Thursday, September 29, 2011

It Was A Bad One

Trying to "harness" Joe's exuberant energy level is an impossible task. I know this. I don't even know why I tried. I expended more energy yelling at him while I was trying to run and keep up with him. I should have just saved myself and only focused on the running part. He is what he is and it is one of the things I love most about him.



"Walking LEGS Joe!"

and...

"Joe WAIT!"

and...

"Joe SLOW DOWN!"

and...

"JOE STOP!"

.... were repeated over and over and over again yesterday on the Snake Mountain Field Trip. It rained. The trail was wet and muddied. Leaves camouflaged rocks and roots that inhabited the path. My eyes were always glued to Joe who seemed to go into stealth mode and would suddenly be like 80 feet ahead of me. I fell a couple of times. It rained. I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. No really...it was all good. Seriously.
I digress...back to the story...

While hiking, my friend said she had never seen me like this. She had never seen me so anxious about Joe. Odd how I am fine with him playing hockey, skating up and down ramps at skate parks, and careening down slip and slides while standing on boogie boards, but a damn hike in the woods sends me over the edge.

Let me explain.

I am afraid of losing my diabetic kid in the woods. I am afraid he will get lost. I am afraid he'll go low. I am afraid no one will be there to help him and he will die. Alone. It is that simple.

*******

The hike started at a Tasmanian-like pace. Joe was working the trail with vigor. He and his friend were chatting incessantly. I was keeping up while hanging and talking with a good friend. Joe seemed fine ... for awhile. We had boosted him with 20 grams of carbs on the bus and decreased his basal by 30%.

About 10 minutes into the hike, Joe was 180 and double downing on Dexter. He drank a juice and continued on at a generous pace for a bit. Then he took another look at Dexter. I could tell he was starting to feel "off". Whenever he starts peeking at Dexter frequently like this, he is in for some massive blood sugar swings... 140, still double downing. I performed my heroics as a life-sized human Pez Dispenser and doled out a couple of Starbursts and changed the basal reduction to a negative 60%. I suggested a "break" from hiking until the arrows stop plummeting. No. Joe will hear none of it. We continued on with our friends.

A few minutes later...

"Mom...my legs don't work."

Here we go. It will be a bad one.

Joe sat on the side of the trail. His blood sugar was 50. Dexter was showing a 40 and double-downing. He was dropping fast. We were in the middle of the woods in B.F.E. I encouraged our friends to move on. I didn't want to ruin their hike. Joe was chomping down Starbursts. I was kneeling beside him. As far as my eye could see, the trail was then uninhabited. I felt a teensy-tiny bit uneasy as Joe was pasty and his CGM was still showing a 40 with double arrows down.

Joe's voice snapped me out of my unease.

"Mom, you may need to carry me down the mountain. I cannot make it up."

This angered me.  Not at Joe. But at the disease; at the low. You see, my son ... my Joe ... is not a quitter. He would not back down from a hike. It isn't in his nature. The low was clouding his judgement and making him feel so weak that he was considering giving up.

"Joe, I know you feel bad now. Let's ride out the low. We are hiking this mountain. Has mom ever let you down before? You will feel differently in a couple of minutes Buddy. Hang in there."

With the pep-talk complete and a few more minutes under our belt and some good friends coming up along the path, we continued on our way up Snake Mountain. Joe made his way to the front of the pack and was with the first group that emerged from the woods; from the hike. Due to his speedy-hiking, I got the "added bonus" of sitting on the bus an extra 40 minutes waiting for the rest of the Third Graders to finish the hike. Yay me (in a "Livin' the Dream" ~ like voice).

A day-in-the-life of Type 1 Diabetes and Joe on Snake Mountain.

17 comments:

Penny said...

Hey, but you did it sister! And every experience is a learning experience, now when they say they are hiking it next year, you are on it! I think you did marvelous and Joe did it, his way, in his exuberant style! Chalk one up for 'been there, done that'

Colleen said...

Joe's energy exhausts me just reading about him. He's amazing, because of you.
So, what's the next challenge?

Meagan said...

