Interruptions at The Rookery

Did you all see G-Money’s vlog post the other day?  The one where he was playing basketball with his family and had to stop because he got low?  If not, go watch it now.  What we get with this slice of his life is how frustrating it can be dealing with a low.

Feeling low sucks. It is very frustrating when it interrupts your day (or night).  But what drives me even more crazy is when my low, my interruption, spills over into other people’s lives.  My interruption is now affecting their life, and interrupting their moment.  It makes me feel very self-conscious and guilty, even though in many cases I could not have done anything at all to avoid the low.

Watching George’s vlog post made me think about a low that put a screeching halt to some fun stuff I was trying to do with my kids recently.  My kids were bummed, but of course very supportive and understanding (as we saw with George’s awesome family).

My son is incredibly interested in nature and creatures.  It’s great.  He knows more about many things than I do about stuff.  I can ask him what kind of bird that was, and he’ll rattle off the name of it in a blink.  It’s so fun.  Along with that I’m enjoying learning about photography, and taking my camera out on nature walks with him (and sometimes my little princess).  My son recently went on a field trip with school, and saw a “Rookery”, which in this case is an island in the middle of the Mississippi river with very tall trees.  Up in the tops of these trees are a whole bunch of heron nests!

Hearing about this, and hearing that it was not far from my house, we headed out one Saturday shortly after breakfast to take a look.  We parked the car and started walking through the park trails along the river.  We walked about a mile towards the Rookery when I felt low.  A test of 56 mg/dl confirmed it.  A quick glance at my pump showed over 17 units of insulin active in my system.  Shit shit shit.

I had just eaten (and taken insulin) for breakfast about 45 minutes ago, which in this scenario translated into knowing that insulin was going to peak soon.  Peaking insulin is a Bad Thing when low.

How did this happen?  I am the first to admit that I am not the best at counting my carbs, but I was very confident that I got it spot on for breakfast.  Speaking of breakfast, where the heck had it gone?!  Why was I low?  My confidence was shaken, and I wondered if it was all just sitting in my stomach, not digesting yet.  This was not a new or unfamiliar meal, it was something I had eaten a hundred times before.  WTF!

I started to assess my situation.  I had a full tube of glucose tabs in my pocket, but because I had all that insulin working through me, that wasn’t going to be enough to pull me out of this low .  There was a pop machine in the park house, but I only had a $20 on me.  I knew we had to stop in our tracks and head home, even though we hadn’t seen what we came to see.

I was worried.  I had my kids with me (a diabetic parent’s worst nightmare – a debilitating low while in charge of little ones).  What if I can’t get my blood sugar to come up, and end up passing out?  Assuming I could make it to the car, was I really going to jump behind the wheel, with my kids in the back, and try to get home?

I felt stuck, and helpless.

I had to break the news to my two little nature adventurers, who were having a great time exploring the area and were excited about seeing more.  It broke my heart.  My son was trying to come up with solutions (“dad, I think there is an old hard candy I spit out in the back seat of your car…”), but the only option I could come up with was to eat the glucose tabs and get home (which was closer than any store) before the shit hit the fan.

I chomped down the 40g of glucose tablets I had in my pocket while we walked to the car.  I tested when we got to the car and had gone up to 83 mg/dl.  We drove home, where I kept fighting the low for another half hour or so.  Where. Did. My. Breakfast. Go. ?.

I felt so guilty about messing up the kids adventure, but being the great kids they are, they understood and moved onto the next thing in their day.  They are so great.

I went back to The Rookery another day, without the kids (who were busy with something else).  It was a sight to see.

 

Picture of a heron flying in the sky

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13 thoughts on “Interruptions at The Rookery

  1. There is nothing worse than when the D messes up plans with the kiddos. I am so sorry this happened but glad you were able to make it home safely.
    You are a good dad.

  2. Hey Scott, good blog. We don’t wish lows for anyone, but it does help to know others are fighting the same battles and feeling the same way about them. I have to be planning all the time and thinking ahead. For me it feels like I’m under pressure to cram for some surprise pop quiz! And a low would be an automatic ‘F.’ Where I trip up the most is when I let my guard down while having a ‘happy’ moment…a walk, a party or celebration. It is not cool for a grandparent to eat all the M&M’s and not share- in front of her grandkids!!! Guilty as charged in lowland…
    Since I’m a mom of 4 great grown kids and Nana to 12 georgous grandkids, I want to end on an up note. Your cautionary tale is a good one. We can and should walk away from a bad situation to learn how to handle it better.
    So, until my next unexplained low at the wrong place and time, here’s wishing you the best! Take care.

