Monday, February 27, 2012

15 minutes

Phone rings on the first morning back to school after dealing with the tummy bug that just kept on giving. My heart begins to pound as soon as I see the school's number on the caller ID. Emma's teacher tells me in an eerily calm voice that Emma just tested herself at snack time and was 3.3 so they gave her an extra snack. I told her to tell Emma not to bolus for any of it and call me back in 15 minutes. I sit on the couch shaking uncontrollably. My mouth is dry...tongue sticking to the roof of it and feeling ten sizes too big for my mouth. My hands are freezing and sweating all at the same time. Crazed thoughts race through my mind as I watch the hands on the clock hanging above the pantry door in the kitchen...the only non-digital clock in the entire house. I am reminded of all the other times in my life that I have stared at the seconds hand on a similar clock slowly drag it's way around in a circle indicating a mere minute of time has passed. All of the times when I was younger, sitting in class, listening to a boring educational film...or a boring teacher speak of algebraic equations. I sat staring at that clock...willing it to move faster...make time speed by so I could get out of there and move on to something more interesting. All of the times I have stared at that clock in the kitchen waiting for 15 minutes to pass by so I could retest Emma and make sure the juice I gave her was working and that she was no longer low. Stuck in the low BG Mommy/Emma bubble of time. Nothing else matters, nothing else is significant or important...I merely wait...wait for those seconds to pass by in their wretchedly slow fashion. So, there I sit on the couch cell phone in one phone in the other...afraid to move...frozen in my own own personal hell. Emma is not within arms reach...she is off at the care of other full faith is supposed to be in their her hands. I sit there frozen..staring at the clock...and the phones in my shaking hands...praying that she will come up.
Phone rings again...15 minutes of hell have passed. Her teacher informs me that she is now 2.9. She has eaten roughly 40 carbs and not bolused for any of them and her BG has dropped even further. Warning sirens are blaring in my eyes instantly begin to burn and water. In a voice that is oddly calm and in control, I ask the teacher if she has given Emma another snack...which she has. Emma gets on the phone and I instruct her how to suspend her pump...stop all insulin from going into her body. Her little voice sounds so far away to she is really in another country halfway around the world...breathless...annoyed...irritated that she is having to take time out of her day to talk to her Mom. The pump is suspended and the teacher gets back on the phone. She too sounds oddly calm still. I wonder if we both are simply trying to calm the other...fool each other into thinking that we have this under control. I wonder if Emma knows how scared I am. I wonder if she is scared herself and just trying to make me feel better by not showing it. The teacher tells me she will check Emma again in another 15 minutes and call me with a number.
I hang up the phone and begin my ritual again. Watching the damn clock...shaking hands, pounding heart, having trouble breathing, praying, fear. I wonder how many times over the years I have endured this ritual...either alone...or with Emma. I wonder how many more times I will have to endure it. I wonder if there will ever come a time where any of those crazed thoughts that run through my mind will actually come true? I wonder if it will ever end. Will the ride ever stop? Will we ever be able to get off this roller coaster of extreme emotions? Will it ever end? If not, how can I ever expect her to be able to handle and endure this ritual all on her own when she is grown? How will I ever sleep again knowing she is out there on her own enduring such horrific feelings in 15 minute increments...all by herself? Will i awaken in the middle of the night...for no other apparent reason...heart racing...and just sit there staring at the clock...reaching for the old familiar phones to call her and make sure she is make sure she is not sitting there scared...waiting for her BG to come up...alone?
Phone rings again to signify the end of another 15 minutes passing. She is 5.9. Finally. We survived this 15 minute hell bubble once again.


  1. I am not familiar with the BG scale you are mentioning. I would think 33 is very low but wouldn't ever see a 3.3. Are there more than one scales on which kids' BG are measured? (My daughter and granddaughter are Type 1's.)

    1. hi there, I live in Canada and they measure in mmols would just take our number and multiply it by 18 to get the equivalent in your number. So, 3.3 would be 59 for you.

    2. ok - now it makes sense. Don't you hate 59??? My little granddaughter is 6 and I would take it from her in a heartbeat if I could! Thanks for your blog.

  2. She doesn't know how scared you are because you have a great "game face" and you keep it in play mose at all times. She has the rest of her life to worry, so for now... you carry that for her. Because you are a great mama!!!

  3. The waiting is so hard! Those same questions and fears run through my mind all the time. And yes, the roller coaster, it never stops....I just blogged about that recently too. Up one day, down the next.