Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Really Bad Low

I haven't written about diabetes for a while. I don't like giving it front-and-center in our lives any more than it already demands. But it's 2am and I'm dealing with the emotional aftermath of a really bad low this afternoon.

I'd been at the park with our homeschool group, with the only child in our extended household who was not sick with the respiratory bug that's been making the rounds. On the way home I stopped at the library to drop off some books. In the parking lot I got a text from home. William's BG is 148 and he's freaking out. I'm two minutes away and head home. I walk in, and, sure enough he's freaking out. Glucometer says he's fine, but after another minute or so of trying to talk to him, it's clear he's not. He's conscious, but not responsive. Crying, all he can say is "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy." My firmest "snap out of it" voice is not getting through. He can't pull himself together.

So, what do I do? I give him glucose. Meter says his BG is normal. My gut says he's crashing. So, glucose it is. In a few minutes he's calmed down and has a bowl of cereal. He climbs into my bed shivering. I set up a game of Mad Libs on the iPad to distract him. He's fine.

This time.

The enormity of what I have to do every day to keep him "fine" doesn't often get to me. But right now, it has.

My son could have died today. If I hadn't told the meter to go beep itself, and trusted my gut, and instinctively known what was going on with my son, and acted on it, he could have been on the floor seizing before the meter told me he was dropping.

I've never had to use the glucagon. He's never gone so low he's lost consciousness or seized. And I pray he never will. But it's a possibility. Every day and every night.

I don't often let the enormity, and impossibility, of my job as William's pancreas get to me. But tonight it has. His life is in my hands. He's trusting me to keep him alive. Every day and every night.

There is no formula for doing this. There's lots of calculations, but no straight-forward "this is how you do it" answer. And no matter how good you are at it, it's never good enough. You can never keep that fucking BG on target all the time. And one miscalculation could kill my son. I could kill my son.

I usually stay focused on the positive. Everything that I have to be grateful for. All of the tools and resources we have to keep William alive and healthy.

But not tonight.

Tonight I'm heartbroken and pissed.

This is not fair.

William does not deserve this.

Type 1 Diabetes is seriously fucked up.

That is all.


  1. Feel my (((HUG))). I hear you sister...I hear you. xo

  2. Hugs, big giant loving hugs to you and William. And a big giant hateful middle finger to JD!

  3. {{{{hugs}}}} You are an amazing woman.

  4. I was glad you were just around the corner. Me as substitute-backup-pancreas did not know what to do. It's absolutely terrifying. You can follow all the "rules" and it's never enough- there is always something unexpected.

    You do an awesome (as in, it leaves me "full of awe") job at a completely unfair, inherently impossible job. May it be but a successful holding pattern until a better, more effective and permanent solution is found. I Hope. And, in the meantime, I am ready to give it my best shot to help you both whenever I can.

  5. Not at all fair. And a good post because it emphasizes to trust the physical symptoms sometimes, not just the meter. If symptomatic, trust your gut. Thankfully, episodes like this are not the norm. You made the right call and will do so again, will teach your son what to do. Listen to his body. You can't go wrong there, as you can always treat a high later on. Quick thinking!