Our First Low

I'm new to the site....and new to diabetes...so not sure where to post what.  But wanted to get "it" "out there".

Our son, William, who will be 8 on Friday, was diagnosed T1 just last month while we were on vacation in Orlando, FL.  Overall, considering the circumstances under which he was diagnosed, we've really had an excellent "first month".  His numbers have been slowly pulling into the "normal" range, and I've been able to pinpoint the reasons behind each high.  We're happy with the management plan his ped endo (loooove you, Dr. A!)  has put him on, and he's back up to this "fighing weight" after a drop of several pounds during onset.  But, since his diagnosis, my biggest fear has been lows.  It's what keeps me from sleeping at night, and the reason I let him sleep with me anytime he asks; I know I'll waken and be able to treat him if he bottoms out in the middle of the night.  I don't know, maybe it has something to do with the knarly needle-n-tablet Glucagon-in-a-red-emergency-kit thing that's sitting in William's Camy Kit that's got me rattled (dear God, what if I actually have to USE that thing?!?).

Anyway, today he had his first low.  Less than 2 hours after breakfast, he was 55 and freaking out.  Yeah, I've figured out what contributed to the low, and figured out how we're going to modify our routine to reduce the chances of another low.  And, yeah, I know that 55 is not "that" low.  But, William has an LD with sensory processing issues (CAPD) that tends to make tolerating physical discomfort...well, darn-near intollerable.  Add to that an inability to process abstract concepts (BS that can't be seen or physically grasped, but effects my body, mind and emotions) and temporal projection (this is a temporary situation which will pass soon), and you get an idea of what it's like to "handle" William when he is in the middle of a crisis, no matter how mild.

So, after a morning of unusual grumpiness and lethargy he's getting a little out of hand.  I test his BS (which is always more distressing when he's upset), see he's at 55, and grab a juice box.  He's sitting on the kitchen floor wailing "I don't want to go to the hospital" and "I don't want to die", while I'm trying to get the juice into him (at the same time I've got three other kids wandering into the kitchen asking "what's going on?").  I try explaining to William that we have to wait 15 minutes to test again before I can give him solid food, at which point he begins wailing "I'm starving!!!!  I don't want to die!!!!".  Goodness.  I grab a bag of goldfish and tell him to down them.  Yeah, I know that's not proper protocol, but what do you do?

After five minutes, he begins to settle down.  By the 15-minunte mark, he's got a grip on himself and is sitting down to a nice plate of carbs for lunch after a dose of Humalog.  (Rufus got a dose of Humlalog, too).  Half-hour later, he's fine and dandy.  I, on the other hand, need a glass of wine.

Will there ever come a time when handling lows will be easier for him?  Easier for me?  Will there ever come a time when this does not tear my heart out?  When I don't feel I am to blame for each hiccup in his numbers?   When I feel like we can leave the house, go on an outing, take the boat out on the lake, go to a birthday party, have a sleep-over with friends, without worrying about the lows?  Will this ever become second nature for us both?

Intellectually, I know the answer is "YES!".  I know we're both going to "get" it, and William will be a happy, healthy, sucessful person, and everything's going to be alright.  Convicining my heart...well, that's another thing entirely.

Thanks for listening...



Who will get over it soon, and continue marching forward...


I know what you mean about getting your heart to realize what your mind does -- that's something I kind of struggle with myself lately. (I should stop whining on the forums -- OK I'm done).

I remember my first low, it was when I was in the hospital, the same night I was diagnosed. They'd given me too much insulin, and I'll never forget the way it felt. It felt like I was floating for the first time, that all to familiar "floaty" low sensation I get all the time now (during lows). The night nurse sprinted out to get apple juice. There was ice in the cup, and the nurse made me drink it really fast (urging me to have all of it specifically, even though I didn't want it). Weird the things that stick out in memories, eh? They turned down the insulin. I finished the juice. But most of all I didn't realize at the time the significance of the floaty low feeling - I'd barely understood to even know what it was.

