Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Anatomy of a low.

He was peaceful.

His long blond eyelashes framed his round eyelids. 

Pink cheeks.  Full, soft, relaxed lips.


As I picked up his black freckled fingertip, I paused to give him one more moment of calm.

His breathing was slow and shallow.  His entire body relaxed in its slumber.


I pricked his fingertip, laying another dot on the landscape.  A bead of bright crimson blood appeared. I quickly pressed the test strip against it and watched it suck up most of the red.  I smeared away the remaining blood from his finger, wiping it on the inside pocket of my jeans.  The countdown ensued...the result was a surprise.

It is always a surprise.

59.  With insulin on board no less.

This meant a couple of things.  First, a temp basal.  I followed his pump tubing with my fingers, only to discover the pump rested securely beneath the weight of his body.  I adjusted my position.  Teetering on the edge of the mattress below him I immediately questioned my decision to let him have the top bunk.  Retrieving the pump meant moving my 8 year old son and disturbing his respite from the storm. 

I hoisted his arm towards me, and the whole of his torso followed.  Fishing blindly in the blankets I finally retrieve my prize...a blue Medtronic pump.

He stirred only slightly, turning his head to a more comfortable position.

My fingers found their familiar rhythm on the pump buttons.  It took seconds to change the settings.  I made my way down from my perch and walked purposefully towards the kitchen.

Opening up the low cupboard door, I let out a big sigh.  Which carb to pick?

Apple juice?

Fruit Snacks?



I grab an apple juice box and a banana and head back to the bunk bed.  Breaking the seal on the apple juice box, I slip in the straw and touch the end of it to L's lower lip.

"Drink, baby."

His body goes into survival mode as he anxiously grabs the box and takes a long, encouraging sip.  He pushes out the straw with his tongue and rolls over the opposite direction of me.

I rub his arm.  "L, you need to drink sweetheart."  I gently turn his head back towards me and press the straw to his lips again.

He takes a small sip and turns his head away again.  We repeat the process a good six times before I give up.  He's drank 3/4 of the box.  We'll move on to the banana.

I break off half of the banana and rub it against his full sleeping lips.  He anxiously takes a bite and chomps contentedly in his sleep.  His hands grasp the air as if trying to find another bite of the banana.  He eagerly eats what I offer him, and when I am finished he brings his hands to his face and continues to eat the imaginary banana in his hands.

I gently hold his hands to make the charade stop, and rub his forehead to relax his body and help him return to his deep sleep.

I check the other two boys and find them to be in range with no IOB.  A battle won within the war.

Gently closing the door to my room I turn to knell at my bed to pray.  I offer an earnest prayer, praying for joy.  Praying for understanding.  Praying for peace. 

And most importantly...praying for my boys safety until I check them again in a few hours.

Dream my dear boys.  Dream and escape your diabetic life.

I'll live it for you, for now.


Relish your escape while you can.


  1. You've made treating a night time low into a thing of beauty! And I am impressed that your guys can eat bananas in their sleep--I'd never have thought to attempt that.

  2. This had me in tears, sweet Meri.
    The nighttime is the hardest time for me.
    It's so hard to see my daughter sleeping so peacefully every time I check on her and I wonder what her body is doing on the inside. I think it's the darkness. The stillness. The quiet. It makes my mind wander and my heart ache. Sending BIG hugs to you and your boys. :)

  3. I have to giggle at the image of your son eating an imaginary banana. When we have "bad" nighttime lows, I always know right away when I go into Lily's room because she's "sleep-eating" her hand! Our precious babies have no idea just how much we're willing to sacrifice for them. Love you, sweet Meri!

  4. Drink, baby. How many times do I say that at night?? Way too often. <3

  5. Beautifully said!!! Your descriptions totally reminded me of my almost 8 year old boy when I'm trying to get him to eat during the night. One time he was even sitting up at the table, still asleep, as his lips searched for his next bite. He always feels let down the next morning when he realizes he didn't get to "enjoy" his snack due to not waking up.

  6. It is an interesting thing being a mother of these diabetic children that we love so much. Had a similar experience last night as I woke up in panic and knew that I needed to test my son, who by the way is 21 and home from college. I am thankful for my mother's intuition that I have been blessed to have through a loving Heavenly Father. I know that you have also been blessed with this and your boys are so lucky to have you. Sending you my thoughts and prayers.

  7. wow, poeticly true! i am so excited that i found your blog as it is rare to find someone dxd so young as 8 months. my daughter is 8 yrs old and was dxd at 11 months and we have a 6 year old as well. i look forward to following you, all the best

  8. beautiful; painfully beautiful.

    it always amazes me how 'I need you to drink some juice' gets an immediate response while 'time to get up, sweetie' falls on deaf ears! ;)

  9. I keep thinking d kids should be able to write "can eat while sleeping" on a resume. Surely that is a rare talent?!

  10. Love Amanda's comment...everyone is always amazed that Joe can chew glucose tabs in his sleep. Beautifully written my Dear Meri. xo

  11. I somehow stumbled across your blog and love it! Thank you for sharing!!! My husband is T1 and our son, who is 15, was just diagnosed this past Father's Day. I am so grateful our son is older as we walk this out, and I so appreciate others who share their stories. It is so encouraging!

  12. Justin drinks imaginary juice... I have to chuckle watching his lips go at it like the straw is still there. Makes me smirk just thinking about it. I love you, Meri.

  13. Was it you the other day on FB that posted about one of the boys chomping at thin air, Isaac does this almost every time he is low. There have been times shortly after I've checked him (find no IOB) and then less than an hour later I wake to the sound of his chomping jaws!
    Glad you were there to quickly treat and allow your son the chance to rest a bit longer :)

  14. So familiar down to the imaginary eating/drinking and the top bunk regret. Beautifully written.

  15. thank you for your beautifully written posts. so nice to know that I am not alone in my night wanderings. my son has the top bunk too. I haven't learned to adjust the settings myself yet though.


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