Sunday, September 15, 2013

AKA Dumbledore.

He was low all day.  It started with a 32 after track, and he just never fully recovered from there.  At lunch I was delighted to see a 205, but when I picked him up from school a 58 flashed on the screen. 

“You’ll check before you swim, right?  And after too?”  I questioned him.

“Yes, mom.  A million checks.  No problem!”

Although the timing was unfortunate, B had been invited to a camping/swimming/biking birthday party at the local KOA Campground that night.  It was just down the street, and the birthday boy’s parents have had B over multiple times overnight.  They knew the drill, I knew he was in good hands.  Besides, with cell phones, it's practically like I'm by his side anyway.

But how to ensure his safety?

I changed his target BG to 150 on his pump, and had him eat a free snack because 102 was just too good of a number to leave him with.

Like a pack mule I had his pockets full of fast acting sugar, a cell phone, and his blood sugar monitor clipped to his belt-loop.

“And don’t forget to take off your pump when you swim!”

“I know mom!  I got this.”

He’s almost 12 years old.  He was diagnosed more than 6 years ago.  I knew he had it, so I did what I always do.  I gave him the tools, and I let him fly.  (You know, as long as he checked in with me.  He could fly if he checked in...)

The night went swimmingly…pun intended.  His sugars were just where I wanted them to be.  Dinner came and he called to asked if he could have a root beer.  As a rule, the boys aren’t allowed full sugar sodas…but B has this thing about Root Beer.  It’s like the ultimate treat for him, so sure.  A little high is better than a little low.  That along with a BBQ hamburger, grapes and some chocolate cream pie and at midnight we were sitting at a nice and easy 179.

Brilliant.  I was over the moon.

The next morning he woke up 154.

“Mom.  You aren’t going to be happy.  Just remember that I’m so happy right now.  We are having donuts, orange juice and hot chocolate for breakfast.”

“You need to scale it down.  It’s too much for your blood to hold.”

“Ok.  No Hot Chocolate.”

“Really??  Can’t you give up the orange juice.”

“I REALLY want the orange juice.”

“Ok.  Two giant jelly donuts (that I'm very familiar with because he eats them every time he spends the night with this particular friend,) and one big glass of orange juice.  Enter 100 carbs please.”

He called me back 20 minutes later.  Now if you’ve been scanning this post and not really paying attention up until now, or if you are lost about what’s going on…that’s ok.  This is where the real story starts.

Again…TWENTY.  MINUTES.  AFTER.  I.  GAVE.  HIM.  100.  CARBS.  WORTH.  OF.  INSULIN…he called me to say…

“Uh, Mom.  I felt low so I checked again and I’m 55.”

I look at the clock and realize I’m picking him up in 40 minutes.  I also realize I haven’t showered.  I tell him to drink another big glass of orange juice and check again in 15 minutes.  I showered like lightening and dried my hair when the next call came.

“I’m 64.”

“Maybe another glass of orange juice.  Just don’t pass out, ok?”

“Haha mom.  I’m fine!”

I drive into the parking lot at 10:00am sharp.  I can see him jumping on the bubble pad in the field.  I had to smile, or I would cry.

I have his hand in mine with blood squirting out of it before he even realized I was there.

55.  Again.

As I unhook his pump and put it in my purse, I sigh and deliberately look him in the eye.  “You know what that means, right?”

His head hangs low.  He knows, and he shakes his head in defeat.

“Dex4,” he whispers.

Now I’m going to throw a disclaimer in here.  Yes, B HATES the taste of Dex4, but I know many children and adults who actually like the taste.  L doesn’t complain at all when I ask him to use it.  We use these particular guys for the bad lows.  Lows under 50.  They work so damn fast they are little dynamite miracles in a bottle.  I’m so thankful for them…they have saved us many times.

But to B…to put it kindly, they are a necessary evil.

I opened the container for him, because they are wrapped up like Fort Knox, and he gingerly took a small sip.

“Sweety, you need to choke that down as fast as you can.  I’m sorry, just close your eyes and get it done.”

He took a long steady sip and gagged a little.

“You can do this.  Keep going!”  I cheered him on.

This is where, hand to heaven, a light bulb appeared over his head.  He looks at me and in all seriousness says, “You know what is happening?  I’m Dumbledore.  I’m Dumbledore drinking the potion of despair in the horcrux cave.”

It took me a minute to remember the scene and I marveled at the brilliance of the metaphor.

Watch this clip.  It’s pretty much how it all went down in the car.  Imagine B as Dumbledore…and me, as Harry Potter.  (Hands in the air!  Playing somebody young for the win!)

He drank it, kept his pump off for an hour and by the time lunch rolled around he was 250.  It’s been over 24 hours and he hasn’t had another low since.

We've established new protocols for track, and have noted the fact that B always has lows when hanging with his best friend.

Information is power.  Even if there's a little despair sprinkled in to make all that information stick.


  1. totally jut like Dumbledore! The only time Isaac had a Dex4 he gagged on it and spit it out all over, since then we've done honey sticks. They actually don't even require scissors to open most of them you just pinch them in opposite direction of the crimp and voila.
    Anyhow I am glad he had such an awesome time with his friend. Your family inspires me. Right now with Isaac just starting kinder and all the random trouble we've had make me feel like those slumber party days are never going to happen...but then I read this and I know someday it will all work, even with lows, it all works :)

  2. Scary and rough day! So glad everybody turned out okay! I keep a box of Honey Chex Mix in my kitchen pantry for severe lows like that, that just refuse to go up, because cereal just seems to absorb every last drop of insulin faaaast. I, too, can't stand the taste of Dex4 liquid or tabs.

  3. Whatever it takes! I have not found a liquid glucose (other than juice) that I can handle. But I'm still a traditional tab girl so I might just be crazy!

  4. "Your good health, Meri."



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