Arden has a ballet class on Friday afternoons that she loves. Before an activity like this I plan Arden’s fast acting insulin so that it peaks and is gone from her system prior to the start of the class. Today was no exception...
When the class started Arden’s BG was 189 and it had been four hours since I injected her Novolog (1 hour longer then it normally lasts). So she was at 189 with no fast-acting insulin in her system... Golden!
Arden painted a paper butterfly during the craft portion of the class but when it came time to dance she didn’t want to join in. She sat on my lap, then on the floor in front of me and told me that she didn’t like dance anymore and never wanted to come back. So given that her BG test was 189 just twenty minutes prior I didn’t test her based on her mood change, I did what most of you would have done, I started to parent her. I explained that we signed up and the she was going to finish the class, that it was okay if she didn’t want to dance anymore but that we were going to finish out our commitment. You know some good parenting...
Until she said, “Daddy I feel weird”. So I tested her even though I was 2000% sure that she was just tired or in a bad mood. I took out the lancets, the test strips and the meter and proceeded to jab a hole into her forefinger while she cried and begged me not to.... a moment later the meter beeped and her BG was 61. I rushed out to the car and began feeding her icing and juice. At one point while she was trying to eat, her hair got caught in her mouth, she grabbed at it and said, “I hate my hair, I’m going to pull it off” (low blood glucose make people very agitated and difficult to reason with). Ten minutes later I tested her again, and she was 51. She consumed more food and juice. Soon 30 minutes had passed and her BG was going up, we missed the class so I strapped Arden and her brother Cole into the car. Then I walked behind the truck, sat on the bumper and cried like a baby in the parking lot of the YMCA. I cried because we narrowly averted a seizure, because dance day was ruined and because it was so sad to see Arden get so angry about her hair. Mostly I cried because I can’t stop this from happening, because I feel helpless, because I am.
Arden waits all week to go to that class. She asks me everyday if today is dance day and when dance day finally arrived it was ruined by juvenile diabetes. What happened today was completely unavoidable and stunningly unpredictable. I did everything correct, everything the way I always do it but some days everything isn’t quite enough.
By now you must be ready for that happy ending, right? Good thing you kept reading as this story has a bona fide movie ending thanks to our friend Paul. Paul, without knowing helped me today. He helped me pull myself together and to re-focus on the hope that today won’t always be a typical day for Arden. You see, while I was feeding Arden in the backseat of my car I felt my phone vibrate as it received an email. Later when I remembered the email I checked it and do you know what I saw? Paul had signed up to walk for Arden in the JDRF’s Walk to Cure Diabetes at the exact same time that Arden was heading for a seizure. Happenstance for sure but there is no more genuine example of The Butterfly Effect then Paul’s email coming when it did.
Paul, you saved me today. Thank you!