Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our job description: An eternal round of worry

I had just turned the corner and came face to face with her. Another D Mom, who upon seeing my face, instantly broke into tears. "Oh great!" she said. She had been keeping it together all day long, but once she saw me...another D mother who understood every inch of angst she was feeling in her gut...well...holding those tears back would have been as fruitless as trying to hold back Niagara falls with a paper napkin.

I hugged her tight. I gave her all my years of wisdom in one sound bite, "It all works out in the end." Her daughter came and hugged her, with a big smile and a bounce in her step. "See!" I said, "She is having fun at the party even with a failed site and cotton candy in her blood stream. She is happy, she will come down, all is well!"

I'm an idiot.

Apparently...I can comfort others, but when it comes to comforting myself I am a big fat failure.

That was Friday. The very next day a chain of events would lead me to be a sobbing maniac ripping out all the contents of our blood sugar station cupboards looking for Blood Ketone Strips.

But I digress.

Saturday, L woke up and told me that his throat hurt. Again. He just got over strep last week, and here he was with another sore throat. I knew as soon as he told me. He had sounded muffled the past couple days and now here was the inevitable.

I called the nurse. (It is a Saturday. On a holiday weekend.) She says she will send an urgent message to a doctor who will no doubt just call in another antibiotic. I got a call from another nurse, confirming that the doctor always just calls in another RX, but she'll let me know. I got a call from a third nurse.


The on call doctor wants to see him. At 4:00 that night.

The nearest office open is 40 minutes away.

We packed up the entire fam and figured we would see a movie at the mall next door after the appointment. Sitting in the waiting room I decide to check L. He is 500. WTHECK!!!! Check his pump. He has no insulin. How long? I do not know. I MacGyver B's pump to him, give him a correction plus his basal amount through the prime, and then return the pump to B.

We waited an hour and a half to see the lone doctor on call. She thrusted the stick so far back into his throat, L went into hysterics. She quickly typed up a RX on her computer and ran out.

We waited 45 minutes at the pharmacy for his antibiotics. I ran to the car, gave L his new meds, and we sped off with just enough time to make the movie.

We ran in. Got tix, the popcorn, (it is 6:20 and the boys haven't eaten,) and we sit down. Wow! We never go to this theater, but MAN, their popcorn was Gooooooood! Later I would find out, that was probably the case because the coat it with sugar...

During the previews: L 503. MacGyver with J's pump this time and watch the flick.

After the movie: L 339, MacGyver with J's pump again and leave the theater.

Eat a late dinner at the mall.

He needs to be MacGyvered for a 4th time. I turn to my husband. "I've done this 3 is your turn to do this one."

He waits until we get to the car, and does it with his back in the rain. He was so cold he jumped back into the driver's seat and started driving away before L had finished getting his bolus.

"Wait, his site is on his butt. When the bolus is done, he'll have to stand up to unscrew the cap. He can't do that while you are driving."

"J, just unscrew the reservoir when the bolus is done, then we'll put it back on you when we get home." He says.

"Hold the phone!" I say, "Then J will be 40 minutes with his basal. That is a bad idea."

"It'll be ok."

Evil look. Why do men always have to do things the hard way? Why don't they do something straight arrowed instead of criss cross applesauce??

He sees my displeasure and pulls over. He really is a good man.

So we get home and there is the 500 screaming back at me on the meter again.

"We better test blood ketones. He has been high for hours and hours."

My husband grabs the blood ketone meter, and a strip and goes and checks L.


It flippin says, HI.

I have never seen a blood ketone meter say Hi. It always says a number.


"But the strip I used was from 2004," my husband says. "And it was the wrong code."


I freeze. I am processing. You should have seen the look on my face. I can't even describe it.


So here begins my tearful ripping out of the supplies to find the current-not-expired blood ketone strips. In the mean time I tell my husband to give him an extra unit to get things going.

I finally find the current strips 20 minutes later, in the same box that was originally in front of me that had the expired strips inside.

My husband tests him with a current strip and the right code.


That isn't a face...that figure above says zero point zero.

So I go to take L to the bathroom one more time, and notice...he has a rash.

He is allergic to the freaking antibiotics the doctor gave him.

I'm pretty much hyperventilating at right about this moment.

I'm yelling at myself in my head, "What happens to it all works out in the end, MERI?????? What if it doesn't work out? What if you are an idiot??? Meeeerrrriiii!!"

I go to bed with my eyes bugged open in the dark, a massive headache, planning out my strategy for the night. I'm having a silent freak out pity party in my mind when my husband rolls over and gives me a big, long hug.

"I'll take care of L tonight. I promise I'll take good care of him. I'll check him every hour if I have to."

And I say, "There is no way I can sle...snore."

And he checked him every hour. (And the other boys too...because sugar coated popcorn and mall food are BFF's with high blood sugars.)

And all four of boys lived through the night.

And L woke up this morning with a lovely 98.

And the doctor just called and he is positive for strep.

And I told them about the rash and they are calling in a new script.

And it WILL all work out in the end.

It is easy to have perspective in hindsight. But when you are in the moment...and it is YOUR child...perspective can't be found amongst the deep fog of the worry.

The worry of a mother for her child cannot be matched. It cannot be communicated. It is its own beast.

Sure, it works out in the end...but only after we lose a year of our life in an explosion of worry. At this rate I'll only have a few years left. But it is so worth it right this minute, seeing L dancing in circles around the living room, humming between giggles, with a giant smile on his face.

His happiness is so worth the worry.

Because his happiness, brings me happiness. It is an eternal round.


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