A storm was rolling through town. We were hanging out in the basement enjoying the thunder and change of weather.
Logan was laying on his bean bag chair, watching a movie on his DS, looking pretty relaxed. I of course had this twinge of guilt, “He should probably be reading right now,” I thought to myself.
As I walked past him to get the laundry he said “Mom, my legs are so weak, lift them up, I can’t lift them, if you let them go they’ll just drop to the ground.”
I didn’t think twice about it. He had lunch not that long ago, his number was in range, 136, and not that much time had passed. I just chalked it up to him goofing off, he’s a man of comfort and likes to relax, plus his numbers were good.
Still, when I walked past him again I wondered if I should check his blood sugar, no….that doesn’t make sense, he just had a banana, pb & j and a choc. chip cookie. I really don’t want to poke his fingers, he’s good. I look at him and he’s content, watching a movie on the DS. We’re good.
But I can’t let it go. I go through his numbers in my head, his blood sugar, how many carbs, how much insulin, it all adds up. But it doesn’t, because when I look at him again he looks completely sunken into the bean bag like his body weights four times as much as it actually does. Just as I go to grab his kit he says, “Mom, my legs are soooooo weak.” and I realize he’s slurring a little bit.
His blood sugar was 38. I didn’t panic, I usually don’t. I’ve always focused on not panicking in hopes that Logan will learn not to panic when it happens when I’m not there to help. Stay calm, don’t panic, take action.
My insides might be praying like nobody’s business, but my outsides are calm as I reach for the raisins. (He doesn’t drink juice or milk and hates the glucose tablets, knock on wood that he has always been able to chew, so raisins and m&m’s are our go too sweet when he’s low, or we could use the tube of Cakemate we keep in his kit).
I quickly do the math and before I can unfold my hand he grabs the raisins like he hasn’t eaten in weeks. He reaches for the rest of the raisins and some of them fall onto the floor, he starts to panic, he gets frustrated, he can’t get them into his mouth fast enough. I tell him that it’s o.k., to slow down a bit and then he moans..”Mom, I’m starving..I want M&M’s, pleeeease, I need M&M’s“.
I count out some M&M’s and hand them to him. He shovels them into his mouth as he sits on the bean bag moaning. His body is trying to figure it all out, “…am I low, am I high?“, the sugar is playing catch up and its doing its best to increase his blood glucose. Like me, it’s trying to find a middle ground and in the mean time it’s making him feel both ravenous and miserable. Very miserable.
I watch him. I look at his eyes, his posture and I rub his back (no scientific reason for it, just for my own well being, not sure that it helps raise his blood sugar but it makes us both feel better). I add up the number of carbs that he ate, waiting for him to ask for more, I know it’s coming because when he is low he could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one setting.
I set the timer for 20 minutes so I can check his blood sugar again and make sure it’s going in the right direction. When I check it, it’s only 54, which is frustrating, it could just be slow moving, or he could have been lower than what the meter read.
I ask him how he feels, he’s slow to respond but says, “…hungry and my legs still feel really weak…“, and then he asks for a grilled cheese sandwich and an apple…and a hot dog…and can he please have some cheese and crackers. At least he’s not slurring.
He insists on going upstairs. I hesitated. I wanted him to stay put for awhile to get his ‘legs’ back but I also wanted him upstairs where I could see him. His idea was the best idea, so I help him up the stairs. While he’s waiting for his food he begs for more M&M’s and raisins, “Mommmmmm, please, I’m starving“.
I hate not giving him more food because of how he’s feeling, and it’s hard to say no sometimes, but from experience I know that pretty soon his body will sync up and he’ll feel better. He won’t need the extra food, we just need to get his blood sugar back up so his brain can tell his body that he’s good and that he doesn’t need to eat.
Luckily I get him to wait, reminding him that this happens, that his body is trying to catch up with the sugar and vice versa, that he’s feeling hungry but that he’s o.k. and it’s o.k. to wait for his sandwich….and apple, and maybe a hot dog.
We check his blood sugar again, an hour later and he’s only 163. It’s a little out of his range but given that he’s had so many carbs I was surprised that his blood sugar wasn’t higher. I hold off dosing him, taking the chance that he would then go too high, making his blood sugar turn into a yo-yo, which in turn makes him miserable.
When he’s this low I wait to dose him, making sure he’s in range. There are all kinds of formula’s and charts to follow, but sometimes after you’ve followed the check-list and gone over it in your mind a hundred times, you have to go with your gut. You know your child, trust yourself.
As we wait for his numbers to settle in, I go over the numbers in my head. I double check the carbs to insulin ratio, the numbers add up, but they always add up, it’s all the other stuff that you can’t pin down.
As I try to figure out what could have made him go low he reminds me that he loves playing the Kinnect because he can get some exercise and have fun at the same time. Bingo.
He was playing the Kinnect before lunch, he was playing so hard that he was sweating. I’m guessing that his low was a result of the playing. (This is not the case for everyone, and not always the case for Logan either, sometimes exercise can make him go low, and sometimes depending on the activity and his adrenaline level it can make him go high).
Here we are an hour and half later, Logan runs down the stairs, “Mom, my legs feel better..” and he plops down on the floor humming as he goes back to work, creating another Lego masterpiece. Like it never happened.
When I go to download the photo of his meter, only to share in this post, I noticed that it’s “image100“, reminding me of my upcoming 100 mile ride. Ah, the irony.
Prior to Logan’s blood sugar going low I was thinking about how nice it would be to take a nap, skip my ride, just take a break. I was thinking about how nice it would be to be working right now, for a lot of different reasons. Pay off my student loans before we have to pay for their college, this reason seems to top the list these days, I’m sure I’m not alone on this one.
Then this happened and my thoughts shifted. Grateful at times like this that I am here, with Logan and Zoe. Believe me, I do not take it for granted, or at least I hope I don’t. If I had a job that took me out of the home, we would make it work, just like all of the other working parents out there that are doing it, but until that day I hope that I appreciate that I am home.
I give thanks that Logan is safe, that this moment also gave Logan, Zoe and I to talk about our pact, that we are a team, that we need to help each other. We go through the drill, what to do if Logan is somewhere that we are not and what he needs to do and what Zoe can do to help. Making sure there is balance, we also talk about what Logan would do if she needed help.
I look at their sweet faces, Zoe excited that she remembers what to do and proud of herself as she adds some new ideas of how she can help, and then she throws in some ‘what if’ scenarios that are so bizarre I can only hope they never occur because I have no solutions for her.
As I wait for Logan’s numbers to go back up, as he pokes his finger for the 4th time in 40 minutes (two pokes that worked, and two more because of one faulty test strip and one finger poke where he declared his finger to be ’empty’ because he couldn’t get any blood out), as Zoe waits patiently, as her needs are set aside for the moment, I realize that this is not the moment to stop. I realize that I want to ride forever. One hundred miles, one thousand miles, one million miles…for a cure.
I make myself a deal, I’ll stay home, but no nap. I can nap later. Instead, I’ll ride on the trainer and set up the laptop so I can indulge in a movie on Netflix or get hooked on a T.V. Series and forget the clock.
I realize that there are days to stop, to rest, to take a break, and I appreciate them, but today T1D reminded me that it is fierce and that it never stops, it never gives Logan a break and it never lets us rest, so I’m not either. Not today. Today I realize that I am doing the right thing.