Low blood sugar can be a result of multiple things. If Piet is running around a lot, if both types of insulin peak at the same time, if I correct a high blood sugar with insulin when it’s already coming down, if he takes a bath, if his pancreas decides to give it one last hurrah and pushes out a minuscule amount of insulin, and so on and so on. Low blood sugar can happen at any time, at any place and is known to disrupt the flow of everyday life.
There are standard steps everyone takes to treat a low blood sugar.
1. Test blood sugar
2. If blood sugar is under 80, treat with 15g of fast acting carbs(candy, juice, soda).
3. Wait 15 minutes and test again.
4. If blood sugar is going up, the low was successfully treated. If blood sugar is going down, repeat steps 2 and 3.
Easy, right?? Well, when your type 1 is 2 and can’t tell anyone how he feels and you’re neurotic, treating a low is a little more complicated. So here’s what treating a low looks like for us in 19 easy steps.
1. Notice our 2 year old is acting crazy. I know what you’re thinking. “But Erin, all 2 year olds act crazy!” Which brings us to a little game we play call…
2. “High, Low, or Just an A-hole” This is where we make our most educated guess on what his blood sugar is and ultimately decide to just test him.
3. Prepare the meter to test by inserting the test strip, opening alcohol swab, and changing out the lancet.
4. Chase around the 2 year old until finally grabbing the back of his shirt, take him down, and restrain him in a way that leaves his fingers exposed.
5. Alcohol swab a chubby digit and prick it. No blood.
6. Massage finger until a slight amount of blood finally pools and dip test strip into it.
7. Say a quick prayer that that was enough blood. And wait for what feels like an hour until the meter reads blood sugar.
8. 71. Time to actually treat the low.
9. Our preferred method of correction is Skittles. They are 1g of carb each and he NEVER turns them down. Start with 10 Skittles because sometimes 15g sends him well into the 300s.
10. Can’t forget to give the 3 year old 10 Skittles as well because otherwise, “HEY! That’s not fair!”
11. Look at the clock obsessively and continually think, “How has it only been 3 minutes??”
12. At 7 minutes, give in to my overthinking-self because I HAVE TO KNOW where his number is. And test him again.
13. Repeat steps 3-7
14. 67. UGH!!! Freak out and distribute 5 more Skittles.
15. Freak out again because I’ve regained my senses and realize if I would have just waited the full 15 minutes, he probably would have been fine and now he’s going to be high as a kite.
16. As I wait for the last five minutes to pass, I consider all of the outcomes and how we’ll treat the impending high.
17. FINALLY it hits 15 minutes.
18. Repeat steps 3-7
19. 115. We did it!!
Everyday is different, but we treat about 3-5 lows each day at varying times in various locations.The numbers might be different each time, but the freak out is always the same. Just another speed bump in the type 1 highway that we steamroll right through!
Erin De Boer lives in a world of carefully calculated chaos, where three kids and type 1 diabetes rule her life. Follow along as she chronicles her three ring circus. Enjoy the show!
Erin’s writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Life of a Diabetic, The Diabetic Journey, and Marriage.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram @accidentalsupermom, and Twitter @accisupermom.
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