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Falling Blood Sugars or Climbing Child?


Apr 1, 1997

Even after 22 years of managing my diabetes I run into situations that get me wondering, "Am I having a hypo or am I just under stress?" These situations always serve to remind me that despite our very best intentions and efforts to make it so, life is anything but predictable.

My three-year-old son Spencer, who does not have diabetes for those of you who might be wondering, must have thought I was losing sight of this. As a result, he saw it fit to give dad his latest reminder.

A few weeks ago I took my him and his little sister Miranda down to the beach. After about half-an-hour, I turned from playing with Miranda to see Spencer climbing up a 40 foot cliff! I immediately demanded that Spencer come down, but he had other plans. He "just wanted to see what was at the top." I stood at the base of the cliff, looking straight up, trying to coach my little mountain climber.

I was trembling all over, but there was no time to check my blood sugar to see if it was a blood sugar low or an adrenaline high. And with Spencer 40 feet above a pile of jagged rocks, my mind was on his safety not my glycemic control.

People from all over the beach crowded around to help "spot." A bicyclist at the top had heard the commotion and stopped to help as well. With hand signs I authorized this nice man (read complete stranger) to grab Spencer when he got to the top. But Spencer didn't want to wait, dodged the grabbing arms, turned around and climbed back down! When he got to the bottom a crowd of people clapped, and one woman cried, "Thank God for his guardian angels that kept him from getting hurt!"

Dad brought both kids home and went to bed early that night.

This is the same kid who pushed a bright green plastic bead into his ear at pre-school while no one was looking. We never knew until his next check up when his doctor asked me to come take a look in the boy's ear. I got another fatherhood initiation, holding Spencer's hand while the ear, nose and throat man rolled out the deep set bead with something akin to a crochet hook. I was sure to test my BG before this event.

Now I know why they offer seminars titled, "Raising a Spirited Child." I'm thinking of enrolling in one.

Miranda has developed a slightly less stressful hobby. She loves to model hats. This became a particularly juicy endeavor the day we looked over at the breakfast table when she announced in a loud, proud voice, "Hat!" She had turned her almost-finished yogurt bowl over on her head. Thick globs were running down her golden curls.

This I can handle. I just hope that Spencer doesn't take it upon himself to teach his little sister to climb.

Even if Miranda doesn't take up climbing, I am quite sure that she will develop more than one hobby that gets her dad sweating and shaking, wondering, "Is this stress or a hypo?"

It is important to keep this in mind. Being a dad and having to cater to the needs of my favorite people in the world has helped me realize the importance of keeping a positive attitude. I can only do my best and not get discouraged by things out of my control. After all, you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.


Categories: Blood Sugar, Columns, Diabetes, Kids & Teens, My Own Injection



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