Ohhhh there isn't enough wine and vodka in the world for that day! So glad Joe recovered and had a good time regardless of "D", thank goodness you were there! You are an AMAZING "D" Mama Reyna!!!!!!!!! Hope you get to stay home and do as little as possible today to recover. :)

Roselady said...

Double down at 50 is a scary place. A place that makes your body shiver. But, the pic of Joe, I love it.
Also, just so you know, your post last night had me dreaming of the Beastie Boys. I just got up and it's still fresh in my mind. With Adrock's zoomed-in face singing to the camera among psychadelic trees -- do you remember that video -- they're all doing lots of jumps -- just like Joe...

sky0138 said...

You both rock...plain and simple. I am so glad was ok in the end and I am so proud of you both for not letting the big D win this round! HIGH FIVES to you guys!! xoxoxo love the pic of Joe too....:o) what a kiddo!

Heidi / D-Tales said...

F**cking D!!! But you made it despite the D monster! You are both super stars!!! xo

Amy said...

You are supermom! I'm not sure I could keep up with his amazing pace! Great job keeping him safe and letting him be the unstoppable kid he is.

The Diabetic Camper said...

Ah, you made one of the basic outdoor diabetic mistakes. I had a similar issue backpacking in Wyoming years ago. follow my blog for outdoor diabetes advice. My old endo I think said it best about these types of situations. When doing something new or different keep your BG's elevated and he told me 200 to 250 was ok (that is for me). His reason was until you see how you react to the issue keeping an elevated BG will not hurt you. What will hurt you is crashing. Once you are comfortable then ease it down a bit. Elevation change affects your diabetes so add that as another variable. I am glad everything turned out for the best. I put these situations in the leason learned the hard way.

www.thediabeticcamper.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

I want you to know how much I appreciate these little snippets into your life. To hear your words of encouragement to Joe are incredible to me, the way that you don't over analyze with him but rather give him the little boost he needs to make his positive decisions himself. I love that you are so real with your son giving him the power to know that he'll be okay and truly can conquer any mountain.
And truly sorry about the bus ride, not my favorite part of a field trip either!
:)

Holly said...

OMG-that is SCARY!! Did you have enough sugar/food? I might have started freaking out at that point. Geez. Girl, you DO know what you are doing. You got it. Next time? Umm..50 extra grams? ; ) Love you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, thank God Dex was up and running... I thought your initial judgment was correct, minus 30 and you boosted him with carbs. Clearly hiking up a mountain needed double that. Glad you were able to treat Joe and he could continue the hike. I would be scared also. Were you left alone with Joe? One of the teachers or class parents should have stayed with you both to see Joe was okay. Our DD is nowhere near as active as Joe, though no couch potato either. I would be a nervous wreck with such an extreme athlete on my hands. But you take care of him so well, mentally and physically. I can see he had fun despite this setback.

Wendy said...

Dear Joe,

You are amazing. (So is your mom.) We're proud of you for not giving up. We're proud of you for speaking up when something didn't feel right. We're proud of you for finishing strong.

Keep up the great work!

The Rose Family

Ann said...

I went hiking with my brother a few months ago in some woods in Tennessee that are pretty deserted. I had enough sugar, but even still I kept going lower and the sugar I was eating wasn't really helping much. We finally had to go back to the car. Its hard to explain, but even though I knew I had enough sugar, I'd never had that panicky feeling of being low and away from civilization. Of course, I was fine, but I still felt so vulnerable.

Ann said...

I totally get this. My brother and I went hiking in the woods in Tennessee a few months ago. Even though I had enough sugar, I couldn't keep my level up enough (later it went high, of course). I just had this slightly panicky feeling that I've never had before of wondering what might happen if I was low and stuck out in the woods away from civilization. It made me feel vulnerable!

Tracy1918 said...

I love the way you encourage Joe. Love it!

shannon said...

your pep talk was awesome. rock the eff on.

Karen G said...

Ugh, that sucks!! BUT, I think it's so awesome that you encouraged him to hang in there and finish the hike. You are both tough and you both rock!!