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Fifteen Minutes, Fifteen Grams.

I just needed fifteen minutes, after fifteen grams of carbs.

“I can’t go with you, because I need to eat something else and wait for my blood sugar to come up.  You guys can go without me and come right back, if you want?”

The sentences sounded soft and measured.  Sure, go for the bike ride around the neighborhood, dear daughter and trusted neighborhood friend.  I’ll just sit here and eat fifteen grams of carbohydrate, then wait patiently for fifteen minutes while the food works its magic.

Instead, I was shouting up at them from the bottom of the well, hoping my voice carried in a way that didn’t make my kid nervous, hoping she’s hearing the reassuring tones of my voice instead of the panicked inner monologue that was playing out:

“HEY!  Go on outside and play and don’t watch me mop the sweat from my forehead while I inhale two juice boxes and a packet of fruit snacks.  Ignore me while I fight back the urge to lie down on the kitchen floor and let this weird wave of unconsciousness wash over me.  Pretend not to notice that I’m looking through you instead of at you while I’m talking to you.  Go on outside and let mommy fall apart for fifteen minutes, after these fifteen grams of carbs.”

My daughter and her friend strapped on their bicycle helmets and took off down the street, enjoying the sunshine and almost-summer weather while I stuck a spoon into a jar of Nutella, not giving a shit if this was the best option or healthiest decision but mostly because I wanted to have something sweet on my tongue, reminding me that I was still here and capable of coming back from this low blood sugar and that I could start making dinner soon because I would be capable of standing unassisted, without fear of falling into the abyss, in just fifteen minutes, after fifteen grams of carbs.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. karend1 #

    My life every day and all we want is to get up and go play whenever, wherever. Lately for me it takes way longer than 15 minutes and juice sends me soaring hence begins the roller coaster. I need a better fast fix. I so understand Ms. Kerri and I want you to have your freedom to enjoy your kid (s).

    06/8/16; 10:34 am
  2. theworkshypancreas #

    I can’t agree with this enough! It is so true and well written! You are amazing! Keep writing! I have a Blog too if you would like to have a look at it! 🙂

    06/8/16; 11:36 am
  3. Sharon Putney #

    Love this – YES!! To lay here on the floor without someone being worried. What a weird disease this is.

    06/8/16; 3:32 pm
  4. Virginia #

    Karend1 have you tried glucose tabs? For me they’re so much easier. Premeasured 4g per tab. Bite one in 1/2 for 2g. I’ve figured out 1 tab raises me about 16 points on my BS. No fear of overeating or over drinking them like food, so no roller coaster. Just a thought.

    06/8/16; 8:12 pm
  5. Sue L #

    It’s my son who has T1, so I appreciate you describing how it feels. I know about the laying beside his bed at night waiting for his sugars to rise.

    06/8/16; 8:20 pm
  6. As always, well written and expressed accurately. I’ve felt like that a few times during my Type 2 days (Jan 2008 until Oct of 2015) and just once or twice since being diagnosed as a Type 1 in October. It really is a horrible feeling.

    Hope you are doing well with Birdy’s little brother!!!


    06/8/16; 8:48 pm
  7. Kerri- Wonderful description (as always!)

    I think it is hard for someone who has not been there to understand just how easy it seems to lie down and peacefully drift away. To not grappling with the fact you are on the EDGE OF THE BLOODY ABYSS!!!
    To just… drift….as you brain turns to jello….

    Thank goodness the caveman usually takes hold before then – KILL and EAT NOW!!

    06/8/16; 9:42 pm
  8. Julie #

    I’ve been there, and have done it! You, your husband, your daughter, and up coming baby will be fine 🙂

    06/8/16; 10:00 pm
  9. very well written … describes the T1D’s insulin reaction very well…

    40 years with T1D here whose keeping better control these days, so I have more hypo reactions … As an enthusiastic outdoor hobbyist who likes to be active (mostly backpacking, climbing, etc), I find good old fashioned milk (dehydrated when light weight is needed) will quickly get me back to target glucose very quickly. I like to use the non-refrigerated version since it keeps around the house. BTW, it’s typically 12 to 18 grams of carbs depending on the variety… see for the T1D’s that are inspiring others to keep active with better A1Cs…

    06/8/16; 10:37 pm
  10. Honor Massarella #

    Blooming brilliant! My sensible 5.7 blood sugar head always says ‘carton of juice and wait’. My mummy head that just needs to get on with being a mummy dives into their haribos, the oreo cookies, the banana and the juice to just GET ON WITH IT! Just give sweaty vacuous mummy a second and sorry for eating your sweets. I hadn’t considered nutella – but i will now!!!!!

    06/9/16; 6:07 am
  11. Paul #

    Wow, yeah, thanks for this. Been there many times. I’m very much looking forward to–and working on–artificial pancreas tech, so that this happens to me less often.

    06/14/16; 3:50 pm

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