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Looking Back: Put On Your Listening Ears.

While traveling for IDF’s World Congress this week (#wdc2015), I’m missing my little one.  Which is why I’m looking back at some posts that feature my little Bird, because she cracks me up … and also because she’s a supportive member of my diabetes team.  Today, I’m revisiting a post about a low blood sugar, the word “NO,” and a pesky little worm.

*   *   *

Our backyard is big and lovely and fenced in on all sides so that when Birdy and I are playing outside, we’re both safe from cars and giant woodland creatures (except the ones that can shimmy underneath the fence … I’m looking at you, groundhog).  I don’t keep my eyes glued to her while she plays, and we can enjoy the sunshine and the garden without feeling paranoid about passing cars, wandering off, etc.

Which is exactly what sucks about the front yard, because that’s the part of the house that the road is closest to.  So while I still need to do things in the front yard (getting the mail, tending the front garden, drawing hopscotch in the driveway), I don’t do anything of those things without having Birdzone front and center in both my mind and my actual line of sight.

Yesterday evening, Birdy and I were working in the front yard garden (I was clearing out some weeds and she was making “houses” for worms we discovered underneath a rock), when my Dexcom started wailing from my pocket.  In retrospect, I felt a little “off,” but it wasn’t until I heard the low alarm blaring from the Dexcom receiver that the symptoms kicked in fully.

“Hey, your blood sugar is whoa, Mom,” Birdy said absently, placing another worm onto a pile of dirt.

“Yeah, we need to go inside and get some snacks, okay?  It’s important,” I replied, looking at the “UNDER 65 MG/DL” warning on the Dexcom screen.

Normally, she listens.  Especially when it’s about blood sugars, because Chris and I have talked with her a few times about how listening is important, particularly when I tell her my blood sugar is low.  But she wanted to stay outside.  She liked playing with the worms.  She liked being in the dirt and gardening.  She didn’t want to have to cut playtime short because Mommy needed a few glucose tabs that she should have brought outside with her in the first place.  [Insert Mom Guilt here.]

“Nooooo waaaaaaay!!!” she said, flouncing away from me and refusing to turn around.

Under normal circumstances, I would have laughed (because “No way!” is a great response), but I was starting to feel shaky and my brain cells connections felt loose, like thoughts weren’t coupling up the right way.  We were in the front yard and I knew I needed to gain control of all potentially dangerous situations in a hurry.

“We need.  To go.  INSIDE right now.  My blood sugar is low.  This is not a joke.” I said.

“No!  I don’t waaaaaaant to!!”

My blood sugar falls fast.  It always has.  I don’t get the long, lingering slides towards hypoglycemia but instead the quick, breathless plummets.  Knowing that I was dropping and watching yet another car drive by our house meant I needed to get control fast and without issue.

Before my body completely caved to the low blood sugar, I scooped up my flailing daughter and walked into the house.  She was freaking out and still forcefully asserting her right to “NOOOO!” but I needed sugar more than I needed her to like me.  A few seconds later, we were both safely contained in the kitchen.  I had a few glucose tabs and waited for my brain to acknowledge them.  Birdy pouted in the corner, staring at her hands and still mumbling, “No way.”

A few minutes later, I felt more human.  “Birdy, I’m sorry we had to come inside.  But my blood sugar was low and it could have become an emergency.  So that’s why you needed to put your listening ears on and come inside.  I wasn’t doing it to be mean; I was doing it to be safe.  Does that make sense?”


“I’m sorry we couldn’t stay outside.  But we can go back out now, okay?”

“Okay.  I’m sorry I didn’t listen.”

“It’s okay.”

She turned around and pressed her hand into mine.  Something wriggled.  She smiled.

“I brought a worm inside.”

No way.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Danielle #

    This is the best example of how families get us through each moment with humor. Nothing is better than a worm in your hand after a low. 😉

    The other day my 3 year old daughter turned to me on the playground and told me she thought my sugar was low. She had never done that before and it was in the absence of any CGM warnings. I looked at my mini-med screen and saw the decrease in the past 7 minutes was from 100 to 82. I asked her why she thought I was low and she said, “you seem like a tired you, Mom”. So I corralled her and her brother to the car with promises of snacks at home and thanked my sensitive little one for the expert warning. We drove the 3 minute drive home and when we got there and poured juice I checked in at 72. Some days, it takes a team…and other days, its just nice to have one.

    12/2/15; 4:14 pm
    • You…uh…didn’t have ANYTHING actually ON you to treat a low? AND you…uh…were with little kids and DROVE with a low WITH little kids in the car WITH a low?! I realize it was JUST a 3-min drive, but you can go from being 82 to 32 in minutes (I once went from just over 100 to 35 in MINUTES!) and believe me, I was in NO condition to drive! Or be around little ones! I’m not saying you’re a bad person, or that you’re endangering the lives of your kids and those on the road around you, but!!!!! You really ARE a moron for NOT having something ON you at all times AND driving (even 3 minutes) with a LOW that’s going *gasp* low! No offense. I can only hope this never happened before and doesn’t happen, again. I’m sure you can understand my concern and shock. True, I could have been more tactful in my response, but… nah. You deserve it *weak smile*

      And Kerri…even though I’m not crazy about you popping those glucose tabs (they’re not much better than candy, if you ask me) but I gotta say, after reading this blog post…I think you’re a damn good mother! 🙂

      12/17/15; 11:17 pm

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