Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our job description: An eternal round of worry

I had just turned the corner and came face to face with her. Another D Mom, who upon seeing my face, instantly broke into tears. "Oh great!" she said. She had been keeping it together all day long, but once she saw me...another D mother who understood every inch of angst she was feeling in her gut...well...holding those tears back would have been as fruitless as trying to hold back Niagara falls with a paper napkin.

I hugged her tight. I gave her all my years of wisdom in one sound bite, "It all works out in the end." Her daughter came and hugged her, with a big smile and a bounce in her step. "See!" I said, "She is having fun at the party even with a failed site and cotton candy in her blood stream. She is happy, she will come down, all is well!"

I'm an idiot.

Apparently...I can comfort others, but when it comes to comforting myself I am a big fat failure.

That was Friday. The very next day a chain of events would lead me to be a sobbing maniac ripping out all the contents of our blood sugar station cupboards looking for Blood Ketone Strips.

But I digress.

Saturday, L woke up and told me that his throat hurt. Again. He just got over strep last week, and here he was with another sore throat. I knew as soon as he told me. He had sounded muffled the past couple days and now here was the inevitable.

I called the nurse. (It is a Saturday. On a holiday weekend.) She says she will send an urgent message to a doctor who will no doubt just call in another antibiotic. I got a call from another nurse, confirming that the doctor always just calls in another RX, but she'll let me know. I got a call from a third nurse.


The on call doctor wants to see him. At 4:00 that night.

The nearest office open is 40 minutes away.

We packed up the entire fam and figured we would see a movie at the mall next door after the appointment. Sitting in the waiting room I decide to check L. He is 500. WTHECK!!!! Check his pump. He has no insulin. How long? I do not know. I MacGyver B's pump to him, give him a correction plus his basal amount through the prime, and then return the pump to B.

We waited an hour and a half to see the lone doctor on call. She thrusted the stick so far back into his throat, L went into hysterics. She quickly typed up a RX on her computer and ran out.

We waited 45 minutes at the pharmacy for his antibiotics. I ran to the car, gave L his new meds, and we sped off with just enough time to make the movie.

We ran in. Got tix, the popcorn, (it is 6:20 and the boys haven't eaten,) and we sit down. Wow! We never go to this theater, but MAN, their popcorn was Gooooooood! Later I would find out, that was probably the case because the coat it with sugar...

During the previews: L 503. MacGyver with J's pump this time and watch the flick.

After the movie: L 339, MacGyver with J's pump again and leave the theater.

Eat a late dinner at the mall.

He needs to be MacGyvered for a 4th time. I turn to my husband. "I've done this 3 is your turn to do this one."

He waits until we get to the car, and does it with his back in the rain. He was so cold he jumped back into the driver's seat and started driving away before L had finished getting his bolus.

"Wait, his site is on his butt. When the bolus is done, he'll have to stand up to unscrew the cap. He can't do that while you are driving."

"J, just unscrew the reservoir when the bolus is done, then we'll put it back on you when we get home." He says.

"Hold the phone!" I say, "Then J will be 40 minutes with his basal. That is a bad idea."

"It'll be ok."

Evil look. Why do men always have to do things the hard way? Why don't they do something straight arrowed instead of criss cross applesauce??

He sees my displeasure and pulls over. He really is a good man.

So we get home and there is the 500 screaming back at me on the meter again.

"We better test blood ketones. He has been high for hours and hours."

My husband grabs the blood ketone meter, and a strip and goes and checks L.


It flippin says, HI.

I have never seen a blood ketone meter say Hi. It always says a number.


"But the strip I used was from 2004," my husband says. "And it was the wrong code."


I freeze. I am processing. You should have seen the look on my face. I can't even describe it.


So here begins my tearful ripping out of the supplies to find the current-not-expired blood ketone strips. In the mean time I tell my husband to give him an extra unit to get things going.

I finally find the current strips 20 minutes later, in the same box that was originally in front of me that had the expired strips inside.

My husband tests him with a current strip and the right code.


That isn't a face...that figure above says zero point zero.

So I go to take L to the bathroom one more time, and notice...he has a rash.

He is allergic to the freaking antibiotics the doctor gave him.

I'm pretty much hyperventilating at right about this moment.

I'm yelling at myself in my head, "What happens to it all works out in the end, MERI?????? What if it doesn't work out? What if you are an idiot??? Meeeerrrriiii!!"

I go to bed with my eyes bugged open in the dark, a massive headache, planning out my strategy for the night. I'm having a silent freak out pity party in my mind when my husband rolls over and gives me a big, long hug.

"I'll take care of L tonight. I promise I'll take good care of him. I'll check him every hour if I have to."

And I say, "There is no way I can sle...snore."

And he checked him every hour. (And the other boys too...because sugar coated popcorn and mall food are BFF's with high blood sugars.)

And all four of boys lived through the night.

And L woke up this morning with a lovely 98.

And the doctor just called and he is positive for strep.

And I told them about the rash and they are calling in a new script.

And it WILL all work out in the end.

It is easy to have perspective in hindsight. But when you are in the moment...and it is YOUR child...perspective can't be found amongst the deep fog of the worry.

The worry of a mother for her child cannot be matched. It cannot be communicated. It is its own beast.

Sure, it works out in the end...but only after we lose a year of our life in an explosion of worry. At this rate I'll only have a few years left. But it is so worth it right this minute, seeing L dancing in circles around the living room, humming between giggles, with a giant smile on his face.

