Saturday, January 7, 2012

I have saved her life...the mindgame of a low blood sugar

As parents of diabetics (or diabetics ourselves), we spend a good part of our days and nights worrying about low blood sugars. The causes, the effects, the dangers, the juiceboxes to fix them. It is just a part of our in and day out...every single day. I think about them when Emma is with me, when she is in gymnastics class, when she is at school, and most terrifyingly when she is asleep. I know how they make me feel. I know how my heart pounds when I see that 2.0 screaming at me from the screen of her blood sugar meter. I know how I break into a cold sweat as I scramble around finding something...anything with sugar in it to give to her to make that disgusting low feeling go away and to make her blood sugar come back up and to prevent her from passing out, having a seizure, or even dying...yes dying. There have been many times over the years now that I have prevented these things from happening...many times where I have saved my daughter's life and stopped diabetes from winning the battle for good and taking her from me forever.

I have saved my daughter's life.

I do not feel like a hero for doing it one time. I do not feel like a hero for doing it the countless number of times I have done it. I am simply her Mom. I am doing what any Mom would do to ensure her child's safety. I am doing the tasks that need to be done to keep her alive. I do them not with the intent of getting praise or thanks or being looked upon as being special. I do them for selfish reasons mainly. I do them because I would die without her. I do them because I want her to live so I can see her smile another I can hear her laugh I can play games with I can sing and dance like a fool with I can have another minute to love her with my whole heart. I do them so I can see her grow up healthy and live her own life...maybe meet the love of her life...get married if she desires...have her own children if she chooses to. I do them so I can see her achieve all of her goals and hopes and dreams. I do them because I love her.
I am ashamed to admit though that I have never thought how she feels about lows. I mean I KNOW how she feels when she is low because I have hypoglycemia myself...I know the gross feeling...the nausea, the dizziness, the cold sweats, the shakes....I know what that is like. I am talking about the other aspect of it though. I have never thought about how it affects her mind and her emotions. Does she get scared when she sees those low numbers? Does she worry when she has a low at bedtime? Is she terrified to let herself fall asleep because of the low number? Does she worry that she will drop even lower if she just shuts her eyes and falls asleep? Does she sit there in bed silent...listening to her own body...trying to tell if she will be ok...trying to feel the signs and notice if her blood sugar is finally coming back up? Does she worry about it? Is she scared?
It hit me tonight that I have never thought of those things before. I have handled lows by the book...following the steps I was taught 3 1/2 years ago...test, juice, 15 minutes retest....lather, rinse, repeat. I have shoved down my fear when dealing with that number....pushed the wildly morbid and frightening thoughts way down deep so I can focus on the number and deal with the situation laid out before me. I have never thought about how it must be for her.
I think I will start to think about that more. I think tomorrow I will talk to her about it and ask her. I think I will try to remember to look at things from her perpective a little bit more with this disease...because it is in fact HER disease.


  1. Don't think I have ever thought about it from Bean's point of view, either. I, too, need to have that conversation. Thanks for sharing, my brain needs your brain!

  2. Once on autopilot, after treating a scary low, I realized that my oldest daughter had been watching the entire time. She was quite shaken and very scared to see how sister had reacted and to realize that it took a while for her blood sugar to raise back up. Ironically, a few months later, we discovered that our oldest daughter also had t1d. Of things that scared oldest daughter the most when she found out that she had diabetes, was the worry of what would happen if she went low. She remembered her sister's low quite clearly and how dangerous things could become. Whenever she has a low (been dx for two years now), she still tends to be much more scared than her little sister... who for the most part doesn't even really remember what happens during a low. I always found that quite interesting. It seems to leave the greatest effect on us who are witnessing.


  3. Really good point. I find that I am often surprised by my daughters feelings about diabetes. Having these conversations is a must! Thanks for the reminder.