Lots of D-parents, and let's be frank, it's mainly D-moms rather than dads, that blog or use facebook, were describing how they live in fear of DIB syndrome, how they watch their kids overnight, and are unable to sleep themselves. Maybe I'm a (part of the way along the autistic spectrum) cold fish, but I like to play the odds game, when assessing any situation, and determining my reaction on how to handle it. Maybe what I say will give some people some reassurance, others may just consider me analytical and heartless.
Looking at http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/ (and taking what they say at face value - maybe a big assumption?) it says that for every 10,000 patient years, between 2 and 6 people die from DIB syndrome. Taking the average figure of 4 deaths, that is of course 4 too many. But it means that one dies for every 2,500 patient years. (That could be expressed as "out of a sample of 2,500 people with diabetes, one of them will die from this syndrome per year".) Very unlikely for any single individual, but nevertheless distinctly possible.
So how does this compare with our risk from lots of other diseases and dangers? In the UK about 2,500 of us a year, get up in the morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and don't ever return home, as we get killed in car crashes. What about meningitis? Here today, but maybe gone the day after tomorrow. Heart failure and instant death from undetected problems may be out there stalking us. And there's hundreds of other diseases to fear, where maybe we have a day, a week, a month, or a year to live?
How do any of us (not just D-people) sleep at night knowing our loved ones could be taken from us at any time? The answer of course is that most of us just get on with life, and don't think too much about that aspect. But with chronic conditions like diabetes we are constantly reminded of our mortality by the nature of the condition, and the complex management that it needs.
So let us look at the risk that our beloved will die this evening from DIB syndrome. Starting from that 1 in 2,500 chance of it happening in a year, the odds for tonight are 1 in 912,000. A risk I could do without, but is it one we should habitually lose sleep over? I'm so tired I think I'll sleep tight, even though it's my turn tonight and I'll be up for the nightime duties with our little boy.
I hope Frank's picture above isn't too scary, and that this blog has given at least some of my readers some solace over something we would rather not have to think about. Best wishes to us all. And deepest sympathies to anyone who loses someone tonight.