Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tape And Glue Just Doesn't Cut It

In the beginning of Brendon's diagnosis, when we left the house to go somewhere, I'd carry every supply necessary with me to ensure that Brendon would be well provided for in the event he was high, low, whatever.... I'd bring his kit, glucagon, snack, water, juice or tabs, insulin, needles. Even if it was a half hour trip to a store, supplies would ride along. Granted about 90% of the stuff went unused for a very long time, but you just never knew what would happen.

Over the course of the 4 yrs he's had diabetes, I've perhaps become overconfident (however you want to label it) that he'll be fine and that nothing significant will happen while we're out somewhere that would warrant me bringing all of my supplies with me. Unless of course we were doing an over nighter, or an all dayer far from home. I typically just bring his kit and some tabs....if I remember...and even then sometimes I don't bring anything at all with me.

That overconfidence has bitten me in the ass more than once over the years, but I never really corrected my lack of preparedness because I was always able to get away with fixing the problem with an application of "tape and glue".

But recent events have tossed me back to the beginning....

The other day, Brendon came through the door after school looking pale and like he was about to pass out. He didn't have the energy to take off his coat and boots. Collapsing on the couch, he told me he was tired and hungry and he wanted a snack. I checked him. He was a 43. Give him a juice....give him a peanut butter sandwich....give him some cookies because his sister spilled her guts and told him she and Jacob already had some, so of course all things have to be equal amongst the siblings.

I went over the food list he had just scarfed down to count the carbs and he added in the juice he drank while walking home from the bus stop. Oh really....I didn't know he drank a juice he had in his backpack....a juice I hadn't even known about. I looked at the log the school nurse fills out and at 3:00 he was a 130. Because he had gym that day, she noted that she sent him home with a just-in-case-juice and it proved to be a lifesaver so to speak. I asked if he felt low on the bus and he told me he didn't feel low until he started walking home from the bus stop....45 minutes from the time he was last checked. A drop that fast...ouch!

You see, he normally doesn't have a juice in his backpack at all times. You see, this is the first time he dipped low like that on his way home from school. You see, if he hadn't had that juice to hold him just enough to allow him to walk home (which is several houses down the road, but still) he may not have had the ability to make it home safely. That sends chills down my spine and makes me feel like an awful mother.

So now, I pack a just-in-case-juice in his backpack for the occasions he may drop low.

This morning, he woke us at 6 a.m. telling us that his infusion set pulled out while he was sleeping. The tubing made a clean disconnection from the cartridge. Luckily it happened not too long before he told us because he was a 216 this morning.

Because the tubing had the ability to do what it did while he was sleeping, who knows what would happen during a game of football, or climbing around on the monkey bars at the park, or any other activity little boys love to do.

So now, I will make sure he has EVERYTHING he needs to ensure that he is safe and sound. No more taking for granted that he'll be fine.

I've been getting away for far too long with "just enough" because I took for granted that nothing really bad would happen and that tape and glue would fix everything.

The walk home from the bus stop struck me especially hard because I wasn't with him and he was so vulnerable to the effects of a low that could've proven to be much worse had he been subjected to my lack of vigilance.

The cold slap in the face hit me pretty hard and I've snapped out of it. I'm back to being a vigilant mom.


  • Shannon,

    I took Ruby (6 yrs—T1 on pump) on a hike at a park about 15 minutes drive from our house. I checked her blood sugar before we left, it was 220. I assumed a little high after lunch, so I tried to do a correction, but it said 0.0. We got to the park and hiked, maybe 20 minutes, nothing strenuous and she said she was thirsty.

    I gave her water and said, "Let's check your sugar." 384. Three Hundred Eighty Four. What the hell!

    I have juice, glucose tablets, the camera, snacks, bags to collect dog poop, but gee, no extra infusion set or vial of insulin with syringes.

    So, we turn around on our lovely path filled with golden sunshine and hike along a lovely stream heading back to the car. There wasn't much I could have done about that-- actually I can run off a laundry list of what I *should* do to be more prepared, but things are not ever going to be perfect.

    We are GREAT mothers! Our children are blessed to have us and everything we do for them is going to be enough, even if there are times it isn't perfect. Who could do more?

    By Blogger Wendy Morgan, at 3/10/2007 10:11 AM  

  • I agree with Wendy - you all are GREAT parents. You simply cannot be prepared for everything. It's impossible.

    Do what you can, but don't fret about the rest.

    By Blogger Scott K. Johnson, at 3/10/2007 2:49 PM  

  • Try not to stress about it Shannon. I think you're a great Mom and you are so good with Brendans diabetes care.

    I, too, have ran to the store with Dani on many occasions - and not brought a stitch of supplies with me ... all the while thinking "We're just going to the store, we'll be right back ... blah, blah, blah." Well, that has come and bit me in the arse a few times as well. Now I am back to taking everything with me, everytime we go out. Now it's become second nature to me - if I don't have my purse and that extra bag, I feel naked.


    But please don't ever second guess yourself as a Mom. You really are such a good mom to him and ALL your kids :)

    By Blogger Jamie, at 3/10/2007 8:53 PM  

  • Shanon you are a GREAT mom! You cannor pack EVERYTHING with you ALL the time. The important thing is to know the essentials for the planned activity. Taking the the essentials becomes routine, and you do have that down pat! Tape and glue and kind help from others do pull us through in an uunexpected situation! People, even strangers, really do help even though for the most part we want to manage on our own.

    By Blogger Chrissie in Belgium, at 3/11/2007 6:24 AM  

  • Good mommy!

    By Blogger Johnboy, at 3/11/2007 7:15 AM  

  • These comments are why I love the OC so much :)

    By Blogger Shannon, at 3/11/2007 9:33 AM  

  • Just when you grow comfortable with it, something happens to remind you about it.

    Yep. Sigh.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/11/2007 1:24 PM  

  • Shannon,

    I still take everything everywhere. I have just gotten to where I'll leave the meter in the car when we go in the grocery store. Sometimes. Yes, sometimes I still carry it in with me.

    Maybe I'm a litte too cautious.

    By Blogger Penny, at 3/12/2007 2:31 PM  

  • You amaze me. You have your hands so full and yet you have time, and give it generously, to share your story and help others to learn.

    By Anonymous tognue in cheek, at 3/15/2007 10:18 AM  

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