mid-night reading

mid-night reading

numbers flash before my eyes
digital signal from a drop of red

correction, new message
delivered back to the source

all of this on autopilot, my mind
elsewhere, but right here

poke her, prod her
in the unfaltering trust of her slumbers

bringing unease at the thought
of yet another vulnerability

Hold a child’s trust in your hand, and you will know what it’s like to be a parent.
But you cannot always be a guardian. You can only hope that such faith will always be well placed. Such are my thoughts at 2 am, during a mid-night reading.

My daughter was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes when she was eight years old, and this was written in 2004, when she was ten. I would check on her when I got home from work after midnight. That would mean a finger stick to test her blood glucose level – the reading visible on the test meter – followed by settings on her insulin pump if her level was low (which would happen while she slept).
She is now 25, and very fit. In her desire to stay updated on her levels without constant finger sticks, she now has a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), which stays in her side with a tiny insertion and sends a reading to her phone app. It does just what the name says. I’m proud of her determination and the fact that she serves as an excellent role model as a school counselor.

I have a few poems written about our experience here.

This poem was brought to mind when I read Insulated, by Iain Kelly.

Image source: nih.gov

21 thoughts on “mid-night reading

  1. Ken, your poem is beautiful and even more so when you explain the pain behind. Thank you for sharing this poem, your painful time and the now quite successful life your daughter has created with her positive spirit.

    Love conquers so much and also makes it hurt more.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are shaped by our challenges … and gifted when others share their experiences of challenge. Among the many other thoughts this summons, I sense a bonding between you and your daughter that continues to shape both of you. This poem is a gift. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This gave me pause to think and remember…none of my four children have had any ongoing disease, such as your daughter suffers from…from time to time there were things momentarily life threatening and I thought that was hard enough, but this is so far beyond that..thank you for going on at the bottom of the page to tell us the success your girl has become..you must be very proud of her, doubly so, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought of Iain’s story right away when I read this. Parenting makes us so vulnerable. I’m so glad that technology has made it easier for your daughter and everyone with this illness, but it’s hard not to keep that worry always in the back of your mind. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s