Monday, November 10, 2008

Questions that make you question

"Mom, when you are low, do you ever feel like you are going to die?" Hmmmm.....I paused for a minute unsure of what an appropriate response is for an 8yr old. I answered Maddison honestly assuring her that it isn't common for anyone to die from a low blood sugar. Once I started telling Maddison again of how the liver helps us overcome a serious low she lost her interest in the conversation. I didn't think much about her question until late last week when the school nurse and I realized she is again checking her blood sugar too often for feeling low at school. Today at school she has already checked 3 times in just one hour for feeling low. I have a feeling I should have paid more attention to this question last week. Maddison not only ran low all week last week in school but she had the overdose of insulin on Friday by the nurse's error. Then there was a 44 yesterday that caused a rebound. Not good. I wonder what she is thinking in that little mind of hers?

Sometimes I wonder if Maddison knows too much about Diabetes. Other times I think I haven't been teaching her enough. How much is too much? Part of my worries is that Maddison knew too much before she had Diabetes. We have too often visited my father in the hospital for Diabetes complications. It was common for Maddison and Hannah to spend alot of time visiting their Grandpa in the hospital, even as very young children. We were heartbroken watching his progression of losing his eye sight. We were traumatized by witnessing him have a stroke right before our eyes. We have spent endless hours keeping him company through many hospital stays for kidney failure, infections and illness. If I had known then that Maddison was even at risk for Diabetes I probably would have sheltered her from the truth of what was causing my fathers failing health.

When I was diagnosed I was honestly freaked out about potential lows. I wouldn't even go to bed with active insulin from a meal for at least a year because I was so afraid that I would go low in my sleep and not wake up for my children. I also had an idiot for an Endo and I lacked any education about insulin which would have helped me feel more confident and in control those first few months. This Endo also started me on a basal/bolus without explanation of how to balance the two. I had some serious lows from a too high basal amount so when this idiot started me on a fast acting insulin for meals I plummeted and wasn't able to recover quickly. So of course, right after my diagnosis I educated my girls on low blood sugars and the importance of helping me get sugar if I was too low to help myself, or worse, if I was to have a seizure. I showed them how to use the glucagon and call 9-1-1. Remember, at this time Maddison was only 5 and wasn't diagnosed until nine months later. I wouldn't have been so detailed and honest had I known Maddison was next to be living with Diabetes.

Maddison knows neither of us wake up if we are low. She also knows I check her overnight-always. I am sure all of these things combined is just too much information for her at the tender age of 8. I really think Maddison must be having some anxiety and has become afraid of lows, more so when she is at school because she knows I am not there watching out for her. I'm not sure what to do next to relieve her worries. As hard as I have tried to shelter Maddison from knowing too much since she was diagnosed herself, I know sometimes she is too much in tune for her own good. She is a very emotional person like me, and I know she picks up on alot of my feelings and reactions even if I try my best to "hide" them from her.

Now I am left to question how Maddison is really feeling these days. Maddison is the kind of girl that you have to pry information out of. She is never willing to share her worries and fears on her own. I will have to do alot of tip toeing around that little mind of hers and be careful to not to bring on other questions that will make her question even more! The mental game of Diabetes is exhausting lately, that's for sure.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Wow - that is some deep stuff for an eight year old to be working through (I have a son who is eight).

Kids are amazingly smart little things, and I imagine it is very challenging to answer questions openly and honestly, without overloading her.

Wendy said...

You are such an inspiration to me...I don't even think you realize how much I appreciate your blog.

It's hard to parent a child with D and wonder what they are feeling.
At the same time, however, I think it would be even harder to parent a child with D and KNOW what they are going through. Sometimes I wonder if I really WANT to know what it feels like to be 40 or
500. Once I could feel it for myself, surely it would compound the sadness and anxiety I experience when something isn't right with Addy's numbers.

About a month after she started pumping, Addy had a terrible low. She told me she was "going to live with Jesus." and then fell asleep right in the middle of the living room floor. She was only 3 years old.

Oh, those little minds...oh, my broken heart...

Lynnea said...

J.J. is too young to question at this point...still 5 and wanting to just get the diabetes stuff over with so he can get on with his playing.

At this point I couldn't imagine such deep questions. I know it would be tricky.

Try not to second guess had absolutely no way of knowing she was "next". With your help she'll work it out. You're doing a great job!