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The Last Straw.

“Mommy … I had a nightmare.”

She shows up in the middle of the night sometimes, evicted from her warm bed down the hall due to a nightmare.  “I had a dream about a blue monster with no arms and popcorn on his feet.”  She’s clutching her blanket, her water, a flashlight, and a stuffed animal; clearly she’s in for the long haul.

I moved over in the bed and she started to climb in.

“Oh and mom?  You’re low,” she said, handing me the vibrating pump.

The fog of feeling sleep lifted immediately and I recognized the symptoms of this hypo.  Sweaty hairline, fumbling fingers, my sight reduced to a tunnel, and my hearing razor-sharp, hearing the shuffle of my daughter’s feet, the steady breathing of my sleeping husband, and – finally – the buzzing buzzery of my CGM alarm.

“Do you need something?” Chris asked from beside me.

“Yeah – can you grab one of those juice boxes from the shelf?”

Birdy was already snuggled in beside me, nestled close against my hypo-damp shoulder.  A few seconds later, Chris returned with a juice box in hand.

Habit, habit, habit – I am a creature of it.  When my blood sugar is low, I go through the motions to treat it, and if anything gaffs up the routine, I’m thrown.  Lows in hotel rooms rock me because the bedside table is five inches farther from me than at home.  When I am home, having the glucose tabs on the table itself instead of in the drawer can be enough to confuse me thoroughly.  (Lows make me the least-sharp knife in the drawer.)  In this case, I grabbed the juice box firmly and reflexively used my other hand to reach for the little plastic sleeve with the straw tucked inside.  Only I grabbed it a little too firmly and juice shot out all over the bed, because my forward-thinking husband had already stuck the straw inside the foil hole.

“Shit …”  My pillow was wet with juice.  And so was my daughter, because I managed to (ocean?)-spray her in the face during this transaction.  “I didn’t know the straw was already in there.”

“Do you need another juice box?”

“No, this should be okay.  Only a little bit flew out.”  I drank the rest of the juice box, per routine.

“MOM. This is not OKAY.  I am all WET.”  (Even at 3 am, my kid can be indignant.)

“Sorry, baby.  You can go back to your own bed, if you want?  That bed doesn’t have juice in it.”

She thought for a minute, then buried her head under the blankets to issue a muffled response.  “No WAY.  The monster had popcorn feet.  NO WAY am I going back to my bed.”



10 Comments Post a comment
  1. brenda #

    This is so sweet (no pun intended) and thank you for the accurate description of a low. Why are glucose tab cylinders sealed so that “fumbling fingers” absolutely CANNOT open them? They get me every time!

    03/24/15; 10:26 am
    • Susan #

      I always take the seal off as soon as I get home with a new bottle for this very reason.
      Also why I avoid juice boxes. 🙂

      03/24/15; 3:37 pm
  2. jenn_ns #

    Awesome description….

    My son (he’s 5…) frequently wakes me up (around that same time!) when I’m low. Is it their 6th sense or what?! Seriously, tho’…. I’m wondering if there’s some sort of connection and children “just know” to wake us up when we’re low??

    03/24/15; 12:38 pm
  3. This reminds me of the Peeing Apple Juiceboxes… let’s just say hypos don’t mix with juiceboxes and kitchen knives in the middle of the night. (and no way I’d go back into a room with popcorn feet monster, either — unless I could snack on the feet, then that might be OK.)

    03/24/15; 4:17 pm
  4. Juice boxes. I keep it easy like pop-a-top. Had too many accidents with juice boxes.

    03/24/15; 5:39 pm
  5. Gayle #

    So adorable. I’m curious how you get to drink juice without having to share? I hide behind the fridge door if I have juice to treat a low, otherwise my 2 preschoolers will find me and it’s juice for everyone. Your daughter is exceptionally attuned and understanding! Well done.

    03/24/15; 7:50 pm
  6. Of course the monster has popcorn on his feet! How else is he supposed to eat it?
    Sorry about your sticky hypo, yo.

    03/25/15; 2:50 am
  7. My lass is only 9 months old and already she is so used to the buzz of the Dexcom that it won’t wake her even if she’s asleep right on it (in my arms). Also, if I go low and the Dex fails to catch it, she often wails inconsolably till the parents figure out, oh, Mummy’s low! She comes right immediately once I drink the juice. Popcorn foot monsters and a juice shower lol 🙂

    03/25/15; 3:53 am
  8. I’m really interested in your comment about razor-sharp hearing. I’ve found over the past few years that when I’m low, my senses become extremely heightened. I get annoyed at normal volume music, I start scratching dry skin or mosquito bites like crazy, and I feel very irritated at my clothes on my skin. I’ve never heard this from anyone else and my doctor hadn’t heard it either.

    03/28/15; 2:36 pm
  9. I spent most of last night playing with my alarm clock (turning alarm switch on and off, unplugging & plugging it back in) and it wasn’t until around 2:30 a.m. that I somehow realized that it hadn’t been my alarm making noise but my CGM screaming that I was under 55. Very dull knife…

    03/28/15; 9:49 pm

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