Friday, November 19, 2010

Respect the D

We had grand plans, Elise and I. Usually Friday night is "date night" for our family, but this time Fred was stuck at home dealing with a work emergency. So I asked Elise if she wanted to go out, just us girls. The response was an enthusiastic YES! Mattias needed his beauty rest, so he stayed home.

We hit up her favourite restaurant, the Macaroni Grill. Her dinner was grilled chicken, broccoli, and spaghetti. Of course she started off with their bread; dipping it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Which is the whole reason she chooses the Macaroni Grill.

And we finish off in style, a piece of chocolate cake. If you ask me, every dinner should culminate in this way. To allow for this carb-fest, I gave her 1/2 a unit more. It isn't often we girls get to go out on the town solo!

We then decided to so some shopping. And this is where it got bad. One minute she was fine, the next, she said she didn't feel so well. Her CGM wasn't receiving for some reason, so I got out her meter.

That's when I noticed all the light had gone out in her eyes and was replaced by a vacant stare. When I saw the number, I knew why. 36. Oh. CRAP.

I whipped out a bottle of apple juice and commanded her to drink. We were in the middle of an aisle, blocking traffic, but I didn't care. She was shaking so bad, a lot of the juice ended up on her shirt. Freaking out, I picked her up and ran to the customer service area so I could sit down with her and get her to drink some more juice.

Carrying her was like carrying a lifeless rag doll. A very heavy rag doll. Her head kept lolling to the side and I was pleading with her to stay awake. Finally I sat her down and continued to get the 1000-yard stare. Only 5 minutes had elapsed, but I checked her anyway... 64.

Okay, coming up, but she was still acting "gone". When I'd ask her a question, it took her about 5 seconds to answer. She just sat there. Not crying. Just staring. I checked her again... 95.

I cradled her in my lap, and she leaned on me as if her life depended on it. I felt the tears threatening, but I wasn't going to cry. One final check revealed a 130. And in an instant, she came back to life. Almost like nothing had happened.

She saw a stuffed Tigger and asked for it. That extra 1/2 unit of insulin at dinner brought me tremendous guilt, and what kept running through my head was, "of course you should buy it for her, you nearly killed her."

Not true? Hyperbole? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe I sometimes I think I've got this disease figured out and dole out insulin and carbs rather cavalierly. More carbs should equal more insulin, right? Except for tonight, it didn't. Maybe I'm too cocky. Or I don't give this disease the respect it needs. I don't know. I do know this experience has left me rather shaken.

And Elise? Well, tonight she's sleeping with a stuffed Tigger cuddled in her arms.


  1. Oh how scary! Those lows seriously make the world stop. You handled it brilliantly and Im sorry date night got interrupted. Ofcourse I wanna say its not your fault and dont be hard on yourself but as a d mom myself I know thats easier said than done. So big hugs and a big FU to the D. Hope its ok I said that....Alexis

  2. I am sorry Joanne. I hate that feeling AND that look. It sucks that D has to put its mark on such a great night.

    Big Hugs!

  3. OH my gosh, that is so terrifying, I'm sorry. But you knew exactly what to do and were completely prepared, praise God! Joanne, you are superwoman!

  4. It's scary how quickly things can go south. I do understand thinking I've got this figured out, but that D is a sly one and never plays fair. You however, have great d mom instincts!

  5. Oh Joanne! I am sorry you had both had to go through that. I have been there and seen that vacant look and its so scary! Just reading your post made my heart start to race like it does when Emma is low. Great job for handling it though and I am sending ya a great big hug. You are an awesome Mom!!

  6. You are not too are not too cavalier. You are amazing. An amazing human doing an unhuman job. Please don't blame yourself. She had pasta, bread and cake for crying out loud! She should have been through the roof. It's easy to start questioning ourselves after moments like this...but truth is, she is safe now, and all is well. You took amazing care of that little girl tonight! Never forget your wonderfulness.

    Hug Elise for Aunt Meri. I know that must have been scary for her. Tigger is my favorite too! Well, Tigger and Donald Duck. :)

    Love you!

