head wounds and scary lows

As prepared as we were in the medical supplies and accoutrements for Ellie's T1D care, I was completely UNprepared when the call from the medical bay aboard the cruise ship called to announce our son was in their care.


Just an hour ago we had registered Ben, our 7 year old boy, to attend an evening playing in the supervised child activity center cheekily named Ocean Adventures.  We were told it was 'Survivor Night' and he would have a grand old time with his older cousins battling it out until the end.

The end came early.

According to the activities director, Ben climbed a padded pole (used earlier in a game, but off limits n-o-w) and attempted to leap into the air in order to jump over his crouching cousin.  A move that, had he made it, would have crowned him the unofficial super-survivor of the young male crew. 

But he didn't make it . . . . . hence the phone call.

Instead of landing on his feet, Ben landed on his side/back and his head come into contact with the only non-padded part of the play area, a door threshold. 

"Not serious!", according to the director on the phone.  Simply following procedure to take him down to see the doctor.  No need to worry.

Dave decided to go see what all the fuss was about while Ellie and I stayed behind in the stateroom.

More time than I thought reasonable passed, and just as I was getting ready to search the boat, in walked Head-Wound-Harry sheepishly sporting three blue stitches in the bad of his noggin.

While Dave was trying to explain to me why my baby boy had plastic threads hanging out of his hairline, Ellie was quietly walking around and whispering 'something' about 'somewhere.' 

Ben being examined the next day by the same nurse who was there the night before. 

A couple of more minutes pass as I learn the story of how a cute, blond Romanian nurse swept Ben onto the steel table to be further examined and how the doctor had to be paged away from the Captain's Dinner table.  Just a few stitches to close the wound and to keep an eye on him for the next 24 hours. 

:: Ah, breathe out ::

Out of the corner of my eye I spy Ellie slumped to the floor, her back against the bed and her legs splayed out in front of her.  She is holding her blood glucose test kit open on the floor and has already pricked her finger.  As I turn to give her my attention, she announces "You guys were talking and I was trying to tell you I felt 'shaky' and I couldn't wait so I just grabbed my test kit and tested".

"Okay.  Well, what are you" I ask?


I grab a juice box and throw it at her and start to pummel her with questions.  "How long have you been 'shaky'?" and  "Why are you slumped down like that?" and "Why didn't you interrupt us!?" all the while watching her eyes to see if she is with me or not.

She says her legs hurt.  She says she feels really bad.  She says "I don't like this."

And we wait.  Wait until the juice box is gone and her symptoms subside.

She continued to complain of leg pain and now tummy pain and her eyes are still kind of off . . . faraway.

We retest and she is somewhere in the 60's, (coming up!) but she is still complaining and won't move from her position, so we give her some more fast-acting sugar and wait.

Finally she sits up a little straighter, looks me clearly in the eye and says "Wow.  That was scary.  That was a bad one.  I feel better now."

:: Breathe out ::

And we move on with our vacation because nothing about the above occurrences are a rarity or even a plans-changing-crisis when you are a parent.


Football and Fried Rice said...

oh, mama. the glories of parenting, eh? I still think Ben is the supa-survivor. And for that matter, so is Ellie! And really, while we are on the subject - so are you - for handling such matters with such grace!!

Alexis Nicole said...

Talk about a crazy day! Glad all ended well and everyone was ok !

Btw love that smile...

Lora said...

Wow! You guys know how to have a good time on vacation.

Something always happens and it always happens at the same time. I think he is still the survivor king though :)

cjb said...

ugh...lows are soooo scary and they seem to happen at the most inopportune times. My sweet niece had a bad low just as the big fireworks were going off. She chugged a Sprite, was still low, had a juicebox then threw it all up (which as you know does NOT help to raise her blood sugar). The WORST part was afterwards when she was crying "Why do I have diabetes? I don't want to have it!". Had to turn away so she didn't see my tears...

Holly said...

Oh my gosh! Don't you wish they weren't part of the normal? You do know how to go with the flow.
BTW, Ben is super cute! ; ) and your daughter has to SPEAK UP!! : ) I know it's hard to even exert the energy when she's low. : (

Anonymous said...


Glad everyone is okay.

Reyna said...

I felt Ellie's low...been there too many times with Joe for comfort. AND...you are so right, we just move on...they don't change a thing, they just stop us for a few moments.

Bummer for Ben. The Survivor Move sounded balls-y!!! xo

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

Grace is the word that came to my mind when I read this, too.

And then I thought, isn't it just like T1D to know when you need to think about something else and it just won't let you.

Sweet Ellie, I admire her for not wanting to interrupt...

Valerie said...

I am not normally around my parents when I'm low, but I once was low at their house and it took so much effort to get the words out that I was low...and this was after I tested, drank some orange juice, and sat back down at their counter. I then started crying because I could barely get the words out. It can be hard to speak up when you're feeling shaky and the sugar isn't getting to your brain. It's a weird feeling to slip from that "not ok" feeling into everything feeling more clear and you/your brain feeling much more alert.

Denise aka 'Mom of Bean' said...

Wouldn't be vacation without stitches and a low that is managed on their own! ;)
Way to go Ellie!!! Such a D-superstar!!
Ben totally needs a tee shirt that says "I went to Alaska and all I got were some stupid stitches!"

Wendy said...


Alls well that ends well...glad it didn't ruin the fun!

Those scary lows scare me EVERY time!!!

Hallie said...

Oh boy!! Well.... At least He has a good story! Real survivors get stitches! And scary low! Yikes!!! What a night!

Tracy1918 said...

Ahhhh!!! Scary to read about...much less go through!

Glad it all ended well.