The Field Trip

The fourth grade of my daughter's school visited our state capitol on Monday.  The trip involved an hour and a half bus ride each way, walking around the plazas surrounding the important buildings, and a guided tour of the capitol building.  As a class parent, I came along.  There was also a school nurse on the trip.

On the way there, my daughter bolused for her snack and a 200-ish blood sugar with the nurse.  Once off the bus, we began walking around the plaza, posing for pictures, and awaiting our appointed time to tour the state house. 

At about 11:00, the 4th grade was broken into two groups. One embarked on their official tour, while our group explored a visitor's center for about half an hour.  Just as our visitor's center time was ending, my daughter approached me. "Mommy, I think I should check before we start our tour."  Proud of this wise decision, I grabbed a meter out of my purse, and pulled her aside.  She was 54.

I dug around and realized I hadn't replaced the juice box in my purse.  I had plenty of glucose tabs and a ziploc full of smarties and starburst, but knew juice would act faster and be more efficient to consume.  So I started looking around for the nurse.  I looked and looked and eventually concluded that she had been sent with the other group because I was with my child and there were kids in the other group with asthma and allergies.

Our class was lining up and someone was explaining the ground rules for the tour: quiet, respectful behavior and no eating, drinking or chewing gum.  At the same time, I was methodically slipping my child one glucose tab after another.  She took 3, which is 12 carbs compared to the small juice box count of 15 which is usually more than enough for her to treat a low in the 50's.  We tried for one more, but I struggled to dislodge it from the bottom of the vial and when I did it flew onto the floor. 

By the time I'd found the second container of glucose tabs in the bottom of my purse, the class was quietly assembled, single file, around the beautiful rotunda of the state house.  A lovely elderly volunteer was telling the children all about the room, and about the building they were about to tour.  Initially, my daughter appeared to be paying attention.  I became hopeful that her blood sugar was rising. 

I glanced over at her again a couple of minutes later.  She was looking at me, pale, teary, and frightened. Unless I wanted to find out what her teacher had retained of his glucagon training, I needed to act.  Trying to be as surreptitious as I could, I quietly walked up to her and handed her 2 more glucose tabs.  "Chew them quickly," I whispered.  I grabbed her camera, since she was clearly in no shape to take pictures of this beautiful room and her memories of it  might be a bit fuzzy, and  returned to my spot. 

We  proceeded to the governor's office less than 5 minutes later, at which point she said she was starting to feel better.  By the time we left that area, color had returned to her cheeks, and she seemed to be engaged in the tour.  Lunch was an hour or so after the initial low blood sugar.  By then she was only around 140 despite my fears that in the end we may have over-treated. 

"Mommy, that was scary," she said later in the day.  Indeed.

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