Advice on parents worrying


I can’t give the parent angle, but my wife depends on me and she doesn’t worry anymore. I calmed her worry with knowledge. The worry was rooted in ignorance, really. That somehow I would wind up hypo and die from it, because this is a random risk that strikes people down “out of the blue”.

So what actually causes a hypo overnight? Either too much basal or too much left-over IOB from eating. So in my case why aren’t these something to worry about. What are my mitigating practices so that I’m not subject to an overnight hypo? Well, I’m not at risk from IOB because I always check my IOB and BG before going to sleep, and make sure that I have enough carbs in my system to use up the IOB. I’ll take glucose before going to sleep if need be. And I’m not at risk from too much basal because every morning I check the trace of overnight BG. If I see that it was falling all by itself overnight I’ll back off on the basal a little bit for the next night.

Now that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but it’s an effective explanation for a non-diabetic, because it turns a random adverse event into a predictable consequence of things that I control, and my wife believes that I’m responsible enough to control them.

Do your parents suddenly find themselves stranded on the side of the highway because they’re out of gas? If not, you can use that analogy. You don’t run out of glucose in your bloodstream overnight because you make sure you have enough before you go to sleep. Just like they make sure they have enough gas before they set out on a trip. This is something that is routine and controllable, not some random adverse event to worry about.

The other thing in my case, which you don’t have, is CGM. My wife knows that there’s a trustworthy CGM watching over me, and that before I get in trouble it will wake me and I’ll take the glucose. Not that a CGM is a 100% guarantee, but that it makes the risk so low that we don’t have to worry anymore, like we don’t worry about all the other low-percentage risks that surround us. Before CGMs, parents would watch over their children by setting an alarm clock and measuring the child’s BG in the middle of the night. Those practices are becoming archaic for those of us who enjoy the privilege of current technology. I’m hopeful that this will become more widespread in the future. The Verily Gen 2 may be a helpful step in this direction.


Or just not sleeping. :slight_smile:


@Pianoplayer7008 when I read your initial post, and some of the follow up, I began to wonder if maybe your mom needed something else to worry about other than her own health?

I know that sounds kind of crazy, but I was just wondering if your diabetes became something that they could fixate on that doesn’t have anything to do with them directly.

It seems like there are a lot of good suggestions that other people have made. And I hope somehow that your folks find comfort in your capability to be engaged and involved with your own health conditions. I think you’re doing a great job! Honestly, prior to FUD, I don’t think I knew what the real risks were, and I was a lot less stressed out about it. But I would take the knowledge over not having an idea of how it works any day. :slightly_smiling_face:


And before BG testing, parents would check for a sweaty forehead in the middle of night. Then force OJ into half asleep child. To this day, I hate OJ.


@bkh, thank you for that helpful explanation and the analogy; that’s a good one!

@TravelingOn, it doesn’t sound crazy, but I doubt that’s what’s going on here. If there’s a reason beyond simple parental worry, it’s likely just that she is potentially facing life ending any day (she likely has a tumor which will essentially be like having an inoperable aneurysm you’re just waiting to burst and cause catastrophic bleeding), so she is concerned about everyone being ok after she is gone, if that makes sense.


I’m so so sorry to hear that.


@Pianoplayer7008, I am really sorry about your mom :frowning:

What she is worried about is exactly my worry too, as a parent.

My suggestion to you is to focus on talking to her about your CGM and pushing the idea that your CGM is your guardian angel. With it on, almost nothing can happen to you (I am slightly exaggerating of course, but only slightly).


I don’t have a CGM, though, just the Libre…so a lot better than just fingersticks, but I’m far from perfectly safe overnight.


Just in case you don’t already know, if you want it to have full CGM features from a Libre, there are numerous hacks out there - https://www.healthline.com/diabetesmine/hacking-abbott-freestyle-libre#2
“‘Continuous’ Diabetes Data, Alarms, Predictions”

Maybe it would help her to be reminded that there are lots of us who have lived with this for many decades and we’re doing fine - and that was all without any of the new technologies available today that make it easier.


Thanks! From what I understand, I can’t use the usual hacks with the newer (to the US) 14 day system. I may be wrong on that… :woman_shrugging: