Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Monday, January 21, 2008

It Blends In So Well

The tricky part about raising a child who has diabetes is determining whether your child is acting up because he's a kid, or because his number is out of whack.

Brendon had breakfast no longer than 2 hours ago and he was begging for a snack. I said no because it was so soon after his meal.

After much begging and whining, he said he felt low and went off to test himself.

He typically uses that tactic in the hopes that if he's low, he'll get something to eat.

"I'm a 28."

"You mean you're a 128." I thought he was trying to trick me into giving him a snack.

"No, I'm a 28."

(This scenario played out once before. And he really was low!)

OK, his number was actually 28.

In the meantime, he's chatty and I can see that his actions and behavior are exaggerated. And he's acting in a way where he knows he's misbehaving, and he's studying me to watch my reaction. I don't know what word to use for his behavior, and at that moment, I know he's not in control of his actions. He's pretty much on autopilot.

Funny how once you know your child is low you know his actions are clearly a result of the low.

I got him 3 juices because he still had 2 units on board which made me nervous, so over correcting would be fine with me.

He started drinking one juice box and tried scooping up the other two to bring with him so that he could watch TV while he drank them.

I took back one because I only wanted him to have two to start.

He sat on the couch watching Spongebob and after finishing the first box, he yells, "Hey mom! Catch!" and throws the box at me.

Of course my reflexive response is to catch it, but I have a wicked stiff neck from a sleeping incident (just my luck that I turn over in the middle of the night and I wrench my neck, thereby causing me to be in constant pain and I can't move my damned head) and I cry out in pain.

You all can laugh, because as I'm writing this out, I'm laughing too.

The plan was to check him at 10:30, during which time he was up to 125. So, he's out of the woods now.

There is a difference between childish misbehavior and low blood sugar misbehavior in how the behavior is played out.

With the childish misbehavior, he's usually rowdy or whiny. With the low blood sugar misbehavior, he's the same way, but it's like he's challenging me and there is little emotion behind his misbehavior, like he's being deliberate about it. For instance, when I'm setting up his test kit, or while he's drinking his juice, he'll pick up papers laying on the counter and toss them in the air. He'll fidget and touch everything he sees within arm's reach. Sometimes he'll look me right in the eye and say something mean.

But the difference in behaviors cannot be seen until you actually know that he's low.

It's like looking in a foggy mirror and you can see things, but you can't make out what they are until you clear the fog from the mirror. I really don't know how else to explain it.

I'm having a hard time explaining all of this, so forgive me if I haven't been clear or made any kind of sense.


  • I look back before I was diagnosed and see how my attitudes and actions were probably due to my high BG's.

    Being a Diabetic, it made total sense to me.

    (Thanks for the green light on laughing!)

    By Blogger George, at 1/21/2008 11:55 AM  

  • Shannon,
    I know it's difficult trying to distiguish between Brendon just being a kid & him being low. I'm just glad you have the resources to check his BG when he acts this way. We couldn't check my BG at home when I was a kid so I probably got away with a lot more than I should have. I know - shame on me. But I was a good little actress. :)

    By Blogger Donna, at 1/21/2008 12:12 PM  

  • Oh, I know exactly what you mean. When O was that age, I was constantly checking her if her behaviour was off. Sometimes she was low, sometimes high and sometimes she was just being a little shit. You do learn how to tell after a while, but it's really hard to explain the difference. I would always tell her teachers that if she was acting at all odd, to check her.

    And now she's a teenager and there's absolutely NO way to tell the difference between high snot-nosedness, low snot-nosedness and teenaged snot-nosedness. Fun times, fun times.

    (Dood, I've had that same sleeping injury. It's ridiculous, isn't it? You feel like a moron. Or, at least I do.)

    By Blogger Major Bedhead, at 1/21/2008 12:39 PM  

  • Oh thank God I'm not the only one who has wrenched her neck sleeping ..... (we can all come out of the closet now). I feel your pain!

    AND your post made total sense. It takes awhile to tell the difference between your child acting up because they feel like it and them acting up because their sugars are out of whack. The subtleties (sp??) are there, but it takes a trained mothers eye to spot the differences (and even then it takes awhile to figure them out).

    But like Julia said - when the teenage years hit, it looks like that all gets blown to shit anyway!! (sorry, potty mouth!). Enjoy your trained vision while you can :)

    By Blogger Jamie, at 1/21/2008 10:11 PM  

  • What you're saying is crystal clear to me and amazingly familiar. It's constantly the boy who cried wolf in our house. Gets tricky when they ask for a snack first and then come back with "I think I'm low" when we tell them it's not time to eat. It makes it less believable. 28! Jesus!

    By Blogger Carey, at 1/22/2008 7:04 AM  

  • So Shannon - did the juice box hit you in the head? hehehe...

    I have stories about what I did when I was low... truth is really stranger than fiction sometimes.

    By Blogger Scott K. Johnson, at 1/22/2008 9:57 PM  

  • great post, shannon. we struggle with this constantly. unfortunately, I am not yet to a place where I can tell the difference. sometimes she acts drunk when she's low, sometimes when she's high. it's tough to tease out what is what.

    By Blogger Paige, at 1/23/2008 5:57 PM  

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