This week Ellie, my T1D, experienced a 'low' and felt alone . . . all while in a room full of her peers.

Ellie's class went on a field trip to our local science center and I chaperoned her and two other students. I drove separately as she rode the bus; after going to nurse's office to do a check before they left.  I felt good knowing she had her D-supply bag with her and I tucked a cell phone in there so she could call me if she felt the need.  SO not the school rules, but rules are meant to be bent and I took full advantage.  

Once at the museum, it was a free-form trip.  We walked around to the various exhibits and spent as much or as little time as the kids wanted in any particular area.  We did gather together for lunch and then a planetarium exhibit at the end of the day. 

Ellie had a great time being 'normal' while I toted around her D-supply bag and watched her closely for symptoms or reminders to test her blood sugar.  Lunch went off without a hitch, as I had packed her food and counted her carbs.  She dosed her insulin right at the table and only a few eyes noticed.  One girl asked what she was doing and Ellie just stated simply, "dosing my insulin for my food."

It wasn't until the very end of the trip, when all the kids were gathering for a group photo that I noticed Ellie seemed a little 'off'.  I pulled her aside and performed a quick poke to her finger . . . . 58 . . . crap. 

I grabbed a GoGo Squeez and she slurped it down.  Still pale and shaky, we waited 12 minutes and tested again . . . 59 . . . crappity crap.

At this point the other kids were all in place for the photo and a student teacher came over to tell Ellie to get in the picture.  I tried to explain that now wasn't a good time, but before I could say no, Ellie had squirmed her way into the crowd.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words?  They are right.

That pale face with the glassy-eyed stare just makes my heart ache 

Here are the major symptoms of low blood sugar (resource):
You suddenly become very hungry

Your skin color becomes more pale than usual

You feel shaky

You feel weak

Your heart rate speeds up

Your mouth feels numb

You suddenly feel very tired or sleepy

You begin to feel dizzy and have to sit down

You start to get a headache

Your thinking becomes confused and you can’t concentrate

You start to sweat for no reason

Your vision becomes blurry

Check, check and um, yeah . . . check.
After the photo, she slumped against and wall and downed a 4 oz. Juicy Juice in seconds.  It took several minutes of 'waiting it out' and by this time the other kids were lining up to load the bus.  I pulled a teacher aside and told her I was not going to let Ellie get on that bus because she was having a low blood sugar.  The rules are she was to ride the bus back to school.  I stood my ground and told the teacher I would get her back to school and check in with the nurse when we got there.  Once again, bending the rules.

Ellie improved during the 15 minute ride back to school and once last blood sugar test in the nurse's office revealed a 172.  Ahhhhhh.

Later on that night Ellie revealed to me how much it bothered her that the kids saw her 'low' and how they chided her about having to ride back with her mom.  I know the kids were just being curious, concerned, and just plain normal 8 year-olds, but Ellie felt singled out and alone.

This is one of those things they just don't tell you about in type 1 diabetes management 101 . . . that your T1D child will feel so alone when she has a low = a'low'ne.

I gave Ellie a hug and told her she would never truly be alone.  With God in her heart and a rule-bending Mama at her side, she is covered.  Now, would that sparkly pink unicorn please produce a cure?!?!?!?


Anonymous said...

Poor kiddo. :0( I would not have let her ride the bus either!!

Trev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trev said...

Made a typo, so I will try this again.

Poor Sweet little one. One more thing we don't learn in Diabetes School.

Take care, and God Bless.

Roselady said...

Glad you're a rule breaker.
And, let me just add, thanks for adding the links, because I had to look up what that applesauce- on the- go thing you gave her was...

Denise aka 'Mom of Bean' said...

Ugh! That picture just broke my heart, but it illustrates so wonderfully how a'low'ne looks. I totally feel for her and you...sometimes we have to bend and break rules for our kids and it might be something others don't understand or agree with, but when you are fighting for your child's health (and life!) it doesn't matter a bit if 'they' understand!
Good for you and I'm glad that juice did the trick!!!

Heidi / D-Tales said...

Oh, sweet girl!!! I wouldn't have let her ride the bus either. A D mama's gotta do what a D mama's gotta do!

Love Go Go squeeze!

Cool photo from a photographic standpoint! Not-so-cool from a D mama standpoint. I know that "off" look all too well.

Reyna said...

Teared up a bit at the pic Amy. AND...I so get it. Ellie and Joe are the same age and he too feels a bit alone at times. He doesn't verbalize it often...but when he is getting checked and having sugar crammed down his throat during hockey...he hates the stares. He says something to his peers. They are strong. With their D Mamas and God and the DOC they are loved, supported, AND they are never alone.

Love to you sweet dear friend.

Fist bump Ellie from Joe please.

Nikki of Our Diabetic Warrior said...

Oh Amy, my heart breaks for her!

You are such an awesome mom! I'm learning that D forces us to break the rules, ALOT. Hats off to you girlfriend!!!

Alexis Nicole said...

ugh. Heartbreaking. J is the same age as well and we have been there.

It sucks. Times a zillion. Unicorn where are you!!?

Love ya!

sky0138 said...

poor Ellie! The picture just broke my heart and made me tear up...you are right though, she is never a'low'ne....you are one awesome Momma and I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow! HUGS!

Jules said...

oh no :( i agree, that is really sad to be surrounded by kids and feel alone :(

Natalie said...

Ugh. Poor Ellie. You did the right thing.

We have a field trip tomorrow...now I'm even more nervous. :(

Hope to catch up soon.

Wendy said...


Sweet, sweet ELLIE!!!!!

That picture reached right inside my heart and pulled a few strings.

So glad you were there.

So glad you're bending rules.

But so sad that she felt aLOWne :(

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I just took Ellie to Kindergarten round up and when we walked in they immediately wanted the kids to go down to the class room and the parents were to stay in the gym...She was 2 minutes out from a mild low and a juice...I was by myself and just stood there like a dear in the headlights because there was NO WAY that child was leaving my side! I ended up going to the classroom with Ellie and it was REALLY awkward for me. Ellie didn't mind...she knows no different than me always lurking around! It was REALLY emotional for me and I about lost it in the hall outside of the classroom. I finally pulled myself together and just said to myself: let it go...it's ok...just be patient and it will all work out fine. I found the nurse and we chatted after the event for an hour. I think she'll do great and I think they are going to allow me the access I need to see that she's ok and I can begin the long (I'm sure years) task of handing the care to Ellie and others! Whew...D is SOOO tough. Loves

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Lows blow, but they REALLY suck when they interfere with things like field trips. So sorry.

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

The picture of Ellie made me think of an episode we had with Brooke just days before she was diagnosed. It was at her school Valentines party. She had another sudden mystery headache and felt sick at her stomach and nothing seemed to be helping. I thought she wanted me to check her out of school early and encouraged her to suck it up because I had two other parties to attend that day. Her teacher wanted a class picture and Brooke stood in the picture and cried while the mama-razzi took pictures. I left her and went to the next party. The nurse found me about 15 minutes later becasue Brooke was in her office throwing up. If I'd only known...