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!"


"Joe WAIT!"





.... 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 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...

" 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.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


This morning at 5:34 am....

I enter Joe's room and turn on the lamp. I place the test strip into the glucometer. I lance and then squeeze Joe's finger tip to create a blood bubble. The blood wicks up the strip. 5-4-3-2-1. A 234 is revealed on the screen. I bolus to correct.

Joe wakes. "Is it morning Mom?"

"It is early buddy...go back to bed. Happy five years of living with diabetes."

Joe smiles a bit. "Gee, thanks Mom. Happy five years of having a diabetic kid."

A day-in-the-life of celebrating Joe's spirit and his enduring strength.