.  It isn’t a cry for help, because before I started writing my woes to the world I have already emailed my support team, the ones with qualifications, and asked for help.

I realised a long time ago, trying to manage a chronic condition in one of your children alone, is like trying to put out a raging fire with a damp nappy.

My concern is, I think the mix of hormones and blood sugars currently mean any help may be well meaning, but fundamentally not all that constructive.

Blood sugars are ruling my life, and ruining my nights.

I crave 6 hours straight like a junkie looking for their next fix.  Although being a masochist, when the kids visited their Dad last weekend I spent the night rebelling against my almost 40 years and went out dancing…

Whilst I still got the moves, the impact of missing my two weekly catch up on sleep means I am running on empty, and have sore feet to go hand in hand with my black bags.

Blood sugars are high in the night?

Simple – you correct with insulin, although try to get a peaceful couple of hours when you have just slung an extra 2 units into your child at 2 am.  That fundamental fear that you have given them a little bit too much, or they will come crashing down as you snore away, leaving them in a hypoglycaemic state where they struggle to rouse.

That fear really messes with your kip.

Extreme repercussions from diabetes are rare, but they exist.

I don’t think anyone died from lack of sleep, although the bags around my eyes ensure I look like the great undead.

I didn’t realise it could be this hard, holding together a family of four, balancing bloods, caring for a little boy post surgery.

On the flip, I didn’t realise it could be so rewarding, having your daughter crawl into bed first thing to give you a hug for missing sleep.  To have extra time with your son as he recovers post surgery.

Many of us have friends with unseen conditions, or friends with kids with chronic illnesses.  It is hard to comprehend what that actually means.  Sometimes they will want to offload, other times they may want to cuddle it inside themselves.

But it never hurts to turn up with grapes.

Just try not to eat them all.


Cover photo courtesy of Shutterstock.




  1. Ruth
    January 31, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    My son has Type 1 too. I prefer him a little high at night tbh. He still has great Hba1c results ( consultant says he’s the best controlled teen he has on his books) and it means I am not up all night adjusting him. ( which really annoys him lol)

  2. February 3, 2017 / 11:02 am

    It doesn’t matter how laid back you try to be about diabetes, when they’re dangerously low, and life-threateningly high, you have to deal with it. And when that’s happening at random, unexpected moments, for absolutely no reason you can imagine, it’s exhausting and depressing. I’ve stopped even calling my team about it, because I know they will tell me I do a great job, and it’s just diabetes, and I have to ride it out. But when it goes on for such long phases it’s massively debilitating for everyone. It WILL get better (before it gets worse again 😉 ) . We have to trust that this is just our girls getting to grips with the stupid hormones. The sooner the better so we can go back to drinking Prosecco without fear of making dosing mistakes in the night! 😀

  3. February 8, 2017 / 11:17 am

    Dancing also has its importance.
    Much love to you all xx

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