A T1D Tale of Two Numbers

These two photos sum up T1D nicely for our family right now. I was at home with the kids in between picking them up from their summer program and our next stop, piano lessons. I was getting things done around the house when the dreaded double arrows down alert and the “Urgent Low Blood Sugar Alert” alarmed on Grasshopper’s Dexcom. It meant that his blood sugar was low and falling rapidly. I checked his blood sugar and it was 43. Pretty low.

I quickly gave him a glucose tab and some gummies for fast acting sugar. Then I set about getting him a more substantial snack to keep his blood sugar up once the fast acting sugars kicked in. I opened a package of trail mix and managed to poke my finger on the sharp plastic edge.

What does a T1D parent do when there is an unexpected blood letting? Test it! I used Grasshopper’s meter on the control solution setting so I wouldn’t interfere with his recorded blood sugar numbers. My number was 96. An in range, unremarkable number for a person without diabetes. I immediately felt a wave of guilt akin to survivor’s guilt (why him and not me?), anger, and hopelessness because I can’t give him my fully functioning pancreas. Which I would do if it was possible to do so and cure him. But type 1 diabetes doesn’t work like that. I would have to give him my immune system too.

So he ate his snack and we moved on with the day which was full of bright happy moments. That morning we had been to a local nursing home with his summer class friends where we visited the residents and shared ice cream with them. We went through the car wash after school and the kids helped wash the inside windows, always an exciting diversion for my 6 and 3 year old. We went home, had the low and then immediately after this photo he pulled out his first loose tooth that had been wiggling around for the last two weeks. He was thrilled to share his good news with his piano teacher right away.

We celebrate the bright happy moments, take a little time to reflect on the less happy moments and move on because the next part of life is coming at us, FAST!

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