Sometimes, I am taken aback by my 9 year-old daughter’s maturity and grasp of her reality. This morning she woke up feeling “weird”.
“Mommy,” she said, “My legs are shaking and when I looked in the mirror, my face looks all pale. Do you think my blood sugar is high?”
“I don’t know,” I responded, only partially awake. After all, it’s Friday and I don’t have to work in the mornings on Friday. So from the comfort of my bed, I said, “Want to go check yourself?”
She came closer. “Yes, but it’s down stairs and mommy, I’m really shaking.”
Now I was awake. I looked up at her and saw how clammy she looked even in the pale light. I hopped out of bed. “You go ahead and lay down. I’ll get your glucose monitor.”
I stumbled down the stairs as best I could without having had any coffee, grabbed her monitor and a juice box and headed back upstairs. She was curled in a ball on my pillows. “Here you go, sweetie,” I said.
She sat up and started the process of checking her blood from her finger. She looked so serious. Then she said, “I’m worried that I’m really high because I’m not usually too high in the morning and the last time I was really high and shaking like this, I ended up getting sick. I don’t want to get sick because it’s so hard to know when I’m high or low. And if I throw up, how do we do my shot? You can’t calculate my carbs if I end up throwing them all up.”
I just stared at her. She was waaaay too articulate for mom not having had coffee. “Sweetie, I’m sure you’re fine. If you’re high, it’s probably just because we gave you that allergy medicine late last night after your shot.”
“Does allergy medicine have carbs?” she asked.
“Yep. So even if you’re high, I’m sure you’ll be okay. We’ll make it to the family movie party tonight at school, don’t worry.”
She held up the glucose monitor that said 398. (‘normal’ range for her age is 80-120). She stood up. “It may be the allergy medicine, but I just don’t feel right.” She headed to the bathroom but stopped just inside the doorway to look at me. “I don’t care about the movie night. I mean, I do, but I just don’t want to be sick. When I get sick it lasts a lot longer than it does when other kids get sick. And I almost always end up at the hospital with those shots and IVs on me. That’s why I don’t want to get sick.”
Within five minutes she was vomiting. Her fever over 101. So just as she anticipated, we are headed to the doctor.
It’s an odd feeling of pride and heartbreak to see how she deals with her diabetes. I’m glad that she knows her body and understands what it means for her to be sick. But it destroys me that she has to prioritize her health over movie night. 😦