His happiness is so worth the worry.

Because his happiness, brings me happiness. It is an eternal round.


  1. Update: After speaking to the doctors again, turns out this mysterious rash going around the house, that I half thought was from a new soap we are using, was actually scarlett fever. Even though the other three boys didn't have sore throats, they still were carriers and gave it back to L.

    It is all coming together. And dare I is all working out. :)

  2. Good Hell, Meri! PRAYING for some peace and good health soon!

    Yes... I, too, am full of wisdom for others. But when it's MY KID... well, reason goes out the window.

    You rock, Mama. So does Ryan! Love to you all!

  3. Yup, yup, yup!!!
    "The worry of a mother for her child cannot be matched. It cannot be communicated. It is its own beast."
    Hope everyone starts having better days very soon.
    No rashes, no sore throats, no expired strips and a well rested mom.

  4. Hope everyone is on the mend!!

    And yes the face. I have given dh a few of those too ;)

  5. Meri, YOU are amazing and a wonder and you keep it all together, even when it appears to be falling apart. I am always in awe of your ingenuity, your faithfulness and your attitude. It will all work out and it will all be ok. I hope all the boys are getting better. Are we all ready for a DMama meet-up in the near future? We all need to see each other's faces!!!

  6. Wow what a day! And scarlet fever?!? Crazy!!!
    Glad it's all working out :)

  7. "It is easy to have perspective in hindsight. But when you are in the moment...and it is YOUR child...perspective can't be found amongst the deep fog of the worry."
    AMEN, sista!! So very, very true.

    Scarlet Fever?!?! Crazy!

    What an insane glad today is better!!

    Oh, and I'm all for a huge D-Mom meet up...that would be heavenly!

  8. Hey there Meri , Listen have you taken Lawton to the vet and had a culture done on him ? dogs carry strep and the kids get it from being licked in the face from the dog . I kid you not , when my son was little he kept getting strep and I did too and we absoloutly could not figure out what the heck is going on ? , Then my pediatrician , God love him , told me to take my dog to the vet and have him cultured , guess what ? Yep the dog was the culprit and he got meds and never again did my son or I get strep . Not many ppl know that , heck I never did .Im not stepping on any toes I hope . Love you Meri .

  9. Wow, what a day! Never a dull moment with D in the picture, eh? =) Glad you were able to get some rest after all of that... good husband.

  10. "But it is so worth it right this minute," that is the part I cling to...knowing that the positive is in the moments on our children's faces, the parts that are great and amazing aren't numbers on a meter or at a doctors office and like you said in the end it turns out just fine. You are an amazing mother, you are a gift to me and those boys of yours...I hope the rest of your long weekend was great :)

  11. aww you comforted the other D mum so perfectly. HUGS> it will ALL work out in the end. good job xx.
    oh btw, your husband rocks, what a good daddy.

  12. Yikes! Scarlet fever is definitely not something to mess with. And all that stuff wreaks havoc on the blood sugars! I hope all is much better now!

  13. Ohmygosh. I would've freaked out too!! I'm glad you went ahead and went to the movies, that makes it kinda worth it, doesn't it? And you are lucky (bad word?) you have another pump/insulin to pull from..I would've had to drive home!

    Bless your heart. And wooo-hoo that he was 98 by morning-it all worked out in the end : )

  14. Meri, I think you hit the nail on the head in so many places through this post. It all does work out in the end...during it, it can become overwhelming...the worry.

    These are our children...that is why we take so much of this to heart. Our worry. Ugh... The worry.

    I bet you were a huge comfort to that other mom Meri. Have I told you lately that you are my HERO? No, I don't think I have.


  15. Geez, Meri, hoping for some health and happiness your way soon - even if it has to be on vacation! Glad it all started working out, and that the boys' happiness is so visible despite all the craziness. Oh, and yes: those movie theater food items are EVIL. So very evil. But good for you for MacGyvering it all together.

  16. Hope L is on the mend and I just love that your husband took good care of you and L.

  17. Oh my gosh, Meri, all that and Scarlett Fever too!! I hope you know how amazing you are for doing all that you do - even when you don't feel so amazing . . . you are!!

  18. OH, MAN!! I'm so sorry the shit is hitting the scarlett fever fan! YOU. ARE. AMAZING.

  19. Yup.

    All works out in the end.

    When it's over...go to Disneyland or something ;)

    ♥ U....and, I'm sorry, but I totally cracked up reading this post!!!!


  20. Good night woman! The ketone thing totally had me holding my breath! I'm glad "it all worked out" but YEA! The worry will be the death of us all I think!
    I am SOOOOO charmed by your use of pumps on the boys! That SOOOO rocks when I read that you are swappin' pumps and such! Ha! Scarlet Fever?! Holy Crap! Loves & Hugs
    (you are my air mama!)

  21. JEEZ LOUISE. it looks like it all did work out in the end, scarlet fever and all! hope you're having a wonderful vacation now! :)

  22. Hugs!! We all have days like that! And what is it with husbands and "it'll be ok". Are they TRYING to do our head in?! And 'The Look' has been used here just a few times with comments like that.
    Gotta love him for taking on the night shift - hope you got a good night's sleep.
    And thank you for sharing - even these moments :)

  23. Meri, you are so amazing!! Even in your frenzie you had it all taken care of. It never feels that way in the moment...but it works out because you want it to...and you will do ANYTHING to get it done!!!


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