Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Friday, January 18, 2008

My Propensity For Interrogations

Brendon rarely talks about how diabetes affects him. But, when he does, he is in for a world of quesions from me. I am fascinated by the diabetic psyche and diabetes' immediate affects on the body.

So, last night when Brendon tested himself after his nightly after-dinner horsing around with his brother and sister, and came up as a 36, and said, "I don't feel like a 36, I feel like a 64", I began my interrogation.

I thought to myself, why does he feel like a 64...nevermind the random number he picked out of the air...or maybe it's not so random for him...maybe he knows exactly what numbers affect him in their myriad of ways.

"What does a 64 feel like?"

"I get sort of a stomach ache."

"What does the stomach ache feel like? Like a sharp pain?"


He continues slurping his juice down.

"Do you feel sick to your stomach?"


More slurping.

"Is it like you're nauseous?"

One more slurp.


"Ahh, I see."

I next observe him opening up a cheese stick wrapper and notice he can't quite grip the plastic to peel it apart. I deteremine it must be because he's low and his brain isn't working properly, because I'm a mom and moms love to overdramatize least, this mom does.

"Do you need help with that?"

"No, I'm fine."

His hands look steady and he finally peels the plastic apart and shoves the cheese into his mouth because he's a boy and boys have a need to shove an enormous amount of food into their mouths in one bite.

"Do you feel shaky?"


"You feel fine?"


I look at him, and he seems perfectly fine.

But, he's a 36.

And I wonder if when he's older, will that 36 have a more outwardly profound effect on him.

And I'm really really glad a 36 for him right now is quite uneventful.

And even that fascinates me.

How the human body works and what it can handle.

When he is with other people, without mom and dad around, we can't even give them a list of symptoms to watch for because he rarely shows symptoms of lows. We tell them to either test after an hour of running around, or to watch for his temper or frustration, because those are really the only signs of him running low.

Diabetes is a tricky, slippery fellow, so the more I know, the more secure I feel that diabetes won't get the best of Brendon...or me.


  • Shannon,

    Riley is the same way. He doesn't really show any signs of being low. Every once in a while I can look at his eyes and see it, but that's not often.

    Most times he feels his lows. But some times when he doesn't and I do a random test and he's in the 50s I am amazed at how normal he can act. If my sugar was 50 (or 36!) I would probably pass out.

    Riley has always been very cooperative with his lows. I don't have to bribe him or beg him to drink his juice. He might get a little testy but he's cooperative.

    But, I do wonder if when he gets older that will change and the lows will affect him more. I hope not.

    By Blogger Penny, at 1/18/2008 8:53 AM  

  • Same here. Charlie acts like himself in the 40s and 50s. It's a little scary. I think it's so funny that Brendon puts the "a" before the number. "Feel like a 36." Like 36 is a thing. I'm constantly interrogating. Charlie is tight-lipped when I try to get some information out of him.

    By Blogger Carey, at 1/18/2008 10:34 AM  

  • I liked this post.

    While in the midst of treating a low, you two were able to chat about the feelings associated with a low very casually.

    You two have a good bond, Shannon :)

    Scary though that they don't feel those numbers. Danielle has done that to me, too. You wonder why they aren't flat on their backs passed out (as I no doubt would be). Our kids are pretty amazing!

    By Blogger Jamie, at 1/18/2008 10:36 AM  

  • I think the affects of a low are different for every person. It's probably a good and bad thing that nothing really changes for him. It's not traumatic like the lows Kerri seems to experience during the night.
    I can't exactly explain what a low feels like unless I'm having one, so it's good you asked Brendon while it was happening. All I know is that for me I just know I'm low, test and treat. Even in the middle of the night, I just bolt up out of my sleep and test when I'm low.

    By Blogger Jillian, at 1/18/2008 11:25 AM  

  • Penny,
    I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop one of these days.

    Maybe my interrogation technique will get him to give up the goods....I just have to figure out what my technique is first.

    I don't know how he gets through it. I've tested myself when I get agitated from being hungry and I've been as low as a 70. If I were a 36, I don't know what kind of shape I'd be in.

    OK, now I'm fascinated about the fact that you can't describe how you feel unless you're in the middle of being low.

    By Blogger Shannon, at 1/18/2008 12:25 PM  

  • Shannon,
    Jillian is so right. A low feels different for each person. My extreme lows make my stomach itch.
    But my husband can tell I'm low by how my eyes look & if I talk constantly (almost without taking a breath.)

    It's good that you two can talk about this while he's having a low. That's definitely the best time to describe it.

    Oh and I love the fact that you said "he's a boy and boys have a need to shove an enormous amount of food into their mouths in one bite." That is so true!

    By Blogger Donna, at 1/18/2008 8:35 PM  

  • Shannon
    do you think he has grown accustom to the way he feels? I know very little about diabetes, but if you are born with this diease than in time does your body adjust to the symptoms? Mask real feelings? Accept the pain of it more? I guess what i am asking is maybe a 36 would feel terrible for someone who has never had Diabetes and yet for Brendon, it is a feeling he has had all his life and he has learned to cope with it?
    There is wisdom in your asking, your concern, your listening, because you know your son, and you know this illness. He feels it and probably accepts it differently than you, and you can take the facts and put them together in a way that he might not be able to...I wish children who suffer this diease have parents like you and Jeff!

    By Anonymous tongue in cheek, at 1/19/2008 5:25 AM  

  • I totally understand what Brendon means. Sometimes the number on my meter doesn't even come close to the number I "feel." Like those middle of the day 40's that feel more like 70, or how a 4 am 55 can knock me flatter than any midday 55.

    Sometimes my hypoglycemia unawareness makes me feel stronger, because I'm not succumbing to the symptoms when I'm at a very vulnerable number. But other times it scares the fuck out of me because I think, "What if I waited 15 more minutes before testing?"

    Like always, reading about your perspectives makes me want to call my mom and give her a hug over the phone.

    (Oh, and she says hi to you, too!)

    By Blogger Kerri., at 1/21/2008 9:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home