Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ski slopes and jelly beans

 

I’m not really sure how she made it down the hill. She was shaking and complaining that her ski boots were too tight. I was trying to remember how much carbs she had consumed before hitting the slopes for a few runs, trying to convince myself that it was enough, but I still knew that she was low. She insisted on going to the lodge to test.


I don’t remember if I loosened her boots before or after testing since she kept telling me that her feet hurt soooo bad, but I do very clearly remember the number that appeared on the meter after testing her blood sugar. 1.5 (27). Any number in the 1's is very, very, dangerously low. I sat her down in the snow next to the ski rack and began shoving Mike and Ike jelly beans into her mouth. Skiers were coming down the hill behind us while others were racking their skis after a few runs or getting ready to hit to slopes, all unaware of the medical emergency that was happening at that very moment while Adele was sitting there in the snow, every single cell in her body literally on the verge of death begging for sugar.

As Adele’s caregiver, I always feel like such a failure when low lows like these happen. They don't happen often, but I should know better after nearly 10 years of gaming… Why didn’t we test right before getting a few runs in instead of waiting until now? Why did we get too excited? As much as we were looking forward to the very first ski day of the year, we were certainly not having much fun right now… How could I have been such an incompetent Type 1 gamer? How could I lose focus like that?

After forty to fifty grams of carbs literally shoved down her throat and about 10 minutes later, Adele looks at me with a big smile and says “I feel better now, get your skis ready, I really want to go again!” I felt sad realizing that almost dying has become normal to her. Lows are so damn scary in their urgency and immediate danger, but can be turned around with a quick acting sugar fix. And in a matter of minutes, the dying is back amongst the living… Almost as if nothing had ever happened. What a crazy way to live. Insane really…

Sometimes Type 1 gaming can be so ironic. The physical exercise which should make us healthier, can lead to a life threatening medical emergency, whereas unhealthy sugar-loaded candy becomes the life-saving medicine… 

After this, Adele’s blood sugar hovered in the 8s and 9s (144 to 180) for the rest of the day and we still managed to salvage the day by getting enough runs in to finish the day with tired legs and huge smiles.  With Type 1 gaming, a day on the slopes is never just about skiing...

3 comments:

Team Tanneberger said...

(Stranger, here -- www.teamtanneberger.blogspot.com). Our thin and active 5-yr-old daughter is believed (by several docs now) to be in early honeymooning (no insulin yet), and your posts are the reality I've been trying, in vain, to share with some family members, and friends, who insist all this is due to diet and not enough activity. I hope you don't mind my sharing a link to your blog so that they would see that this is real, and what we are facing. I know that the management of this is hard enough, and now we think we've lost my husband's family, who think I'm making more of this than is necessary. Your writing style is similar to mine, and thank you for having your life, your truth, out there for moms like me to find. I'd have to invite you to view our blog (I just realized), but you could e-mail me at laureltanneberger@yahoo.com, and I could invite you. I don't discuss our trial with family there, though. Just upsetting stuff in light of what we are already fearing. I wish you the best, as you love your beautiful daughter as only you can. You're a fighter. Keep speaking.

Nicole said...

UGH...when I saw that pic of the 1.5 before I even read the post I was almost in tears knowing what I was about to read.

So glad that number came up and played nice for the rest of your wonderful day :)

Ronnel Sahagun said...

very good gaming .nice !