Rarrrgggghhhh is what I want to write about my thoughts on hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia but if I did that for the whole of this post some would invariably contact social services in fear that I’m not capable of looking after my children. Well, funny you should think that (what? you didn’t think it, oh must be just me then).

This weekend I nearly forced my daughter into a diabetic coma, then we had the rebound effect, then we had arguments this morning when Beth didn’t get up for school on time and  then we had the heart breaking moment when, as I watched Bethany put her clothes on wrong, I realised that I’d done it again, ignored the signs and she was hypo. Un-Fit-Mum Alert!

and THEN there’s the ripple effect on the whole family…

Keeping up? I’d forgive you for needed to read that opening a few times to make sure you’d read properly. I’ll set the scene shall I? Bethany woke up on Sunday morning quite late but not late enough for me to creep upstairs to make sure she was still breathing and hadn’t died in her sleep (I have done that on many occasions). I was feeding the dogs and Beth came stumbling into the back room with eyes as wide as saucers ‘what’s going on?’ she asked. I laughed and said ‘It’s Sunday Beth, don’t worry you’re not late for school’. I just assumed she’d woken up in a hurry and was a bit discombobulated.

Then it registered that Beth had slurred her words. ‘What are your bloods Beth?’ She didn’t know, I ran upstairs to get her kit, I knew, she was hypoglycemic i.e. having a hypo. I came down tested her and …. 27.5mmol WHAT! she was the complete opposite according to her machine and now I was worried she was being affected by ketones and not low blood sugars. We tested her ketones and she was 0.3 hmm I thought, possibly just starvation ketones but to be on the safe side I decided to give her 10u of insulin using her pen to get her blood sugars down quickly, who knows how long they’d been this high?

I set to work on making Beth some breakfast whilst she lay on the sofa. Ten minutes later I went into the living room and tested her again to see if the insulin had started to take effect. 1.7mmol WHAT!

I’d f**ked up. We’d not cleaned her hands, I’d tested a dirty finger the first time, I’d just given Bethany 10u and she was already having a hypo before I’d administered it. I had completely ignored my motherly instincts, I must never, NEVER ignore my instincts.

I called my husband in from the garden and Lewis came trotting behind him, Lewis has sensed the urgency in my voice and look concerned.  We sat in the living room with Beth for an hour giving her dextrose and sugar water to get her bloods back up and drag Beth back from her hypoglycemia. I sat there with the glucagon pen in my lap toying with the idea of using it or not. How incoherent and sleepy should I let her get before I did it, or should I let her slip into unconsciousness first then administer it. My mind was racing and all I could do while we waited was stroke her back and watch her breathing like a hawk.

Hypoglycemia - Type 1 Diabetes

Beth’s GlucaGen syringe with her ketone meter and insulin pen

It was terrifying for me, for Brett for Lewis, even the dogs knew something was up and insisted on laying on Beth’s back and legs. After what seemed a decade, Beth was able to answer my questions and nod her head, still slurred but she was coming back to us. I knew she was back when she said ‘what the hell was is that drink you gave me?’ Ah, thank goodness, the teenagers back in the room.

The rest of the day was the inevitable roller coaster of blood sugars that followed and gladly she seemed fine by the evening and Lewis had forgotten about the days traumatic events. Then there’s the ripple effect.

So today started really well (sarcasm in that there typing I’m afraid). Lewis was in a foul mood and Bethany, well she was almost impossible to wake. Now Beth’s always been my up bright an early child but, these past few weeks she’s been slowing down as her teenage body and brain does it’s thing and needs more sleep. On the third call though I was starting to get annoyed and screamed GET UP!

I went in to find Bethany putting on a pair of shorts over her head, she had one arm out of the leg! ‘What on earth are you doing Bethany’ (she was in trouble, I’d full named her). Beth looked back at me vacant ‘I don’t know’.

Shit! she’d gone low again. As Beth tried to layer up more clothes I got her kit ready to test her. She was 2.8mmol and that was with her dawn phenomenon that should have kicked in around 3-4am. I’d done it again and ignored the signs, or rather mistook them for a typical teenager trying to avoid school. There was no way she was going to school until I was happy with her levels, so I kept her at home for a bit longer than usual and helped her levels up with dextrose and a decent breakfast.

All the time this was going on I’d been emailing both children’s teachers, Bethany’s so that they knew of the weekends events and the fact Beth’s sugars may be a bit rocky and Lewis so that his teachers were prepared for his ripple effect.

He rippled on a grand scale today.

Thank goodness I was blissfully unaware until they found him, yes that’s right, Lewis went missing again! Thankfully he didn’t reach the 20 minute cut off so the police were not called on this occasion. It’s fair to say that Lewis was pretty unsettled today. But his awesome school handled it, dealt with it and told me after the storm so I didn’t have to worry needlessly. I’m so grateful for that because there’s my ripple effect….

…I’m cracking again, it’s times like this when I realise that my wounds are not fully healed and the skin is so paper thin. I walked the dogs, did the shopping (a triumph in itself) attempted a recipe for a review, it failed, I sobbed but only internally, these eyes don’t cry anymore. Then the neighbours all decided to burn rubbish in their gardens and cut paving slabs so as I watched my washing disappear in a smog of smoke and dust I switched my electrical’s off and curled up on the sofa with my dogs.

So to sum up, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, diabetes as a whole, autism and mental health can all bloody do one.

Tomorrow is another day Rebecca, tomorrow is another day.