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Parking Lot Lows.

Part of me would love to ride in one of these down a steep hill.  The other part of me wants to live."Brrrrr ... it's a little chilly outside today," I said to BSparl as I tucked her blanket snug around her wiggly little self in the car seat. She waved at me and showed me her sock.

"Yes, that's a nice sock, birdy.  Okay, let's get out of here and get you into the car so we can go home!"

The automatic doors parted and a brisk gust of wind came and skipped down my collar.  With the baby's car seat safely tucked into the belly of the carriage, I ventured out to find my car in the massive parking lot. 

"Ha ha, where did Mommy leave the car?"  I said out loud, walking up and down the parking lot aisles and pressing the alarm on my keys.  Nothing.  No flashing lights, no subtle little "beep" noise from my Honda.  Nothing but a sea of cars and I had no idea which one was mine.

"Am I getting old?"  I asked BSparl.

"Mmmmmm!"  she proclaimed, raising her teething toy into the air.

I walked for several minutes, combing the lot for my car.  And the wind kept whipping, only this time it felt good because it kept whisking the sweat off the nape of my neck.  I felt dizzy.  

"This car has to be here somewhere ..." I passed the the same minivan I had just seen moments ago, the one with the stickers on the back advertising the happy family that held the title.  "I just can't find it.  I can't find anything, baby.  I have no idea where this car is."

BSparl was starting to fall asleep, tucked happily into the blankets in her car seat.  And I could not find the car.  The parking lot was this sea of blue and black and red cars, none of which were mine.  My vision began to sharpen on the peripheral, leaving my main point of focus a little blurrier than usual.  The sounds of the parking lot were magnified in my head, leaving me confused and lost in my mental cotton ball.

I felt the buzzing from my purse, and then heard the unmistakable BEEEEEEEP! of the Dexcom.  Without checking to see what my blood sugar was, I reached into my purse while pushing the carriage and retrieved a jar of glucose tabs.  I chomped down on four of them at a time, the glucose dust taking off into the air.

The ground was starting to shift, like a blurry and constant tremor that only I felt.  I knew this low wasn't good - I needed to find my car and sit in a hurry.  But I had the baby with me.  So I had to make sure she was safe, too.

I saw a young kid who was corralling the shopping carts.  I motioned for him to come over, and he trotted over with a half smile.

"You okay?"  he asked.

"Not really.  I'm having a low blood sugar reaction and I cannot find my car.  I need to get my baby into the car and out of the cold, but I can't find my car.  It's not here.  I can't find it."  I hate when crying is the prominent symptom of a low.  I felt the tears coming.  And then I started to laugh, because I was picturing myself, shopping cart crammed with baby and bags, my coat sleeves covered in glucose dust, crying and roaming aimlessly around the parking lot in search of one little car.  

This poor kid must have thought I was on drugs.

Everything happened in fast forward.  This kid told me to stay where I was and he would find my car.  He took my keys and returned quickly, telling me I was just a few aisles over.  He put the baby's car seat in her car, loaded my bags into my trunk, and asked me if I was okay.  I housed a few more glucose tabs in the meantime.

"Do you need me to call someone for you?"  

"No, I'll be fine in just a few minutes.  I just couldn't find the stupid car and my blood sugar wasn't helping.  I'm so sorry.  Thank you so much for your help."

"Okay.  No problem.  If you need anything, I'll be rounding up carts.  I will be watching you, okay?"  He paused for a second, and then rubbed his hands over his attempt at a beard.  "Not like 'watching you' in a creepy way.  Just like making sure you two are okay."  

I sat in the car and waited for my blood sugar to come up while BSparl napped in the back seat.  After a few minutes, I checked to see 82 mg/dl flashing up from my meter.

"Holy biplane-building cats, Batman," I mumbled to myself.  "I must have been crazy low."

Safe in my car with my baby buckled in, I waited in the parking lot for my blood sugar to continue to rise, thankful for the kindness of strangers.

Comments

I love that he had to clarify that he wasn't being creepy. Ha! What a good kid. I'm glad he was there when you needed him.

Kerri, I just wanted to thank you for the blog entries. I'm not a type I diabetic, but found your blog when I was researching type II and realized that no one was really talking much about type I, and the people I talked to seemed to think type I diabetics could just "eat better" and "be normal". Wrong on both counts.

Well, your posts are both entertaining and educational, and you are about as normal as people come. This one touched me for some reason (partly because your writing style is much like my daughter's, who blogs about my deaf grandson with the same mix of pathos and humor).

Just wanted to say "thanks!"

I think it would be wonderful for you to send a letter to this "shopping cart boy's" employer. He seriously deserves a medal for taking such good care of BSparls mama!

Thank goodness for smart helpful kids, he deserves big kudos.

Half the time I wouldn't find my car without the beeper. I think we should have a car finder built into the next generation Dexcoms. ;-)

I think you should send this -- or write a note --to the store. Kid probably gets minimum wage and people yelling at him all the time. He deserves a high five. Glad you and the pancake are okay!

