Bleary eyed, I make my way across the dark bedroom, bend over, and switch on the small lamp next to Joseph's bed.
I pause a moment, then look hopefully at my sleeping son as he lay curled on his side, one hand resting by his head.
Reaching down, I move my hand across his forehead and down the sides of his pale face-- gently pushing aside several strands of damp hair.
Quickly, I slide the meter out of its case, pop open a small cannister, shake out a test strip and insert it into the meter.
"Code 23" appears on the illuminated display.
I push the "OK" button, put down the meter, then pull out the lancing device (or "poker"), and carefully take hold of the hand that rests on the edge of Joseph's pillow.
I draw a breath before pricking the calloused tip of my son's index finger.
He doesn't even flinch.
Squeezing his fingertip, a bubble of blood begins to form.
I pick up the meter, bring the loaded test strip to his finger and watch as his blood is drawn in.
5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1
Without turning to look at it, I reach for the jar of glucose tabs that sits on the small table next to his bed.
"Bud, you're low," I say quietly, then pull down his chin and push a glucose tab into his mouth.
Almost mechanically, he chews for a few seconds, swallows, chews some more, swallows...
I slip in another tab.
He doesn't open his eyes-- doesn't say a word.
Just chews and swallows.
When I've given him what I hope will be enough (but not too much), I take a seat on the floor by his bed-- and wait.
I prick his middle finger this time.
Two more glucose tabs.
And still, he sleeps through it all.
I stare at him, shivering.
Imagining the sugar entering his bloodstream.
Willing it to.
Another 20 minutes.
This time, it's his ring finger.
He's now 104.
Relieved, I tear open a package of cheese crackers.
"Bud, you were low-- you have to eat some of these," I whisper, while feeding him a cracker.
I feed him another, then brush the crumbs from the sides of his mouth, his chin.
He sleeps through all of this, too.
All of it.
Before climbing back into bed, I set Ryan's alarm for two hours later.
Then finally -- at 12:45 -- I crawl under our heavy comforter.
And for a long time, lay curled on one side, cheek resting on my hands.
Eyes wide open.