The Magic Pencil

"I thought I'd check because I felt unfocused.  I felt like I couldn't hold onto my pencil.  Or like it was going to start writing and scribbling by itself all over the page." Her blood sugar was 55.

It's an ongoing goal to help my daughter become more aware of her diabetes symptoms.  When she says, "I feel low, " we ask, "What do you mean?" or "How, exactly, " or "What are your symptoms."  When she tests high, we ask, "How do you feel?" or leading questions like "Were you thirsty?  Hungry?  Did your stomach hurt?" I'm certain these questions are very annoying.  And probably especially difficult to process when her blood sugar is low or high.

They're important to try to answer, though. A small child with diabetes relies on those around her to notice she's not o.k.  As a parent, I know to say, "You're crying about easy math problems.  Go check."  Her teacher knows that if she becomes pale and spacey to send her to the nurse.  A close friend's parent would suggest she check, or call me, if she kept asking for drinks.  

Every year she's in more situations where she's supervised by people who don't know her as well.  She encounters more teachers every day.  She goes to piano lessons without me.  She stays at birthday parties on her own.  We always make sure the adult in charge wherever she is knows about her diabetes, where her meter and emergency supplies are, and how to reach us.  But the reality is that my daughter is increasingly responsible for managing this disease and its related ups and downs. Those ups and downs can become dangerous if untreated, so it's important for her to be able to notice when she's not feeling right.

So it was significant for her to realize that it wasn't normal to think her pencil was going to scirbble all over her writing notebook.  Or throw itself on the floor.  That she recognized these as somewhat bizarre thoughts and took the next step to grab her glucometer is diabetes management gold.  After a juice box and a few quiet minutes, she regained control over her pencil and finished her homework. If only someone could guarantee me that every time she felt "unfocused," she'd have enough focus to check her blood sugar, I'd rest much easier.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. I review all comments before they are posted, so please be patient!