Nice of you to have had a little help there Kerri.

Big hug from up here in Canada!

Thank God he didn't offer you a tic tac! Ha!

Glad you guys are okay. Nothing sucks more than trying to complete some kind of frustrating task while you're dropping. I can't imagine what it's like when you're freezing AND have a baby with you.

Kerri -

That was absolutely amazing. I knew every word as if it were me. It often is.

No one writes our feelings like you.

I agree, this Parking Lot Cart Kid should get kudos. Scary stuff, even though from a distance it can appear "funny." I've been there, in a recent multi-level parking garage search where I kept riding the elevator up and down and walking around pushing the remote button. Even though at times I heard the red SUV "beep," I couldn't get to the noise and at one point tripped myself and tore my pants and scraped the knee. Ended up turning to someone for help. I too, must have looked like I was on drugs. But, it all turned out OK. So glad that kid was there to help you and BSparl!

Oh Kerri - how unnerving. I am so glad you had someone who helped you. I think you should write a letter to the store and tell them about this boy and his kindness. I am glad you are safe.

wow. Bless that kids seriously. I started to tear as i read this. As a mom of 2 i know how hard it can be throw d in the mix and well...youre super mom miss kerri!

Why did this make me cry?

:)

I love this!

I didn't breathe through this entire post. So frightening...I'm glad that kid was a nice one. And I'm glad y'all are both okay! It is pretty damn funny that he clarified he's not a stalker. Ha!!

What a nice kid...GOD BLESS HIM!

You ought to send a link to his manager :)

SO HAPPY all is well. I can't imagine the frustration of everything happening at once like that.

It's a blessing to have found you, Kerri.

Thanks for your insight.

Wow...that kid is awesome. I've yet to need the kindness of strangers during a low, but I sure hope if and when I ever do, they are a LOT like that kid!

Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers...that is what I was thinking while reading this post!! What a sweet kid!!

As I read this post my blood sugar started dropping and it wasn't making sense.

Make sure to wrtie a note about the kid who helped you out. After years of working in customer service jobs, I know how nice it is to recieve some acolades.

Glad you and BSparl got through that okay! When I read your posts like this one I often fast forward about 20 years and put my little girl in your place. I'm so glad that kid was there to help you out (and not watch you in a "creepy way" lol). I hope my little sweetie is able to cross paths with kind, helpful people like that when needed too!

Not in a creepy way!

Thank you for sharing your stories, Kerri. The way you describe your lows helps me relate to what my daughter might be feeling at times.

And I love Baby B's moments in this as well. :)

What a great kid! His store should know what he did!

Ulgh that sounds like an absolute nightmare! You poor thing! I'm so glad you got help. Those people are our guardian angels!

Kerri, I really really like to read this! And "bravo" for the kid!

wow. This made me cry. like blubbery crying. It's no nice (and rare) to hear about the kindness of a complete stranger. I'm glad you and BSparl made it through that ok.

Wow, that must have been scary. Glad you're ok and he was there to help!

I was so tense reading this just knowing what was coming. I love that kid! What a nice young man. I agree you should send a letter. Hopefully he'll get some recognition. Glad you and BSparl are okay!

I am so so grateful that it happened in the parking lot and not on the way home.

(And yes, that kid deserves recognition, absolutely.)

Totally agree with everyone here- the mark of a stellar employee who deserves mad props!! My eyes teared up over feeling just awful for you trying to protect your daughter and find the car while roaming aimlessly getting lower and lower (oh and the sweating... I know it all too well)... but I also teared up over how sweet and generous that employee was! To run and expeditiously find your car, then insist upon watching over you to make sure you're okay...AND buckling in BSparl? Are you kidding me with this guy?

Good man.... good man indeed.

Glad to hear you're okay!

That kid was awesome. Make sure the next time you go back to the store you write a comment card on him. So few people ever take the step to help someone else now a days. Give him the chance to shine with some recognition. You never know the one act of kindness might spur into a full fledged volunteer.

I always keep juice boxes in my purse and in the diaper bag for that very reason. I think the anxiety of not having it with me makes my lows feel even lower than they really are. What a nice kid!

You are one lucky lady! What an awesome boy! Seeing that it's the holiday season, I bet a nice note to the manager will get that boy some recognition!

How nerve wracking for you. I'm glad he came around when he did. And that he was concerned about not being creepy ;)

I agree...a note to the manager may go a long way with that kid. Any act of compassion is worthy of recognition nowadays.

Such a blessing for a teenager to be so kind. Must have had very good parenting!!! I am sure most of us T1 mothers on here have been in this situation and understand how helpless you felt and mad at yourself too. Great that you were finally aware and able to take care of yourself and your daughter. So many times I get defensive and don't want help. Great post.

I trust the biplane building cats fly top cover over you all the time.

God bless the cart-round-up kid!!!

