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Saturday Spectacular

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

We had a spectacular Saturday.

And by spectacular, I mean spectacularly suck-tastic.

Saturday was the day we had to go get Sweet's annual labs drawn.  We go every 6-12 months for an arm draw.  She needs to fast as they are testing for cholesterol, thyroid, and celiac.

We were not worried.  Last time was easy peasy.  She breezed in the room with no fussing.  The nurse was good and it was over faster than you can say "numbing cream" which we always use - if for nothing other than it helps mentally.

This time was the exact opposite.

It was a disaster from start to finish.

As soon as we got to the room, Sweets panicked.  She actually stopped in the doorway and wouldn't budge.  I may or may not have had to force her in with a swift knee to rump.

She wanted to sit on my lap so we settled into the chair and the nurse got ready to put the band on her arm.  She refused to give the nurse her arm.  I was surprised at how... reluctant?  difficult? she was being.  She finally gave the nurse her arm and we went over the things she does to calm herself down.  She does NOT like anyone to talk.  She counts in her head.  And she wants to watch.  The nurse started trying to distract her and that only makes her anxiety skyrocket.  We learned a long time ago that  she does best if she can see what is going on.

The nurse got the needle in but couldn't get the vein.  She poked around for a minute and then pulled it out.  Sweets was NOT happy that she had to do it again.

The nurse tried again and this time she got the vein right away.

I exhaled.  I exhaled WAY too soon.

A minute into the draw and Sweets said she was feeling like she was going to throw up.

We grabbed a trash can and she was... well, she hadn't eaten since dinner the night before so she wasn't doing anything.  She stood up and her eyes rolled back into her head and I thought she was going to hit the floor.

I pulled her back onto my lap but it wasn't a second before she said she was going to get sick again.  But this time she started stamping her feet and flailing her arms and moaning.  Her eyes kept rolling back into her head and she was clammy and wet and gray.

I pulled her back onto my lap and laid her down.  Her eyes were still rolling around and then she started saying she was tired.  And I should leave her alone so she could go to sleep.

We tested her bg when stared with the stamping and flailing.  She was at 130.  I sent J out to the car to get juice (because, of course, I didn't have it in my purse and believe it or not, the nurses couldn't find any).  We had her drink a little bit and started coming back to us.

By the time we left the outpatient hospital center, she was tired and a little stressed but doing ok.

I was not.

I asked the nurse if that was a normal-ish reaction to a blood draw and she said she had never seen anything like it before.  So that was comforting.

My awesome friend, Wendy (who is also a nurse and D Mama extraordinaire), helped explain to me what happened to my girl.  She explained that is was a classic vasovagal response.  I read up on it thanks to Google and some awesome links she sent me.  And although awful, it sounds like a harmless occurrence.

The thing that really stuck with me was how one site described it.  They described it as a feeling of "impending death".

Gah.  That makes me sick.  My poor girl.

I think I'm suffering from PTBDD (post traumatic blood draw disorder).  It was really scary.  It was just too much like the seizure she had.  I wasn't as panicked but it was same feeling of "what the heck is going on?  How do I make it stop?" and "Do NOT leave me little girl.  Eyes OPEN."

Like I said, she's fine.  She bee bopped around that day just like normal.

But I'm not.  Not yet.

It just takes a little more time for me to return to normal.  And I'm left thinking... THIS is our normal.  How did THIS become just another weekend event?

Sometimes with D it feels like two steps forward and once step back.

So even though my heart is still hurting...
Even though I'm not completely over it...
Even though I feel like I need to stop and catch my breath...

I'm able to see that I've taken - WE have taken - a lot more steps forward than steps back.

And while it would be really easy for me to rant and scream and proclaim just how crappy diabetes is.... this really wasn't diabetes.  I mean, TECHNICALLY, we wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for good ol' diabetes.  And D IS a favorite scapegoat... But this was a reaction that people have.  It was scary and awful and really had nothing to do with diabetes.

I can see that distinction now.

Saturday night we went to church.  We sang a new song.  It was beautiful.  And they lyrics really stuck with me.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all

All aroundHope is springing up from this old groundOut of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Saturday morning was really ugly.  It was frightening.  It was chaotic.

Just like diabetes.

But at the end of the day...

It's still all those things.

I'm just learning to see the beautiful things in the midst of the chaos.  In the midst of the fear.  In the midst of the ugly.

And the beautiful things...  they are so much bigger than the rest.
The love.
The beauty.
The compassion.
The caring.
The tenderness.
The honesty.
The laughter.
The faith.
The hope.

My daughter.

She's my beautiful thing.
And she outshines the chaos.  She outshines the fear.  She outshines the ugly.  She outshines the darkness.

So as long as I've got her, every Saturday is Spectacular.

One horrid blood draw won't change that.



  1. Ugh...not fun! I hope these are few and far between if they have to occur at all. I'll get the same reaction for some blood draws/stressful medical experiences. It helps me a ton just to know that one or two people are at my side to take care of me IF anything more serious happens...then I just have to wait it out. Sweets might not be old enough to have that mindset, but when she does, you being there will be such a relief and comfort.

  2. If it comforts you at all I have ABSOLUTELY seen something like that before -- and many times: My NON D Daughter! Lauren and I used to almost laugh at her -- which would make the nurses think we were really, really mean. It was just her reaction to having it done. Needless to say, there was no medical career in her future!

  3. I have something similar. I tend to get nasea and feel like passing out and sweat, when i am in pain. usually happens when i have stomach bugs or stomach problems, if you get the idea ;) I thought i was normal until someone told me its not normal for everyone to almost pass out from a simple stomach upset.

  4. Oh my gooses, what an experience for all of you. Poor little thing!

  5. Scary blood draw - beautiful song!


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