Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Missed Cues

I know I promised a post about the RI JDRF walk-- that's still coming -- but something happened that I couldn't leave sit.

Last night, Joseph and I went out to dinner and a JDRF support group meeting with a fellow blogger (Jenny from Until a Cure) and her son, Tommy.

Several hours before we were to meet our friends, Joseph called from school to tell me he had gone low-- his blood sugar was 64 at at 2:45 p.m. This surprised me because he'd eaten an apple two hours earlier and turns out, had forgotten to bolus for it (in hindsight, thank heavens he forgot).

Joseph treated the low with several glucose tabs and 15 minutes later -- after his bg had climbed to 90 -- an additional 25 gram cereal bar.

He should be good until our dinner.

Or so I thought.

By 4:30 pm -- an hour and a half later -- his bg had once again fallen. This time, to 54.

What the hell?

He gobbled down four glucose tabs, and within 15 minutes his bg had risen sharply to 166.

All right, I thought, we're gonna meet our friends for an early dinner. Now he should be fine.

Less than an hour later we're sitting in a booth at an Italian restaurant opposite Jenny and Tommy.

Joseph starts acting really silly-- talking loudly to Tommy, saying things that make no sense, and cracking jokes about almost anything Jenny and I say.

Geez, this kid is bouncin' off the walls. He must be really glad to see Tommy.

(Bad assumption, I know.)

"Hey," Joseph says to our very pretty waitress, "do you have to go to school to learn how to be a waiter?"

"No," she responds with a smile, "we just learn on the job."

"How many plates did you break?" Joseph asks with one big 'ol grin.

"None," she says, again smiling.

"Joseph-- please settle down," I tell him quietly, my hand on his shoulder.

He begins repeatedly tapping me on the shoulder, giggling and getting Tommy to do the same to his mom.

I plead with him several times to settle down.

Eventually, Joseph is under the table-- Tommy joins him there for a couple of minutes. The two boys laugh, using the backlights on their pump screens to see under there.

I'm embarrassed. I can't believe he's acting so over the top.

When our waitress finally sets a basket of large, soft garlic breadsticks in the middle of our table, Joseph can't get enough of them-- he devours two in less than 10 minutes.

And after our plates of pasta arrive, my son immediately tucks in-- polishing off a plate of linguini in marinara in no time.

By the end of our meal, he seems far less out of control-- and at the JDRF meeting, completely himself again.

Hmm.

It wasn't until we got home -- when again he got that look, and started making some more uncharacteristic, off-color remarks...

When, after several protests...

"Mom, my combo bolus is still active... geez, it hasn't even been that long since I ate... you know I had some Starbursts at the meeting... "

I made him check his sugar, and discovered he was 76 and falling fast.

It was then that I finally realized what must have been going on at the restaurant.

He was crashing.

And I never saw it.

The very same mistake I'd gotten so angry about last year -- when it had been his teacher who never saw the signs.

Damn.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sandra, I know all the thoughts that are going through your head about this one, please don't. We try to stay on top of it 24/7 and sometimes it slips past us. There were plenty of distractions to blame the signs on, he is ok and you are an awesome mom. Don't forget that last part...YOU ARE AN AWESOME MOM.

nicolep said...

Damned tricky. This diabetes jerk is.

Don't beat yourself up at all Sandra.

I don't know how many times a low bloodsugar has slipped past because I - by nature - have a sort of wacky personality and people assume it's just me - being wacky. When it's diabetes - sneaking up. And kicking me. Again.

Hope all is well now. Wonder what was causing his drops that day... Did you figure it out yet?

Rachel said...

There are times when I don't realize Greg is going low. And there are times when I think he's low but he's not. It happens.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Oh Sandra!

Don't be hard on yourself. Things happen, we deal with them the best we can, and we move on to the next challenge.

How can you be expected to tell when he's just being an excited kid - or when his BG's are low?

You do a great job - don't be hard on yourself.

Kerri. said...

(I tried to post a comment last night but Blogger kept eating it. Grrrrr...)

I'm with Nicole on this one. There have been several times when my normally abnormal behavior has prevented me or my friends from acknowledging a low blood sugar. It's scary to miss those cues.

But it happens. It may happen again, too. You are taking exquisite care of your son. Make sure you take care of yourself, too. Don't dwell on this too much, if you can help it.

Thinking of you guys...

Minnesota Nice said...

There were no bad assumptions here - just logical conclusions based on prior data during the course of the day. DB is a tricky little prankster, always ready to pop out with something unexpected. Live and learn.

Keith said...

Sandra, I think the most insidious lows are the ones you 'slide' into. The ones that come on over 30 minutes or so and you don't realize what's happening but gradually behaviors change. I can't always catch these in myself much less expect others to see what's going on.

As the others said, don't beat yourself up over missing these subtle symptoms, just try to be aware (and I know you do). The troublesome thing is I've seen these symptoms change over time. Unfortunately, sometimes it's like trying to hit a moving target.

Anonymous said...

It is easy for me to say not to stress over a missed low because I am outside of your situation. I know too well what the consequences of a missed low can be. All you can really do is file this away in your mind for reference later. Hang in there, and don’t stress out over things you can’t change, work on what you CAN change!