Today we walked some trails around our rurally set home and since it is spring, the odds of seeing some form of wildlife are quite high these days. So it wasn’t too surprising when Jenna spotted a marmot about twenty minutes into our walk. And not just any old marmot - a mommy-marmot! She was so darn adorable that I stood there for a good two or three minutes snapping pictures of her and quietly talking to her while she posed for me. Although, truth be told, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t posing, but rather attempting to keep our attention so that we wouldn’t discover her nest of what is sure to contain a brood of maybe a half dozen little newborn marmot pups.
She boldly stood at attention - eyes wide - on high alert.
I know it sounds funny, but as a mom, I felt reverence for this mommy-marmot that I’m sure I wouldn’t have felt as profoundly had I not been a mother myself. I respected the fact that she was selflessly standing in possible harms way - doing whatever it took to protect her babies - playing to her audience to keep us distracted and guard her precious young.
I took my pictures from a distance, ever mindful of the stress she was likely feeling. I could have stayed longer and just kept taking pictures of this adorable creature, but I knew she was probably anxious to get back to her babes. I didn’t want to delay that reunion for the sake of a few pictures. I said my quiet goodbyes, thanking her for the photo-op, and moved on.
We walked, took pictures and enjoyed the sunshine. The girls ran, played and skipped with colourful ropes they got for Easter. Lots of activity was had by all.
Fast forward to the end of the day. Supper was capped off with a piece of chocolate cream pie - a somewhat fatty, carb laden favourite of mine, reserved for rare occasions. I find it is sometimes hard to know what approach to take with regards to bolusing for certain foods. I’ve employed the combo bolus in the past only to have a screaming high blood sugar tell me I should have gone the straight up route. Conversely, I have utilized the straight bolus and had a low make it apparent that a combo would have been the better avenue to take. Tonight I opted for the straight bolus.
And that was a mistake.
Within an hour of dessert and it’s subsequent bolus, it was time for tired little girls to go to bed. Teeth were brushed, stories read, covers tucked. A blood sugar check was performed as per the usual bedtime routine.
And my heart suddenly took up new residence in my throat as adrenaline was pumped into my blood stream.
The fight or flight response.
The enemy? Hypoglycemia.
I proceeded as though I was going to give her a correction bolus with the sole intent to see what insulin she had left on board. Still at play was 1.8 units. For Jenna, that is a considerable amount of insulin. I knew it was possible this low wouldn’t go quietly.
I shouted down to J who was watching playoff hockey, “2.3 with close to 2 units on board!”
“Shit!” and with that the game was paused and J quickly joined me at Jenna’s bedside with carb tabs in hand.
Two carb tablets were savoured by an asymptomatic Jenna who was denying feeling anything but sleepy. I then suspended the basal delivery on her pump. We tucked her in and I told her I’d be back to check her in 15 minutes. I went to Jazmine’s room to tuck her in and give hugs and kisses before joining J downstairs in the living room.
Five minutes went by and the sound of little feet hitting the floor was heard. Jenna soon appeared at the top of the stairs.
“Are you okay?”
“I feel all floopy-floppy” she responded in a weak voice. She was on her way down the stairs and joined me on the couch with an obvious need for hugs.
I could tell by her behaviour that this had all the makings of a potentially bad low. Although, how I knew this was not because of much past experience with stubborn lows; Jenna almost always comes up from lows after one treatment. She seldom requires more.
I knew because her behaviour with this low was different - unprecedented for Jenna, but in a very subtle way.
Jenna decided she wanted to go back to bed. So I settled her in the covers once more only this time I offered to stay with her. She agreed.
The next few minutes were marked by moderate restlessness and complaints of being hot and hungry. So hungry!
Another check was done 15 minutes after the first and she was now 2.1. I felt panic encroaching on my calm, rational demeanour. That’s the wrong way! She should be going up, not down!
Another two carb tabs were devoured. At this point I decided that I would far rather battle a high in the mid teens until the wee hours than have to pull out the glucagon kit and start mini-dosing. If I had to I would without hesitation. But I decided that if the poor kid was hungry, she should eat.
Down stairs we all paraded where pretzels and juice were divvied up between the three of us (Jazmine wanted in on this normally forbidden, past bedtime snack-fest too, of course). We sat there chatting and munching on our snacks.
By the time the last pretzel was crunched and the last swig of juice was chugged, Jenna was back to her old self once more. All subtle signs of the low had dissolved freeing my beautiful, delightful, spirited little girl.
Back to bed for a third time where hugs and kisses were exchanged yet again. A final check revealed 6.8 and my heart eased back into its rightful home in my chest. I breathed a sigh of relief as I resumed her basal delivery, knowing full well that in another hour her blood sugar would almost certainly be in the mid to high teens. But at this point I was okay with that.
Indeed, the next check was an hour later and rang in at 16. A small correction was given and our alarm set for rechecking in another two hours.
And now, two hours later she is 18.1 and moaning in her sleep - something she does whenever she is running high at night. Another considerable correction of one unit dosed ... another alarm set ...
... and so it goes.
Whatever it takes to keep our childen safe.