  7. You did everything right, giving more insulin for all the extra carbs (I would have done the same). Sorry you and Elise had to suffer through this... very scary. You are fast thinking, fast-acting, though and handled everything beautifully. I'm thinking, and I'm sure you are now too, lots of fat in Italian food, and chocolate digests slowly. And I'm sure you have bolused her the same before for the same meal with predictable results. For one thing, this post is going to remind me to combo bolus most restaurant meals (something I don't always do). I mean, you could order mashed potatoes and maybe their cook puts tons of butter on it. There is no way of knowing how two different cooks at the very same restaurant prepared the meal. Good job for being so observant and quick.

  8. Wow. How scary!

    I would have given extra insulin for all those carbs/fat too. So don't beat yourself up!

    Glad she is ok and does not remember anything happening. And that she enjoyed her new stuffed Tigger!


  9. This is why D sucks ....... b.i.g. time.

    He doesn't make sense
    He doesn't follow the rules
    He doesn't care
    He doesn't sleep

    But you, a D-mom have super powers above all. You won't let D win.

    I am soooooo sorry you had to go through this. Thank you for sharing the experience with us so we can give you a ((hug)) and to know how to handle it when it happens to us ;(

  10. Oh man..sounds scary! You can't beat yourself up..going out to meals is the most difficult to judge. I would have given extra insulin too..

  11. ((hugs))
    Not a fun way to end a nice night out with you sweet girl. With all those yummy carbs, we would have given more insulin too. Any other day and she probably would have been sky high. That is what sucks most about unpredictable, so scary.

  12. I would have done the same thing. (((hugs))) D sucks.

  13. (((HUGS))) Jo. That must have been so scary. I hate it when "D" throws us a curve ball. Poor Elise, poor you...that is suckity. I am glad that she is snuggling with Tigger. But, you didn't almost kill save her life day-in and out pat yourself on the back from your Portugue Princess Pal!!!

  14. Im so sorry you had to experiance this! I know you are one of the most careful people I know you ARE AN AMAZING MOMMA!! sending you hugs and love today

  15. I am sorry you had to go through this. That just sounds so scary and I've been thinking about it ever since I read your post last night. I read your follow up as well. You mentioned before that you think she might still be you think maybe that could be a reason for the lows as well?? Natalie rarely has lows (ever since diagnosis her insulin requirements have increased) that's why I don't think she had much of a honeymoon. You did a great job taking care of her so don't be hard on yourself!

  16. Great job, Jo.

    Man your posts just keep bringing back those old memories...WHEW!

    I almost cried reading this...I know how frightening that is...and that stare...oh that stare!!!!

    You're doing a fantastic job. Keep up the great work.

  17. I would have done the same thing with giving a little extra insulin.

    SO glad you were right there with her when she crashed. And you knew exactly what to do. And you had the apple juice handy. See... you are a well-prepared D-mom. ::hugs::

  18. I've been out of town and am finally catching up on blogs. What a terrifying experience. I am so glad you both are ok. Sounds like you did an amazing job of remaining calm.

  19. Your story brought me to tears! I, too have had similar experiences. Just when you think you have things figured out, everything changes! My daughter and I had a similar experience last summer. She is 11 and was diagnosed 1 1/2yrs ago. She just started a pump 1 month before. We were boarding an airplane when she very suddenly looks pale and says she needs to test. We are standing in the aisle and there are NO seats (open seating). So I ask the flight attendant to help but she doesn't understand the urgency, so I ask some people if they would switch seats so we can sit down. But you probably know how SLOW things move when you have seconds to minutes. So my daughter just dropped to the ground right in the aisle and that is where we found out she was 48 and where we corrected it. Im sure people were getting annoyed with us but I didnt care and if anyone would have said anything to me I probably would have bit their head off. After that, a diabetic switched seats so we could sit together! Thanks, for letting me share our story. :)

  20. Tiffani,

    I'm sorry you had to experience that, especially on a plane. That would have been awful. It is so hard when people have no idea the urgency you're feeling.


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