Friday, November 2, 2012

You learn something new everyday

Sunday began with a 5:30 alarm to take Ben to his hockey practice. This was the beginning of a busy morning, the plan for the day was for Jeff to drive Garren where he needed to be and I would be Ben and Cole’s chauffer.  I rolled out of bed, poured myself some coffee and off to hockey practice we went.

After practice some of the parents brought munchkins and hot chocolate for the kids to share.  Ben grabbed three munchkins and a small cup of hot chocolate. Bolusing after hockey practice is always tricky business because the exercise always has a delayed affect on Ben.  We gave it our best guess, entered the carbs in Ben’s pump, gave him his insulin … and then all at once Ben shoved all three munchkins in his mouth.

From the rink we headed to the baseball field to watch his brother Cole play a double header.  The first game started off in the misty cold.  By late morning the beginnings of hurricane Sandy were creeping into New England and it started to drizzle.  Ben and I curled up together on my folding chair under a blanket and an umbrella and watched the games.  After the second baseball game we had to quickly drive Cole to school for his middle school play practice.  We had almost no time to spare so we stopped at a Subway on the way to pick up lunch.

Cole went through the line first.  He asked for a foot long Italian with turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo along with a bag of Baked Lays and a fountain drink that became a strange combo of coke, orange soda and sprite. (Yuck, I know). 

Now it was Ben's turn.  The young lady behind the counter asked, "What would you like?"

Ben replies, "Can I have a 6 inch Italian with turkey?"

She pulls out the sub roll and places the turkey on it.  Then she asks, "Would you like cheese on that?"

Ben hesitates and then slowly replies, "No … I want some steak."

Now the lady behind the counter, along with me, was a bit confused. She asks, "You want steak?"

Ben says, "Yes."

So the lady behind the counter takes the turkey off his sub roll and puts steak on it.  Ben then says, "No, I want turkey and steak."

Hmmm, I ask, "You want turkey and steak together on the same sandwich?  Have you ever had that before?"

Now Ben pauses and looks at me perplexed.  He then points at the steak.  And then looks at me again. Then very slowly Ben says, "I ... want ... bacon ..."

Ah, I then say, "You want turkey and bacon!"

The whole conversation seemed to happen in slow motion.  It felt very bizarre.  I sensed something was off but we were in such a hurry I did not give it much more thought.

From here Ben proceeded down the line and the young lady built Ben's sandwich for him.  He then gets a diet coke.  We pay and then rush back in the car so we can get Cole to practice on time.

As we are walking through the parking lot Ben pauses and tells me he thinks he is low.  After we get in the car I pass Ben his test kit and then we drive away.  Cole tells Ben he needs to buckle up.  But Ben has the test kit in his lap and he just can't seem to figure out how to get the seat belt to work.  I pull over.  This causes Cole to go into panic mode because he will surely be late for play practice now.  I get out of the car and open Ben's door and ignoring Cole's whining I calmly buckle Ben in.  Then I wait for him to check his blood sugar.  I know that if Ben is low and I attempt to help him with his test kit he will most certainly breakout into tears and start yelling at me.  So I wait ... and indeed he is low.  It was now clear we had messed up the after hockey practice bolus, Ben was only 35!  We all decide that 4 glucose tabs should do the trick.  As Ben starts chewing I jump back in the car and we head off for play practice.

As we are driving and the boys have all calmed down, I started thinking about our visit to Subway.  Then ding, ding, ding the light bulb finally flicks on!  I had read several times about how T1 adults experience lows.  They often describe the mental confusion that overtakes them.  Ben was low in Subway and that is why he had such difficulty trying to tell us he wanted bacon on his sandwich.  I had never seen Ben experience a low this way.  Usually he gets a little shaky (not even that noticeably) and sometimes emotional.  If he had shown either of these symptoms earlier we had missed them while we were both curled up and shivering under a wet blanket.

After Ben’s blood sugar is back up and he is happily eating his sandwich, I try to explain to Ben, "You know one of the symptoms of being low is confusion.  Your head will start feeling jumbled and you can't think well." I then ask, "Do you think that is what happened to you in Subway when you were trying to ask for bacon?"

Ben shrugs his shoulders and says, "No, I was just confused because I had not been to Subway in a long time."
This makes me chuckle a little bit.  The boys (including Jeff) go to Subway almost once a week.  They are all pros on how the Subway line works.  I figured Ben was just too young to really understand what I was trying to explain.  He had been through enough that morning, and he was enjoying his sandwich so I just let it go.

We did finally get Cole to practice, though he was 15 minutes late.  When we pulled in he was all grumbly mad.  As he was getting out of the car another car pulled in behind us.  Cole then turns around and says, "At least I am not the last one here!" And he quickly adds, "Ben, glad you are feeling better.  Bye buddy."

It was only 1:30, but it already felt like a full day.  Although the morning had been crazy madness, I had managed to learn something new.  I still did not have the proper insulin to munchkin to hockey practice ratios all worked out.  But the next time I mess that up (and there certainly will be a next time) I now had one more sign of hypoglycemia to look for, Confusion.


  1. Oh yikes! Scary low for sure. I think my alarm bells started going off when that sandwich started sounding weird. :-)

  2. This warmed my heart: "I was just confused because I had not been to Subway in a long time." Adorable.