The Iron Giant Doesn’t Need Sleep!

I wake up.  It isn’t quite dawn.

It is the darkest time of the morning before the birds start their chitter-chatter.

I remain still in the bed and wonder what had woken me.

Is it one of the myriad of body aches and pains that I now experience at this time of night due to middle age? Body scan. Nope, everything is ok.

Do I need to pee? Na. That’s all good too.

Is my husband snoring? Silence only broken by his deep slow breaths.

What’s up then? I asked myself…

And at that moment I switch like an automated-type-1-guardian-of-the-universe-protector-cyborg-mum.

If anyone has seen The Iron Giant they’ll remember the moment when he becomes a fully automated war machine. It’s instinctive and happens before he’s aware. That’s often me at 3am.

I get up and stumble into the wall.

That’s right, not at home. At the beach house. Navigation systems are go. Locate him in his room – check.

He’s deeply asleep. Vital signs? Breathing – check.

I grab his meter and prime the lancet. The sound activates his remote control hand and it emerges from beneath the covers.  Over a decade of training now, he has muscle memory and auto-pilots this in his sleep. I don’t have that skill yet.

I test, 15.7 – check.

I dig his pump out from under the covers and …. it’s untethered.  Not connected to him at all.

Ok… (investigates further) Oh look! There’s not even a site to attach a pump to… curious and potentially alarming.

System switches to recovery and rescue mode.

Al“, I nudge him. “Al, where’s your site (over)?” Radio silence.

Al, where’s your site (over)?” Radio silence.

Al, where’s your site (over)?” Radio silence.

I repeat this request another five times until he mumbles something about how “it hurt” and he “took it out to change it” and then he “must have gone to sleep…”

…”before doing it (over)?” I ask (to complete his sentence because he’s gone back to sleep).

Automated robot operating system engaged to complete mission.

Rewind pump – check.

New site set up – check.

System primed – check.

Attach device to human – check.

Run a correction dose – check.

Mission complete – check.

Return to manual mode – check.

I down tools and make my way back to bed.

I don’t sleep for the rest of night. Recovery system runs on adrenaline.

A decade of broken sleep has me wondering as the room fills with dawn and the inevitable chitter-chatter, surely I’m not the only mum-of -T1D-kid-cyborg-prototype doing this right now…


  1. Thank you Anonymous! I appreciate your comments. There are many super-heros out there silently managing. Most of them are living with diabetes. 🙂


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