  3. What a helpless feeling – a feeling that no one else, except someone in that situation, can understand. My heart goes out to you ….. when you know you do not have enough food on you to stop the low and it stops your life. It is food, just simple food…..hard to believe eh…..such a simple antidote.
    I am glad it all worked out Scott – I am going to go now and throw a few extra granola bars in my car 🙂

  4. You really described the frustration and the confusion of what to do about everything well. I shared this with my husband, Type 2 D. He had a low today shopping for groceries after feeling tired all day. He brought home one the oddest fruit smoothie drinks, half consumed. I said, “What IS this?” He said…”It is the thing which was closet to me in the aisle when I was feeling the lowest!”
    Hang in there! You are a good dad and make the right choice. We have two severely autistic kids to care for.We want to be there for them and our other children, and by reading blogs like yours I am LEARNING what the heck is going on with my newly diagnosed husband. Best wishes, Jean

  5. Hi, you should keep in mind if you plan to exercise right after meals than this will bring your BS low and lower you insulin input in advance. Especially if it’s on a hot day which will additionally lower BS in insulin-dependent Diabetics. Sauna could have the same effect. BTW was it a hot day?

  6. You really described the frustration and the confusion of what to do about everything well. I shared this with my husband, Type 2 D. He had a low today shopping for groceries after feeling tired all day. He brought home one the oddest fruit smoothie drinks, half consumed. I said, “What IS this?” He said…”It is the thing which was closet to me in the aisle when I was feeling the lowest!”
    Hang in there! You are a good dad and make the right choice. We have two severely autistic kids to care for.We want to be there for them and our other children, and by reading blogs like yours I am LEARNING what the heck is going on with my newly diagnosed husband. Best wishes, Jean

  7. Brings back memories of when I used to walk around Pike Island, in Ft. Snelling State Park. I was usually alone and have these crashing hypos no matter how well I’d prepared. There were more than a couple of times when I wondered if twigs and roots had any carbs……..Do you think maybe you could give each of the kids a “special job” of carrying some form of sugar for you? They might feel proud of the responsibility.
    Oh yeah, I’ve been in the “standing in front of the pop machine with no coins” scenario too!
    I think that being outside in nature has such a healng effect that we may need less insulin even if not exercising.
    If you want a new adventure, consider taking the kids to Ft. Snelling State Park – there is a picnic area and swimming beach, and…….because if it right by the airport you can see big planes flying very low. You also might see a deer.(but then, of course deer —> deer ticks –>lyme disease–>blah blah blah

  8. That is the worst feeling. I feel horrible every time I get low and it affects Jason, but I can imagine how much worse it is when it affects your kids. I can remember a few times though when I know Jason was mad – not at me, but just at the situation. Regardless of the fact that we always try to plan ahead and be prepared for those times, It’s hard to shake the guilt. I hope you and your kids get to go back soon.
    BTW, I was thinking how much I’d love to hang out and talk to your son about critters! 😀

  9. Scott, aren’t kids amazing?
    I have a seven year old who just surprises me to no end. They love us unconditionally no matter how flawed we feel at times. We are fortunate that they are able to learn through our lives. We are raising children who are going to be empathetic and neurtering adults. (Isin’t that awsome!) They are able to figure out all of the carbs and boluses and everything else out as an ‘outsider’ to help us in our lives.
    And we’re supposed to be the parents. 🙂
    Thanks for the awsome blog.
    Stacey

  10. Oh Scott. I feel for you.
    Diabetes causes So many interruptions.
    I can sympathize as an Aunt, not a parent. I worry and stress over having a low in front of my nephews and niece. What if I can’t “be” there for them?
    So frustrating.
    Great pic.

  11. This post really affected me…I mean REALLY affected me. I read alot of posts from people living with T1D hoping to gain insight into what life is like for Addy…for some reason, this one is pulling at my heartstrings.
    The thought of Addy feeling bad or guilty about something she has no control over makes me so sad. The idea that my D/blog pals go through these emotions while just trying to live a normal life makes me sad.
    Diabetes just makes me sad. Today I’m just having “one of THOSE days”, I guess.
    Love the pic, btw…

  12. Ahhhh man! I know the feeling! Maddison likes to take walks after dinner, but for me it just doesn’t work out. Seems a casual walk a block or two sends me lower faster than running miles….anyway…..this happened the other day when we were supposed to walk the 1/2 mile to the library after dinner before it closed….I just couldn’t get out of the 50’s. I couldn’t drive either……I know what you mean! I felt guilty, sad, angry……we just wanted to go for a damn walk! I can handle diabetes interfering with my day, but when it interferes with some quality time it really makes me mad! Guess we should keep a bag of LIFESAVERS in the car at all times hugh? Maybe then we could all sit and enjoy the lifesavers together waiting for the low to rise 🙂

  13. I can somewhat understand how you’re feeling but I’m on the opposite side. Kacey’s had several lows lately that are forcing her to get off her bike and go test or make her stop playing in the pool because she’s low. It sucks! I hate watching her go thru this and I can only imagine how frustrating it is on your end (((HUGS))) We’ve even had to leave Busch Gardens because of lows and it’s hard for my oldest daughter because she wants to stay and when Kacey drops like that she can’t keep up.
    LOL…how sweet of your son to offer the “old candy”. Glad you made it home safe 🙂 Next time, pack the backpack with water, snacks and real soda 😀 Heehee! I’m sure your little “adventurers” would love to be the carriers of the backpack….making them feel like they were hiking 🙂