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.
"I...am...going...to...go...ride...my...bike," 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.