What goes up, must come down

We had a very strange day on Tuesday. The morning started off slightly higher than what we would have liked it to be, but nothing to really be worried about. Because Rudi’s post-breakfast reading is very high the majority of the times, our paediatrician recently adjusted the sliding scale to be less conservative, so things are looking way better!

Activity plays a big role in any diabetic’s life. Rudi is busy. Not just two-year-old busy, he is incredibly busy. At school, they follow a pre-planned schedule of educational activities. Outside playtime is one of these activities, but not nearly as much as when he is at home with his nanny or over weekends with us. It goes without saying, his post-breakfast sugar is higher at school than at home, which is understandable. But on Tuesday something triggered something else and things turned out to be close to a major stuff-up. His post-breakfast reading was 23.1!

His teachers are very wary and accommodating and always take great care that he does not eat or drink anything else but what is in his lunch box. And they don’t snack before his post-lunch reading, so nothing could have gone wrong. How on earth? It is what it is, I said to myself and hoped for a better lunchtime reading. He normally comes down to somewhere between 9 and 13 when his sugar was so high at post-breakfast. We measure Rudi very often, an average of 10 times per day. So, at eleven the teacher measured him again and he came down to 16. Which was lovely, because lunch is at 12:15 and he would be well within the expected range by then.

When I got to school for lunch, I measured him yet again to know how much insulin to inject after he has finished eating. I always take great care to ensure his finger is clean and very dry. I carry wet wipes and tissues in my handbag for this purpose and make a real effort to polish his finger until it shines. Patiently waiting for his reading, I looked down to find a shocking 3.1.

People handle hypos differently. What works for us won’t necessarily work for anyone else, but we stick to Super C’s. I have a roll in my handbag, one in his school bag and one in his cooler bag. And this is only for when we are not at home 🙂 So, anxiously I opened the first roll of Super C’s and fed him two. I checked the time and started making conversation with Rudi to pass the next (longest) ten minutes. It is difficult to explain to a 2-year-old they are not allowed to eat their food yet or go play either. Sit still, that is the instruction. Nine minutes later I measured him again and he dropped even more to 2.4. This was now closing in on a disaster reading and my hands were shaking as I took out a third Super C tablet.

It is horrible sitting at school with a kid in hypo and you see everyone else just minding their own business. Other mommies greet you kindly while your whole diabetes medical kit is spread out on a school desk. The teacher carries on packing away all the toys, putting drawings and artworks on piles and looks up every now and again with a smiling face. Your kid does not understand the urgency of the matter either and gets annoyed with you because he is not allowed to do anything. At least the sweets kept him preoccupied for a minute or two.

Then you have to wait for another dreaded 10 minutes. It is amazing how much – and how little – goes through your head during this time. His second reading was a healthy 7.2 and only then could he eat his lunch. In the meantime, I had to contact hubby to inform him of the situation and let my boss know I won’t be coming back to work either. Of course, the updates of the situation make you realise what the situation actually is and makes you even more anxious about the situation! But everything was under control.

The rest of the day was not extraordinary. All of his readings were close to other days and by bedtime, you would not even say there has been a hypo. It was just such a weird day. My husband always jokes and says that Rudi’s pancreas pulled a Lazarus on himself. (We probably went through a honeymoon phase.) But still. Having to deal with circumstances like these are not for the faint-hearted. It is stressful and throws your whole life out of sequence, nevermind just your day. By eight that night I was so incredibly exhausted and put myself to bed early.

I suppose the secret here is patience and calmness. Do not stress yourself out, because the kid will pick up on your vibes and get stressed out too. Just because you’re scared and anxious, does not mean you have to be out of control. Remember to breathe and have faith in yourself and the procedure you follow. You’ve got this!

Yours in (sorta) calmness,

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