Beating Myself Up

I'm just back from School, to do BB's before lunch blood test and give him the insulin he needs to cover his lunch. Yes, I am still doing it because the care plan isn't in place just yet, but it will be before the middle of November and then I'll stop being the annoying Mum who is always up the School and start being the annoying Governor is almost always up the School. I'm not sure I'll know what to do with myself, when I stop going up to do blood tests.


I'm just back from School and I'm beating myself up, despite a phone call to my sister (who sounded a little too convincing when telling me that I was stupid) and a conversation with my lovely husband who is letting me wallow for a little before probably surprising me with something lovely to treat myself with when he gets home from work tonight (Please be chocolate, please be chocolate).

It's become a sort of habit, that as the children file down to the School Hall to have their lunch, I open the door for them. The current year twos have got to know me well, as they saw me almost every school day last year and on every School trip and of course in the playground and they know me as BB's Mum and so they'll share whispered messages with me;

"I did all my spellings right!"
"I've moved up a reading level!"
"I'm lost a tooth!"
"I didn't fall over today!"
"I did fall over today!"

You know the sort of thing.

For reasons unknown to me BB is almost always last down the corridor. I assume it might have something to do with him taking a long time in the bathroom, or maybe it's because our surname starts with a W, or maybe it's just because he's a slow coach.

BB on his Scooter

Today, I'd seen almost all the children. We'd said Good Afternoon to each other, I'd commented on new haircuts, missing teeth, congratulated various children on good work (they had stickers, so I knew who had done well) or asked after their pets or siblings etc and I had noticed that most of the children were in a daft mood. So when BB walked down the corridor in a particularly exhausted looking way I wasn't thinking "oh look, there's my child looking tired"; I was thinking, "oh look, there's my child being daft".

As we walked into the hall, he wouldn't walk in a straight line and I told him off. He protested that he was feeling low and that was why, but in my mind I dismissed it. He'd never been so low that he couldn't walk straight and he knows the rules; If he feels low then he shouldn't move, he should sit down exactly where he is and we'll deal with him there.

And then he collapsed onto all fours.

Suddenly I knew what was wrong, he was really low.

I grabbed him and rather hard because I knew time was of the essence and I vaguely remember him complaining and another child thinking I was hurting him because I was angry. I needed to get him to the sink because having collapsed onto the floor his hands were now dirty and could change the results of a blood test. I somehow managed to hold him up, wash and dry his hands before sitting him down on the bench so I could use one hand to test and the other to get some sugar into him at the same time.

It seemed like an eternity before the blood test monitor beeped to alert me to the result of his blood test.

1.6mmol or for my American friends, 29mgdl.

For those of you who aren't now fluent in blood test measurements, a normal blood sugar reading for BB (and indeed for you or me) should be between 4mmol and 8mmol. Anything higher than that and BB needs insulin because he is high and anything lower than that and he needs sugar because he is low. "Normal" lows for BB are in the 3's or possibly the higher end of the 2's.

This was a low low.

I sat on the bench, with BB's head on my lap. He was stretched out and moaning that he still felt low, that he was floating away, and various other half sentences like you get from someone as they come out of a GA or when they are drunk and can't keep the thoughts in their head long enough for the words to come out. I soothed him, I answered his questions, I repeated again and again how much I loved him.

It took all of my effort not to cry, for not realising sooner what was happening to BB. It was my fault, I should have realised when watching him walk down the corridor, that he wasn't being silly. I should have realised that he was low. Watching him that low, where he wants the comfort of me, his Mum, but at the same time doesn't want to be touched is heart breaking. The office staff were fab, they shut both doors and left us to it, knowing that if I needed them they were only a yell away, but that it was probably best that BB wasn't left on display for us all to gawk at.

And when he finally started to act less spaced out and more like my smart and adorable young man, it made me realise just how lucky I am, to have this handsome, funny and smart boy in my life. I don't know if there is an official number of how many Type 1 Diabetics die each year from having a hypoglycemic (low) episode, and to be honest I don't want to know the number but I do know that just one death is too many.

One day there will be a cure and I can't wait for that day to come.