But it's always good to get the first out of the way. And your son will be all those things, and more.


It does get easier with time. The first time I went low was also in the hospital but there were people there to help really quickly. The first time I went low at home was during xmas exactly a month after my diagnosis. We were putting up the tree and I was doing a lot of bending etc.. Anyway, all of a sudden I was shaking uncontrollable and my heart was racing at ludacris speed. I started freaking out because I thought something else was wrong and now way this could be a low but I checked and BS was 48! I started crying. My mom immediately got me a glass of juice and some other stuff because we were all literally freaking o ut. All I kept saying was oh my god, oh my god is this ever going to end. 15 minutes felt like an eternity probably why your son freaked out.

Unless you are going through it you really can't explain the feeling. Except that it feels like its not going to get better. I am sure a lot of people on here will agree with that. Especially when you are lower than 50.

Now, if I am low I just test, then grab a glucoshot drink wait 15 minutes and try not to over correct. I have learned to wait the 15 without panic and so has everyone else in my family. Everything takes time. It will be like brushing your teeth but, the tearing your heart out thing will probably never go away as long as your son has diabetes.

Hope this helps.


Mo, You sound like you've already got a pretty good handle on things. The most important thing in treating a low is to get some fast-acting carbs into him as quickly as possible. As far as I'm concerned, some kind of fruit juice works best. It may not always be a good idea to stick to the protocol. You, as a mother, will soon learn the things to watch for in your son, and you may sometimes know what short cuts you should take.

I was about two years older than William when I was diagnosed, and I'm 76 now, so I've been through countless lows. And each one is a little different. There's a lot of estimating involved, and sometimes the estimates aren't perfect. This really bothered me for a long time, because I was an electrical engineer, accustomed to being able to measure things, but with T1 you can't always measure everything you want to. But let me assure you, we can measure some things today that we couldn't measure back in the 1940s, and it's getting better all the time. And in spite of it all, the T1s keep surviving, as long as we have insulin and common sense.

Tom Beatson

Hey, Tom,

I can't tell you how much your perspective helps.  My grandfather was an aeronautical engineer, as was my husband's grandfather.  I've definitely got that "measuring just right" gene in me, which tends to lend itself toward that irritating perfectionist side.  But, I've also go my mother's "everything works out in the end" gene.  Maybe I've got the best of both worlds.  But, it definitely helps to hear from the elders who have gone through so many treatment changes, so many layers of discovery and understanding.  I know William will have the best options available to him, because the technology is progressing so rapidly.  I just have to keep him healthy until he's able to take over his own care and make those decisions himself.  Each day I learn a little more.  Each day he gets a little more experience.  I know we're going to get through this whole and healthy.

In the mean time, thanks for listening :




Thank you, Gina and Alyssa,

I think, right now, I'm really struggling with the uncertainty part.  As I commented to my neighbor/friend just after the diagnosis, I've got one of those brains that thrives on sucking up new data ("ooooh, diabetes....so much to learn!  Yummy!").  Now, a month later, I've learned everything from every pamphlet, book, handout and internet site I've been able to find, been to the ped endo twice, and now my brain is, like...okay, what's next?...can't wait until the "Beyond Basics" class on July 1st.  And, my heart is, like....oh, shit, my kid has a life-long health condition, on top of the challenges he already had...that really kinda sucks.  (Sorry, I'm sounding really like a Valley Girl right there...but I'm really an intelligent person, just tired right now....) 

In many (most) ways, I am eternally grateful that William's initial illness and diagnosis went so smoothly.  In other ways, it was so smooth and glitch-free that it felt like a "minor" thing.  I think I'm waiting for reality to kick in.  And then, pulling the rest of the family into reality along with me and William.  Untravelled ground.  I'm feeling a little tired.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure you all will be hearing from me regularly as I/we feel this all out.  Thanks for being there.  I've long since figured out the importance of fabulous support, and after years of "being" support in other arenas, I'm ready to be on the receiving end for a bit.

Tomorrow will be better....