I know exactly how you felt...this has happened to me more often than i'd like to admit. last time i was looking for my car in the parking lot with a baby and lots of bags my bloodsugar was 25!!! can it even go that low??? it was freaky.... i'm happy that all ended well for you.
ps. love your blog :)

We love the parking lot kid!!!

Great story! Glad you found help. Please, please, please seek out that young man's manager and make a big fuss over how he helped you. The world needs more young people like him!

It always amazes me how horrible some blood sugars can feel - I can feel like death at 68 or I can be 30 and feel fabulous - glad your Dexcom caught it for you and the story had a happy ending. I agree with other readers - I was teary reading it - not because it was sad but because I know that feeling too well and completely felt your anxiety. Good for you for speaking up and getting the help you needed instead of trying to find the car yourself-that would have been my wrong instinct!

I love reading your blog because I am not close to anyone else that goes through this. I was diagnosed at 18 months in 1982. While I would not wish this on anyone it is nice to not feel so alone.

This happened to me. EXACTLY. The wind was whipping the car doors into the adjacent cars when I finally found my car. BG was 37. I was wearing BabyBL in my Moby Wrap, wondering the parking lot with my groceries...only no one offered help. By the time I got to my car, we must have sat parked for half an hour before I felt "up" enough to drive.

I now have a whole insulin management routine for grocery shopping with the baby. I either have to underbolus for lunch, temp basal for the hours preceding the trip, snack throughout, or go on the weekends when my hubby can watch the baby...and I STILL drop.

I'm with "anonymous." We have a little girl, soon to be three, who was diagnosed just a year ago. When I found your blog recently, I found myself putting my daughter in your place as an adult. I'm learning a lot about diabetes, and feeling so much less alone because of your blog. Thanks much! btw, our daughter is doing great, been pumping since March, and has a steadily dropping A1c. Again, thanks.

Wow! i felt like I was right there with you..and I was hanging on to your every word right until the end! Glad it ended up ok and extra glad that there was a kind soul around to help out.

I have such a hard time asking for any kind of help in these situations, or even letting anyone know how frustrated and horrible I am feeling. It is definitely something I need to work on, so thanks for being such a good example and showing us that it is okay to ask for help!

I hate going low...especially when I have my daughter with me. Nice to know you had a guardian angel looking out for you (and your Dexcom buzzing!)

Wow. That's so scary. A low like that can make me crazy...but having the baby on top of that. Ek. I'm glad there was a nice person there to help. Good Samaritans to exist. :)

Holy cow, Kerri! OMG, I'm so glad you were ok.

I've done a similar thing (minus the baby), except I fell down between cars and tried to crawl to my car at the gym. Seemed like a good idea at the time!

Isn't it amazing that the people that we seldom take notice of, often times are the ones that are the nicest people.

Hey Keri,
I am glad you and the baby were ok. OMG you must have been so scared. I would go into the store and tell the manager what a good kid he was taking care of you and BSparl. Thank God he was there. I have been a fan of yours for a couple of years and I feel like we are friends sort of. If I was with you I would give you a great big comforting hug.I was reading this with such on the edge of my seat to see what happens.
Take Care,
Larry

Keri,
Having read your blog for several years, I am so glad you find the most amazing people to help you - Panera Boy and now Shopping Cart Boy. Reading this today, on World Kindness Day, it gives me great hope that when my daughter is alone in the world without me, someone will help her when she needs it. Your blog often reaffirms my faith in others.

xoxo

Lisa

40 years of this, myself. I remember a friend dropping me off, and he didn't care that I was trying to put my key into the door of the house next door to mine. A few months ago, a woman in front of me in line seemed talkative and emotional. When she turned around, I knew from her pale face that she was hypoglycemic. We shared Tic Tacs. I wish more people, including myself, would tune in, as the grocery cart boy did!

Good ending to a scary story. I had a low happen "that fast" while grocery shopping recently (62) and tottered myself and my half-full cart to the pharmacy where there were benches and people. When the PhTech asked how she could help, I just told her the situation, that I'd pounded down some glucose tabs (ah yes, the dust), and just needed a little time. She was very good about watching me without making me feel like I was in a spotlight and I felt safe there.

I agree with those who commend Not-in-a-Creepy-Way Kid!

Scary story Kerri. Bravo to that awesome kid. I'm glad that everything worked out Ok.

For some reason that made me a little teary to read. I haven't had a baby with me but have cried at the store a couple of times when I knew I was going low and just wanted to finish up and get out and things stop working. If you caught the kids name, you should write a nice thank you to the store. I'm so glad he was there for you and bsparl.

Scary isn't it?!

Yay for the shopping cart kid, tho'!

My 'scary low' was at Zellers (dept. store in Canada), and I was looking for a Security Guard (?!) but couldn't find him. I guzzled a litre of lemonade in the checkout line while my son (about 16 months) sat in the shopping cart. Same comments & questions you had. Your story was all too familiar.

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