Friday, January 29, 2010

UGLY LOWS

OK, so in the previous post "LOWS", I talked about a normal "low". I didn't share about the times (just a couple), that I have had to shove glucose tabs into my son's mouth and then "clamp" his mouth shut with my hands so that he would chew these tablets or let them disintegrate...so that his body could absorb the sugar and his blood sugar could rise. This happened once when he was 3 years old and once when he was 4. His blood sugar was low (in the 40s) and he was fighting me every step of the way to treat these lows...I decided it was best to shove the sugar tablets into his mouth rather than to have him go unconscious and have to give him a shot of Glucagon. They weren't pretty...and if I remember correctly my mother-in-law was present for one of these times...one of them I remember him trying to hide from me under the kitchen table and I am laying under the table prying his mouth open...his teeth were clenched tight...I was trying to get his mouth to open just enough to slide the tablet in...and then holding his mouth closed so that he would not spit the tablet right out. It was not a good experience...it was one of many times I felt cursed by this disease.

Lows are the most immediate danger with type 1 diabetes. Insulin is a tricky medication. You need just enough so that your body can use the sugars from your food for energy, but not too much or your body can have a serious reaction called hypoglycemia or a "low." Lows can be caused by either too much insulin, too much activity, illness, stress, etc. They are dangerous because they can lead to unconsciousness, seizure, and death if not treated. The brain cells can only use sugar for energy...this can be a big problem if one is low, because their brain is not functioning at capacity...so, while low, the person may not even know how to help themselves treat the low.

It has only been 3 years, at times it seems like a lifetime...of sleepless nights, of lack of control, of fear of what the future will bring, of despair...blogging tonight has taken me to places I'd like to forget, but it is important for me to remember where we have been and where we are going...

2 comments:

Liam said...

Reyna,

Love the posts, they are great! Especially for those of us that live it!! Hey, does Joe like honey? Honey in the "honey bear" plastic bottle is a great way to be able to squeeze the honey between his cheek and gums if he won't open his mouth. It is absorbed very quickly, and not likely that he would choke on it. You have probably thought of this or maybe even tried it, but I still wanted to make the suggestion! Anytime my 28 years of living with this disease can help someone else out, I'm going to try!! Keep up the great work! Can't wait to see you guys soon! Liam

Reyna said...

Great thought Liam...I had the CostCo size @ the time and I think...I wasn't really "thinking"...and just cramming sugar into him. Although, I might have still gone with the less messy glucose tab vs. honey and a squirmy, stubborn, low 3 year old - haha. Now with a few more years under my belt, I would handle it differently for sure. We, too are looking forward to seeing you soon!