I know that the highs and lows are part of this experience, but I have a long way to go in building up my emotional resilience to handle the swings. Although there’s really very little that’s funny to me about T1, finding the humor in challenging situations is going to be a saving grace, I think. Enter our recent trip to the grocery store. Three kids in tow, we plowed our way slowly through aisles packed with shoppers. Madeline is a great little helper at the store; she loves to run off with her brother and sister on “missions” to find things we regularly buy.
Halfway through the pasta aisle, Madeline sat down right in the middle of the floor– something she never does, even in the midst of a meltdown. She told me, “I don’t think I can walk around right now.” I asked her if she felt funny inside, and a head nodding yes was all it took to send me into a minor panic. Luckily, there was a stepstool nearby, so I picked her up off the floor and plopped her down on it. Whipping out the D-kit, fumbling around for handwipes, test strips, glucometer, and Pokey…. Madeline saw the gear being pulled out and began to cry: “Mommmmmeeeeee, I don’t want anyone to know I have diabeeeeeteeeeezzz!” Sorry, girl, I told her, I think that cat’s out of the bag now.
So Pokey did its job and the meter counted down…5, 4, 3, 2, 1…45. Oh boy. She’d never been that low since diagnosis—we’d been desensitizing ourselves to the tinges of panic caused by her chronic highs, but lows were a new territory for us. So, I scrounged around for the juice box I had the foresight to pack, just in case. As Madeline sucked it down, she asked for a snack… and I realized that she ate the snack I packed her–cheddar cheese and pepperoni in all its low-carb glory–back during the car ride to the store. Thank goodness my oldest kid was with us; I sent Rian off to aisle 8 to find The Peanut Butter Crackers With Only 16 Grams of Carbs Per Serving. Being the intelligent survivalist that he is, he fetched several packages with all necessary speed. And with a price report, to boot: “Mom, these were only 99 cents!”
I was keenly aware of the traffic jam we were creating, camping ourselves out next to the Barilla products while we treated the low. Damned if I was moving this operation. Whereas I am typically a person who profusely apologizes for every little inconvenience I might cause others, this time around I really did not care. Instead, I thought to myself that a sign reading Dealing with Diabetes: Give Us a Wide Berth and Some Empathy Too might have been a helpful accessory in the moment.
Fifteen minutes later, all was right with the world again when Pokey and the Meter yielded a reading of 102. With peanut butter crackers in hand, we finished our shopping trip in one piece and survived the first of many lows to come. Go us!