Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Crashing Low - A Teen Perspective

I recently read a blog account of what a low blood sugar felt like for an adult friend of mine living with T1D.  I won't pretend that it didn't bother me, because it did.  It's a sad reality of what our loved ones deal with. It also reminded me that it had been a while since I asked the girls how they really felt.  If I want to practice sharing empathy and compassion throughout our medical community, then, sometimes, I have to ask the hard questions, even when the answers break my heart.

As we veterans know, parenting with or without T1D is never easy.  

So I sat down with my youngest daughter and I asked her to tell me exactly how she felt during a low blood sugar.  These are her words without edit.  

I don't always notice the low until later.  

First, I feel sweaty.  I feel my chest warming and at the same time, begin to feel tired.

I can't hear as well and there is a blurry sound.

I can think but everything is distracting. It's hard to concentrate.  My thoughts feel interrupted.

I feel really weak.

Sometimes, I feel cold and sweaty.  Sometimes, I feel hot and sweaty.  

My body feels lumpy and it's hard to make my muscles work.

I know that I need to eat.  I hate that I need to eat.  It feels like I just came off a roller coaster and my stomach doesn't always want to cooperate.  I feel desperate.

I think I look fine to other people but on the inside, I feel like my body is destroying itself. 

If it is really low, I feel panic. I hear ringing and buzzing in my brain.  

It takes me as long as it took me to drop to feel back up.  Sometimes it is minutes and sometimes, I do not feel good for an hour. 

I feel depleted after.  Sometimes, I just want to sleep until my body feels good again. 

I asked her how she felt to have me there and this is what she said.

I feel safer with you.  

Sometimes, I feel angry because I want to sleep.  I think about that later and I know that you are keeping me safe.  

I dislike that you stare at me.  I don't like that anyone stares at me when I am coming up.  I feel weak and..... (I inserted 'vulnerable' and she agreed). 

I don't like that you give me too much food.  It's awful to have to eat and I never feel that good.  I know why you do it but I don't like it. 

I am always grateful that you are there, even if I seem not to be.  It can be scary.  


No comments: