It was a few weeks ago at gymnastics.
She had just recently moved to the big equipment. Regular size bars. Regular size beam. Regular size vault.
In her previous class, blood sugar was never an issue. She never did enough activity to warrant doing a basal reduction or giving her free carbs.
But this new class, with all the big, new equipment, was different. We just didn't know it yet.
She doesn't wear her Dexcom receiver in gymnastics class. She doesn't want the other girls asking her what it is. She just wants to be normal. I get that. So we let her go without Dex. It makes her happy. And that's a huge plus about the Omnipod. We can hide it. And without the Dex receiver, no one can see a thing.
The parents are sent upstairs to the viewing room. We all crowd around the windows watching our kids down below in the gym. You've got to get there early if you want a seat!
She started out on the bars that night. The bars are on the other side of the gym. She looks like a little ant flipping around! The bars are her favorite!
Next they moved to the floor. They were practicing cartwheels and roundoffs and jumping onto the vault and doing back flips into the pit. She seemed fine. But her cartwheels and roundoffs were a little off...
Then they moved to the beams. The beams are right below the viewing window. She does a great job on the beam. They are learning to balance and turn and lift their legs and jump.
She was smiling and laughing and having fun. Just like always. But she was really unsteady.
"She's off tonight" J commented. And she was. We could see it now that she was right in front of us. She was having a really hard time staying on the beam.
She was shaking so much that it looked like she was doing it on purpose just to be goofy. Something she has been known to do...
And this time, she landed FACE FIRST on the mat.
I think my heart stopped. But she got up and brushed herself off.
She started to cry and her teacher picked her up and held her. She knows that Sweets has diabetes. She knows that we are always up there watching. She knows to give us the sign if something isn't right.
So I waited. And I watched. And she stopped crying. And she got back up on the beam.
But she was still shaking.
"Something isn't right." I said.
The thought had no more come out of my mouth than Dexie started beeping in my purse.
It usually won't pick her up. But she just happened to be right below us.
And guess what it beeped???
Low. Under 55.
So I took off running down the stairs, cursing myself for not realizing what the problem was. I mean, really... How many signs do I need?!? Why did it not occur to me that she was LOW?!?
Parents are not allowed in the gym - but I ignore that rule when I need to test. So I burst into the gym and grabbed her and tested.
And she was 55.
A little juice and some smarties and her bg came up. She was off to join to her class. Nothing keeps her down.
But I was shaken.
How in the world did I not realize that she was low? She could have really gotten hurt.
She's just starting to feel her lows. Most of the time she is oblivious. She feels a crash but not a slow drop. And we are working on her recognizing that a shaky feeling often means low and that she should tell someone. But it's a work in progress...
To her it was just another low. Just another interruption to her life.
But it shook me up.
Since then, not too much has changed.
The low and the fall have faded into the backgroud. I don't think or obsess over it like I did right after it happened. I don't worry about what easily might have been....
She still does not wear the Dexcom to gymnastics. I'd like her to. But it means a lot to her not to wear it and so I'm forcing myself to be ok with that.
We've discussed lows a lot and what it feels like and how she HAS to tell her teacher if she is feeling shaky.
And we're working on things. Experimenting with decreased basal rates and free carbs. It seems to vary a bit from week to week but we're finding success with a 30% basal reduction for 2-3 hours and possibly 15 g free before class depending on bg when class begins.
The only thing that has really changed is that I'm a little more on my guard. I watch a little closer. Scrutinize every fall. It reminded me that I must ALWAYS be alert. ALWAYS be looking for the signs. Especially because she often can't.
I've been reminded that diabetes is always there. It never goes away. It never takes a break. It never leaves her alone or allows her to be just like everyone else. At least not on the inside.
But that's pretty much it. Nothing really changed.
And that's how it should be.
Diabetes is not going to keep her from doing gymnastics. It's not going to keep her from anything.
That little girl is full of spunk and vigor. NOTHING holds her down.
So even though it shook me up, I'm taking my cues from her.
I'm dusting myself off and getting back up there.
Because if she can, then so can I.
She is, after all, my hero.