Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Now I Can Tell You

This happened almost three weeks ago -- in the midst of all that eye business.


Leaning over, I whisper:

"Honey, it's time for you to wake up."

A low sigh.

"C'mon, Sweetie-- you've got school today," I say while gently stroking a warm, slightly damp cheek.

That's when I smell it.

"Honey, Honey-- wake up."

Eyelids flutter, and then a very tired voice:

"I don't want to get up."

"Honey, did you have an accident?"

A confused look.

"Did you wet the bed?"

Her eyes widen.

"No, Mama-- I'm just sweaty," she says.

But the smell is unmistakable.

Minutes later, I'm a few feet outside the downstairs bathroom. The door is open, Stephanie Miller chuckles on the radio, while Ryan -- shirtless, his back to me -- washes his face.

For a while I just stand there.


Damp underpants held loosely in my shaking right hand.

This is too much . . . it can't be happening.

Finally, in an unsteady voice I tell him.

"Evan had an accident."

"What?" Ryan says, turning his wet face toward mine.

"She wet the bed," I choke, "Ryan-- she's never done that before-- even when she was potty training -- no diapers, no pull-ups. Not since she turned two."

"Okay," he says in a cautious tone, "we'll just check her."

She's already eaten breakfast by the time I can convince her to let me check her blood sugar.


I drop heavily into the chair next to hers.

"Would you like to watch something on TV?" I ask weakly-- deciding that today she can miss her cooking class at the Y.

Soon she's sitting happily in front of Sesame Street.

While -- for nearly an hour -- I pace nervously around the house, finally ending up seated on the edge of my bed, unable to do anything.

Until the bedroom door bangs open and in runs Evan, brown eyes shining.

"Mama, let's play ice cream shop!"

(To play this game we have to go outside where Evan can work in her "shop" behind our birch tree. She creates fabulous imaginary frozen treats -- like "cotton candy-sugar cookie ice cream" -- and serves them to her favorite customer-- me.)

"Sweetie, why don't we check your blood sugar again first?"

"I don't want to-- Mama, it hurts."

"Oh, Honey -- sometimes we have to check our blood sugars-- hey, do you want me to use that little meter?"

I pull out our new, unused OneTouch UltraMini.

"Awwww-- it's so cute. Mama, can that be mine?"

"No," I say sharply.

Then in a softer tone: "No, Honey-- we're just using it."

I twist the barrel of Joseph's lancing device so that a fresh needle is loaded, then dial down the lancet-- from the highest to the lowest setting.

Holding my breath, I take one tiny, four-year-old finger-- and poke.

Five. Long. Seconds.


I blink back a sudden rush of tears.

And then, very quickly my mind reviews the data:

Before that first check, I only wiped her fingers with a damp paper towel-- and she'd eaten a banana just 20 minutes prior to the test.

She hasn't been excessively thirsty.

She hasn't lost any weight.

Nor has she been urinating frequently during the day.

"It's all right," I say-- still staring at the meter's display. "It's all right."

"Mama, I'll never have diabetes. Right?"

My head snaps up.

The question startles me. To hear her say it out loud like that.

"Oh, Honey-- I don't think you will."

And with those words -- and that test -- I feel myself slowly climbing out of a very deep, very dark hole.

For a long minute I just sit there, looking into my girl's beautiful, expectant face-- until finally I clear my throat.

"Hey, how 'bout we go play some ice cream shop?"

With a huge grin, my little monkey leaps out of her chair and makes for the door.

Post Script:

Three days later, Evan had a second overnight accident.

But, since I began insisting she go to the bathroom before bedtime, it hasn't happened again.

I also continue to do random bg checks: overnight, she's been in the 80s; two hours after meals-- 80s to 90s; and first thing in the morning-- 68-75.

And (knock every stick of wood in the house) we haven't seen another high.


Jamie said...

*whew* .... I'm glad everything is ok now. My oldest went through a similar stage. She was like Evan - never wet the bed - even when potty training. She had a bladder made of steel.

Then she started wetting the bed. I felt absolutely SICK about it. I would test her - and she would freak right out (at least Evan was good about it) and would yell "I DON'T WANT DIABETES!!!".

I cut back her liquids and the peeing at night stopped. It only happened a few times, but it was scary for me to think that it "could" be happening again.

I think we will always have it in the back of our minds with our non-D children.

(it sounds like it was the banana that was the culprit)

art-sweet said...

Oh Sandra, how terrifying.

{{Sandra Evan Ryan Joseph}}

I'm so glad it seems like the banana was the culprit.

Kassie said...

I feel like I've lived this moment once or twice myself. I'm so glad that Evan's ok.

Val said...

Wow - scary! I'm glad it turned out OK. May your summer be much less stressful than your spring has been.

Bernard said...

Oh Sandra

I read this post with my eyes stinging and my hand over my mouth in horror.

Thank God it's not the D. That's a scary story you tell. I'm so, so glad Evan seems OK.

That's a wonderful picture.

FYI: Have you tried the BD lancets with the 33-gauge needle? They are almost painless.

Anonymous said...

Jacob just turned 4 and hadn't wet the bed even with pullups on since he started potty training.

For the past week, he's been wetting his overnight pullups and I too checked his BG's. Luckily it came up with no highs.

If I saw that 216, I would've had a nervous breakdown.

Should she have gone that high even after eating the banana? Have you called Joseph's endo about this?

Sandra Miller said...


Yeah-- one monster "WHEW!"


