Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.
No doubt, Benny’s diagnosis was the day that changed our lives. But one of our most memorable days living with diabetes came just a few weeks later.
Benny was diagnosed December 2, 2006 when he was almost two years old. We went on our first big trip, to my parents’ house in Florida, for the winter break. While there, we did all the usual kid stuff like swimming, trips to the playground and we were pretty proud of how we were all handling this change. Then we went to Wannado City.
Wannado City was an indoor role-playing amusement park. It’s closed now, but it was a cute concept. Your child could be a firefighter, a fashion model, lawyer, TV reporter, whatever they wanted to do (get it?). They were issued bank accounts and money and you went from store to store pretending to do lots of grown-up stuff. We got there in the morning, had lunch (one of our first post-diabetes encounters with a food court, thank you Calorie King!), and were debating whether we’d be able to get our little guy to nap while his older cousins played.
Slade and I looked over at Benny and suddenly, he stumbled. Well, there you go, he obviously needed a nap. I picked him up and we brought over the stroller. Slade wanted to check Benny, but I was reluctant because he was already closing his eyes and I didn’t want to wake him up. But we were trying to be good and keep to our new diabetes schedule, so we checked him.
He was 32. I’m pretty sure that sleepy kid I was holding wasn’t napping, he was passing out.
All I had left in my diaper bag was a fruit roll up. No way we were going to get him to chew & swallow. Slade ran over a snack stand and grabbed a bottle of juice. Luckily, Benny was awake enough to drink it and he swallowed it down. (We did have our glucagon injection kit, but I’m thankful that we didn’t have to use it)
This was our very first time with a scary low. We made sure my mom could take care of our daughter and we left with Benny. I called our doctor who reassured us he’d be fine. He told us to test frequently and take it easy the rest of day. Benny wanted to eat right away (our first experience with post-low hunger) and soon he was content, munching on some snacks.
I’ll never forget turning around and looking at my 23-month old, strapped into his car seat, happy as can be for that ride home. I was amazed at the power of the low to take him down and then the power of simple sugar to bring him back. Our emergency supplies were going to be juice and candy? It seemed absurd.
Six years later, we’ve had many other lows. Benny knows a lot more about how to manage his diabetes and we’re sadder but wiser as well. But after all this time, I’m still amazed at the power of sugar – it’s our best friend and worst enemy.