Riding The Bloodsugar Roller Coaster Alone

Last Friday I picked my daughter up from daycare and we headed to the grocery store together. My husband, Mike,was getting out of work at about the same time, so he met us there–our plan was to divide and conquer. We wanted to grab what we needed for the upcoming week, get out, and go home. For once, we didn’t have 15 things to do before we went to bed, after we got our two-year old to sleep that is. WE COULD ACTUALLY RELAX. WHAT? YES!

This seemed like an awesome plan; I mean it WAS an awesome plan. WAS. My diabetes decided that this was not the night that I was going to have.

At checkout, I started sweating. Then shaking. And if you are a Type I reading this, you know what comes next. I insisted that I was OK enough to get to my car, and I was, but the minute I sat down, it was like all the life was drained out of me. I felt like I barely had enough energy to dig my testing kit our of my purse. But I did. I was already drinking a juice box when the number 22 flashed on the glucometer screen.

In the meantime, my husband was unloading groceries and loading my daughter into the car seat in my car. As he did this, I gave in to the animalistic hunger that overtook me. After finishing my juice box, I ate a granola bar, and then a bag of pretzels, and then a cookie from the grocery store, and then another cookie.

The logical side of my brain said “stop,” and “you will regret this later,” but the 22 blood sugar said, MUCH more loudly, “EAT OR YOU WILL DIE.” It as one of those lows that made my tongue start to go numb, and I was scared. Clearly, this roller coaster I was now on was going to take a while to adjust, so Mike and Lily got in his car and headed home while I sat in the grocery store parking lot.

Before Lily, Mike would have stayed with, or he would have driven me home in his car and we would have picked my car up the next morning. But we had a child. A screaming, hungry, tired child. And this was not the option that was best for her.

Being a diabetic parent can be lonely. Lows like this happen, and Mike needs to take care of Lily. Last May I ended up in the ER due to a complication, and again, Mike was with my daughter. When she was born, she was rushed to the NICU to get help with to stabilize her blood sugar now that her fully-functioning pancreas had taken over after her tiny, perfect body had adjusted for 10 months to my non-functioning pancreas; Mike went with her, and came back to me, in need of a blood transfusion, when he could.

And that is exactly where he should have been, where I wanted him to be, with her. That is what we discussed.We knew when we decided to become parents that it would be a sacrifice, and more of a sacrifice than some parents understand.

I ended up staying that parking lot for about 45 minutes, until it felt safe to drive. And I spent the entire weekend battling highs and lows, trying to find a way to fix not just the 22, but the highs that came because of my binge. By Monday morning I felt like my body had been through a war. I was the opposite of relaxed.

Sometimes it feels like my family is over enjoying the Ferris Wheel, laughing, living life, while I am on this crazy roller coaster, trying to catch my breath, screaming to get off, tired and miserable when I finally do, and ANGRY that I had to be on it at all.


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