We'll all gladly take those hugs. :-)


Me, too.

Oh Val,

I hope you're right.

A quiet -- even boring -- summer sounds really good right now.


No, I haven't tried the BD lancets. We're big fans of the Multiclix lancing device, but I'll have to look into those 33-gauge BDs...

Thanks for the tip. :-)


No, I haven't spoken to Joseph's endo about this-- though I will at our next visit.

Maybe I've been sticking my head in the sand here (or just too damn scared to "spin that chamber" yet again).

I'm still thinking (hoping) that the banana, coupled with a bowl of cereal eaten half hour before it -- along with the possibility that her finger might not have been clean enough -- that all of these things account for the 216.

Michko said...

Ditto to Bernard. Read the entire post with flushed face, tears at the ready and my hand over my mouth. One big, fat WHEW for sure.

Shannon said...

The Anonymous comment was me btw :)

I hate when that happens.

Penny said...

Oh, Sandra, that post had me in tears. I'm so glad she's OK. I know you were scared to death.

I don't know how you kept yourself from just picking her up and taking her to the pediatricians after the wet bed and the high.

Oh my, I'm still shaking. I'm so glad the rest of her sugars have been OK. So glad.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Whew. Like all the others, what a relief.

Rachel... said...

argh! sounds like she was on carb overload - Greg was mentioning the other day that even non-D people can show higher readings with enough bad carb intake.

I hope the low readings keep on keeping on.

Megan said...

Man, this made me cry. I was holding my breath for the beginning, then when I saw the 216 the tears pushed into my eyes. At the "Mommy I don't want to part" they started flowing.

Oh man, I'm soooooo glad it was just banana juice (is there such a thing?).

I too hope Evan never gets diabetes.

Allison said...

Yikes. Freaky. I hope there are no more overnight problems! Looks like it was the stupid bananas. Gives me another reason not to like them!


Major Bedhead said...

*whew* Damn those bananas!

I know that fear. When Boo has soaked thru her diaper, I check her. When she asks for a higher than normal number of drinks of water, I check her. When she's cranky (she's two, so this is a real judgement call), I check her. I do the same with the Bug. I hate that fear that's always there in the back of my head. Hate it.

Kendra said...

Fruit can DEFINITELY do that, just from residue...sorry you had such a scare! I've gotten readings like "518" and "462" before after eating a piece of fruit and not washing my hands. Grrr! If you are still really concerned I would get her A1C taken in a few months, but to me it just sounds like the good old diabetes fruit-on-the-hands trick.

Nicole P said...

Sandra -

Oh, my - I can just feel the tension you've been carrying in your posts these days. Between this and your eyes you must have just been beside yourself. I'm sorry for that.

I know that even though I'm not a mother - I'm always concerned when my sister in law tells me "Milton soaked through his diaper three times today..." My heart just drops. Much as it did while I read this post.

Hopefully the endo will agree with your assessment of the 216 - and with all of her other sugars looking great - I can't imagine it was more than a fluke.

Sending you - and Evan and Ryan and Joseph - my best! :)

Anonymous said...

Big sigh of relief! That has happened to us a few times (she has D) when we would get a very high reading. Always must remember to wash her hands and check again before giving an insulin correction. Yes, a banana will definitely do it! And it is very common for young children to pee if they drink a lot in the evening hours. With the warmer summer weather, children will be drinking a lot more, so don't panic.

Kerri. said...

I'm glad she's okay. I know this has been weighing very heavily on you, and I'm so, so happy to hear that Evan appears to be in the clear.

I don't know how you guys do it, you parent-types. You are incredible people. I hope I can be even half as good.

MileMasterSarah said...

Reading this I totally knew the feelings you had with your little Evan, as I felt them with Gracie before her diagnosis. I remember the sinking, I can still feel it if I allow myself too. Fortunately your outcome is better! I know I’ve gotten some severe highs from Gracie when I haven’t wiped her fingers well.

Carey said...

How horrifying. Thank goodness she's OK.

type1emt said...

Very scary-so glad Evan's ok!

Anonymous said...

My brother was diagnosed type 1 at age 9. I thought I was safe -- I am older by 3 years, and a female, and for some reason I thought this meant I was immune. I also made it through my teens with no sign of abnormal glucose metabolism.

But, at age 26, there was sugar in my urine and a finger-stick revealed a fasting sugar of 240.

This was four months ago. Antibody tests showed conclusively that I am also a type 1 diabetic. I started on insulin immediately and here I am today, facing an uncertain future.

My parents, who to this day do not understand what type 1 diabetes actually is, told me they are "tired" of hearing about diabetes. They've had enough. They also confuse type 1 with type 2 on a daily basis. They think injecting insulin is a choice, and my brother and I wouldn't have to do it if we made lifestyle modifications. (I was a health-obsessed person even before this diagnosis, a vegetarian and an athlete, which is part of why the doctors looked at me and said "type 1" right off the bat.)

Anyway. That's my story. I never thought I'd get it, but life is full of surprises. Fortunately I've always wanted to adopt kids, so that bad gene stops here. (I know it's not 100% genetic, nothing is, but when two siblings have a rare disease, it's got a pretty strong genetic component.)

Lisa said...

Oh man!!! I can feel your anxiety. My 3 year old has Type 1 and my 1 year old so far doesn't. It is constantly on my mind. I'm so glad that she seems fine. Sometimes I think that we are are so sensitive that we think of diabetes first whenever anything strange happens.

I love reading your blog! Thanks for writing it.