Monday, November 28, 2005

Something Strange

This morning I got Joseph up for breakfast-- it was just the two of us (Ryan is out of town for the week).

He checked his sugar (81), then sat down to his usual "Cheerio mix" -- half Cheerios, half Honey Nut Cheerios. Before tucking in, Joseph began studying the back of one of the cereal boxes in earnest.

"Mom, look at this" he said in a slightly disgusted tone. "These are just kids on this box, and they're offering ring tones for their cell phones. That's ridiculous."

I agreed, then turned to log his bg.

"Mom, something's wrong."

It was just that quick.

"What do you mean? Do you feel okay?" His face was suddenly very pale.

And he looked frightened.

"Mom, can I just take a glucose tablet?" he asked, nervously shifting in his chair. "I think I'm low."

"Absolutely. "

Joseph fumbled with the glucose tab container for about two seconds before he handed it to me with a pleading expression.

He popped a tab, then sat down in his chair.

"Can we check my sugar? I don't know what's goin' on."

"Sure we can," I said, trying to hide my own growing panic.

He was 93.

"Mom, I'm scared. I'm really, really scared. I've never felt like this before. I don't know what to do! Can you just sit next to me?" He shifted in his chair repeatedly as he spoke.

I took the seat next to his, then held him in my arms. He was shaking. It took everything I had not to shake too.

"I don't want to die."

"Oh honey, you're not gonna die. You're gonna be okay. You're gonna be just fine. Just fine."

I said these things quietly, over and over as I held his head to my chest, stroking his hair, rubbing his back. Until finally, he believed me. Until he was himself again.

At first I thought my son had just experienced his first real panic attack, but when I asked Joseph to describe what he'd been feeling, he said:

"Mom, it was like I felt really heavy all of a sudden... like all of my weight just dropped down to my legs. It wasn't like that time I was 32. That time I felt really light. This was different."

"Did you feel like you were going to pass out?"

"I never felt like this before, and I never passed out before. So I thought that this might be what passing out would feel like."

So I'm not really sure what happened.

Except that both my son and I greeted the day with one hell of a scare.


Vivian said...

Oh my goodness, how scarey!!!! I am so glad he is ok, I bet it took a while for your heart to stop jumping out of your chest. I wonder what that was all about since his sugars were in range? You are such a good mom.

Violet said...

Hey Sandra. As you know, I've been away from online for a while. Thanks for welcoming me back and especially for still being here. Somehow it makes me feel like the world is still properly tilted on its axis to find you and your writing and your sensitivity.

There just isn't anything like that fear: and I can only speak to having that fear for myself because I've never had a child. So I can only reach, through your words, toward imagining what this experience was like for you and Joseph. It put my heart in my throat. But you're there for him and you kept him safe. As you will keep on doing.

Tekakwitha said...


That must have been terrifying. I'm glad he had you there to comfort him through that fear. Glad everyone made it through okay.


Jamie said...

Wow - that was scary reading that. What a strange experience. Hopefully it is only a one time deal and never happens again! I'm glad to hear he is ok.

You're a great mom - you could totally feel that in today's post.

Take care.

Johnboy said...

Sandra, you are so good at writing dialogue in a way that puts the reader squarely in the situation.

I don't really have anything to add to the sentiments expressed regarding the situation. I guess it's just something to keep an eye on.

I hope your day is progressing more normally than it started!

Andrea said...

That must have been so scary for you both...I'm so glad he's okay.

This disease sometimes provides unwanted and unexpected most of us know. I guess it's part of the joy (not) of having this condition. Anyway, it sounds like you have a very smart son, he did the right thing by testing right away. I think it's a very good thing to do when you are in doubt or you are just feel "off".

TG he's fine and hopefully you won't have any more of these type of surprises any time soon.

Sandra Miller said...

Thanks everyone-- for the wonderful words of support. I'm still a bit shaken by what happened-- mostly I think because I don't know what happened.

That something really awful might have been brewing with his blood sugar.

Or that Joseph may have experienced a kind of low that doesn't register on a glucometer.

That there might be some things about this disease that can't be treated with insulin or glucose tablets.

Martha O'Connor said...

Glad it all turned out OK! Maybe he was on his way down quickly, and he caught it. Whew!

Erica said...

This really made tears come to my eyes. What we wouldn't give to protect our children from all this kind of 'stuff' huh?

Penny said...

This one made my eyes water. Thankfully, Joseph was with you when it happened. Hopefully, it will never happen again. It's amazing what our children have to deal with every day.

Melissa said...

I am sooo glad he is ok! This has started happening to me recently. I am about 1.5 years into the disease, am 24 but never had a honeymoon period.

I have noticed I will feel what I can only describe as fluttering all over and I have come to realize it means eventually I will be very low, sometimes even hours later. I think this is how my body reacts to stress, and because of this fear of going low I stress even more. What a cycle!

The up side is he is intune with his body and that will help in the long run