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Thursday, April 14, 2011

"I'm Going to Go Ride My Bike"

Jack is driving me crazy. Seriously, I'm going cuckoo. Or perhaps he is...

It used to be that hypoglycemic episodes knocked him out. He'd go low and he'd need down time. He'd need to recuperate. He'd flop on the couch or a chair or his bed or the floor...anywhere. After resting, often, he'd want to eat, eat, eat.

Now, what does he want to do? Physical activity.

I'm not kidding. I'm talking sports. I'm talking serious exertion.

Yesterday, he plummeted to 35. He asked to treat it with a can of orange soda. With a 35, I was glad he was coherent and cooperative. A can of Sunkist Orange? Sure! So, he gulped down that baby, and five minutes later, he announced, "I'm going to go ride my bike."

I wondered if I'd heard him correctly.

"You're what?"

"," he said as slowly as possible, enunciating with precision.

"How 'bout you let your blood sugar level rise before doing that?"

"Nope, I'm fine. I'm going to go ride my bike."

Surely, he lost brain cells with this low.

"Jack, that's not a wise idea. I'd like you to wait a little bit. You can ride your bike, but give your body a little break first."

"I don't want to. I'm going to go ride my bike."

"Jack, come on! You were just 35!"

"No, you come on! I'm fine."

He was determined.

"I drank the soda. My CGM shows an arrow up. I don't feel low any more. I'm going to go ride my bike."

The master manipulator won...but I went outside with him and watched his every move.

In a pancreatic panic, I began yelling as he was pedaling away. "If you feel low, or if your CGM beeps, pay attention! Don't ignore it!"

"Okay!" he yelled back, pedaling farther.

"And you need to stop and test your blood sugar again in a few minutes! You need to make sure your blood sugar is really rising! You need to take care of yourself!"

"Okay, mom! I get it! I know!" he yelled back to me.

A few minutes later, he pedaled back my way, hopped off his bike, grabbed his D kit and tested his blood. His number was nice. The biking seemed to have no effect whatsoever...not even later on.

The day before, five minutes after treating a 42, he wanted to shoot hoops. "Anyone up for a game of horse?" he asked.

A few days ago, his post-low plan was to ride his scooter. 

What's a D mama to do? Forbid him? Buy a straitjacket? Wrestle him to the floor? Argue 'til the cows come home?

I don't really see this as a question of who's in control...I, as the parent, or Jack, as the kid. This isn't a matter of me giving into my son's desires. This isn't a power play.

This is a matter of me beginning to let go, listening to my son and trusting him. When it comes to his diabetes, he's a responsible kid, who doesn't take chances. He generally plays it safe.

Moreover, who am I to know how he truly physically feels? I don't have diabetes. I don't know what a low feels like. I don't know what a rising blood sugar level feels like. I need to trust him. I need to encourage him to tune into his body and trust how he feels. I need to allow him some control. I need to empower him to make decisions for himself. I need to support him. I need to be there to help him, if his decisions prove to be unwise or if diabetes throws him for a loop.

I need to teach him to be safe, to properly care for himself and to make smart decisions, but I can't help but ponder whether this post-low physical activity is dangerous.  It's certainly not what I'd prefer him to do. I think he should wait, but again, I can't tap into what he's physically feeling and I need to trust him. I feel so conflicted. I'm telling you I'm going cuckoo.

Any other kids or adults out there with T1D feel the need for physical activity after battling low blood sugar? Any other cuckoo D mamas out there? Just curious.


Valerie said...

I used to be the same way a few years ago...if I went low while working out, I would treat it, then go right back to spinning hard or whatever else I was doing. They didn't make me feel good, but I bounced back pretty quickly after treating. Now-a-days though, I like to rest for a bit and take it easy after a low. I don't know why it hits me more now than it used to...maybe we go through phases!

Wendy said...

(raises hand)

Hello? Is this the D Mama Cuckoo Association?


The one thing I have to remind myself is that Sugar isn't always in her right state of mind during lows. She'll tell me feels completely fine, but the number indicates that something else is going on. If I can't trust the number I'm seeing, I feel like I can't trust anything she tells me about how she's feeling :( That's probably overbearing, but it's how I roll.

Being a D Mama is're pretty dagone good at it, my friend ;)

Heidi / D-Tales said...

Valerie, it's so good to know that you used to be the same way! Thank you for telling me that. I think you hit the nail on the head. I think he is bouncing back more quickly.

Wendy, welcome to the D Mama Cuckoo Association! :) Jack is often out of it when he's low, too. If he were like that, if he didn't seem as though he were in the right frame of mind, if his CGM and glucometer weren't showing an up arrow or an elevated number, then I'd put my foot down. I wouldn't allow him to exert himself. I tend to be overprotective.

Kelly said...

Well, all lows are different I guess. Sometimes a 60 makes you shake to the core and feel so weak you are sure you are dying...but sometimes you didnt feel a 40 at all....except maybe a fuzzy slow thought process.

Its hard to say what is the "right" thing to do when our kids are low... I battle this often with Maddison too, but so far she knows when she needs to sit around for awhile. Sometimes she is does end up so weak that she is incapable of continuing her play, and just HAS TO sit right then and there. We have been VERY fortunate that she doesnt lack awareness of lows, so I usually just take her word for it too.....but I am part of the Cukooo club! I end up watching her like a Momma Cuckoo bird! LOL

As for myself, I tend to go low alot when working outside in the yard, cleaning the pool, washing cars, doing housework etc.....I can usually just down some soda and continue on my way, sounds like thats how Jack works most of the time too. 35 and 42 though....YIKES. I dont think I could continue through that!

Reyna said... know I am in your boat girl...or "CrAzY Club". I would have let him bike and watched out front. Some lows knock Joe on his butt and others are fine and he want to keep going. I think with supervision and fast-acting carbs on board it is OK. I know about the rule of 15's blahbitty...blah...blah... but this is real life. We are living this and I think it is part of the give and take that is needed to prevent other more serious psychosocial issues regarding type 1.

You are the "Club President" right?

Lora said...

Cuckoo? Absolutely!!
Justin sometimes takes off right after a low. I agree that we need to trust them and give them some room to make decisions... that way, then the hard ones come along they listen. Hopefully.

Trish said...

I love the "pancreatic panic" comment. ;)

My son is only 4 so physical activity never really stops, even for a a low. I'll tell you one thing. I had these ideas of what kind of mom I was going to be. As I watched my baby grow I imagined what it would be like when he starts to walk, ride a bike, go to school. Then WHAM!! Diabetes mad me re-think some parenting criteria. And suddenly, I'm a cuckoo mom ,too. ;-)

my sweet girl said...

Oh - I am right there with the rest of the cuckoo club! I often feel like I am going in 10 directions all day long chasing diabetes around like a lunatic!

Skyler usually goes through a little down time after a low unless I over correct then she is a hyper little thing. I guess everybody is different and that is part of what makes diabetes so difficult.

Sarah said...

TJ, the hubster, never rests after treating a low - actually it seems to have the opposite effect like it turns him into an energizer bunny! Isaac is the same, just gets wound up with a low and all that much needed fast acting sugar after...but what are we going to do, right?! Sounds like joining the cucko crazy d mama club is the best option:)
Now I have a raising boys question for you - in all honesty do they ever wind down? My boys are totally running me ragged these days doing every physical activity you could imagine from sun up to sun down. it is soooo exhausting! Please tell me that eventually they slow down.