Today’s challenge is to write about a first. There are so many firsts in diabetes…the first time you inject your child. The first time you test their blood. The first time you make a dosing adjustment. The first time you let them go to a friend’s house without you. The first time they have ketones. The first time they go low…
We were not allowed to leave the hospital until my son’s blood glucose level went low at least once. It was a safe place for this to happen. He was two. He had no way of telling us how he felt. I was terrified as to how either of us would react when he went home. Eventually we did have to go home however and trying to regain some sort of control of our lives was not easy.
I tested. I injected. I watched. I lived by the clock. I counted each exchange. Food was restricted and fights with a toddler were many. Life was not good but it got worse…
The first time that I remember my son going low at home definitely puts me in the “World’s Worst Mom” category. We had not been home from the hospital for long. It was early spring. The snow had finally gone. The boys and I were enjoying the chance to be outside. They were playing and I was working on my yard.
As I worked, my youngest son began to get fussy. He was demanding. He wanted to go inside. He was whining and basically being an annoying two year old who desperately needed to go for a nap. I told him to give me just a few minutes. I would be done soon and we could go inside.
I never paid him any more attention. I continued doing what I was doing. Diabetes never entered my mind. It lived on the fringes. Memories of the hospital were still fresh. Living by the clock was our new way of life but “other” fears were not yet as strongly entrenched.
I tended to my garden, moving rocks and dirt. My son was quiet so I assumed that he had gone back to playing with his trucks and amusing himself until I was done. I finally turned around and looked for him. My heart stopped.
My son was laying lifeless on the ground. What had happened? What had I done? Instantly, I had him in my arms and was screaming at my older son, “Open the door for me now!!!”
I raced through the house and put my son on my bed. I ran to the washroom to get a clean face cloth to wash his hands and had my older son get me the glucometer. I shook as I tested his blood. He was low. How low? I don’t remember. I just know that I brought juice to his lips and prayed he would drink. He did!
Within a minute he was awake and wondering what my problem was. He wanted to go and play. I bribed him with watching his favorite show on TV instead. I knew he had to retested. His blood glucose level still had to go up some more.
I watched him as he sat, content and oblivious to the chaos that had just ensued. I continued to shake. What ifs ran through my mind. I would never ignore him like that again. I couldn’t. Diabetes was not interested in my timetable, its demands were to be met NOW!
I can’t say that that was the last time he went low but I can say that it was the last time I found him asleep in the dirt. There were many other “firsts” in our lives. Some were bitter sweet and some remain terrifying but such is life with diabetes.