Yankee Belle


The Terrifying Snake

ALthough I would much rather forget this one Friday morning, I can't. As lil CJ says: "A snake came and gave me the shakes." The truth is, it did more than that...exactly 2 months before lil CJ's 3rd birthday, it tried to take him away for good.

The previous night, lil CJ had a 70 blood sugar (BG) @ 4am. Not too bad, but not a good sleeping BG by any means. I went through the normal procedure of waking him up, having him eat candy, and then feeding him a long lasting carb snack. Some nights, lil CJ doesn't mind getting up to eat. Other nights, it proves to be a battle of wits. I of course, have to win no matter how hard my tired baby fights.

As the endocrinologist and other diabetes educators have taught us, 1 night does not a pattern make. One should not change insulin settings based on a single event. It is wise to find a pattern and then alter.

With this knowledge, we went to bed Thursday night not really expecting a low BG reoccurence. lil CJ was in the 300s all night. (Normal BG for a non-diabetic is 100. lil CJ's target right now is 180.) One never knows what is happening inside the body. His high BGs could be from a growth spurt, fighting off an infection/cold, etc.

At 12 am, I corrected lil CJ per his insulin pump's calculation. At 3 am I checked again. His fingers were clean of any sugar residue, so when a bg of 354 popped up, I was frustated. I began to think his insertion site sticker (where the insulin enters his lil body) was bad. I unplugged him and let the insulin disperse from the pump into my hand. (This helps keep the pump's records accurate with the amount of insulin in his body.) I opted to manually give him an insulin injection. I double checked the amount of insulin in the needle at least 3x. It was the exact amount suggested by the pump. I fell back asleep thinking all would be fine.

At 4 am, I heard "Mama - Mama". Not a scary 'Mama', just a lil voice checking to see if I was there. Fortunately, lil CJ was in bed with me. I patted his back and assured him I was. My hand lingered for a moment patting him gently. Suddenly, his entire body shook. I thought to myself "WTH?!" It happened again. Immediately I knew, lil CJ was seizing.

I yanked him up and immediately ran to the kitchen screaming for hubby. He was on the otherside of the house, sleeping in lil CJ's bottom bunkbed.

Lil CJ began to really convulse. His eyes were glassy. He would cry out and then stop. He kept saying "Mommy, we go home now? - Mommy, we go home now?" Mentally - he was not there. I sat him on the counter and tried to get cake gel (a fast acting sugar) into his body. I tried to get him to sip a juice box. His lil body was shaking too much. I knew we needed the glucagon needle. Hubby checked his finger - his bg was 36. It was a life or death moment at this point.

Hubby was so frantic, he could not open the glucagon case. In his defense, the entire situation was terrifying. Looking at our baby that was literally dying in my arms... I don't think terrifying even best decribes it.

I grabbed the glucagon from hubby and told him to hold lil CJ. By this point, lil CJ's legs were tensing up and bent. His eyes were closing. Hubby kept jostling him around to keep him conscious.

We ran to the bedroom to lay lil CJ on his side. I stuck the lifesaving glucagon into his lil leg without care if it hurt. It had to penetrate his thigh muscle. We rolled him on his side expecting the vomiting side effect.

What seemed like forever, but was probably just minutes, lil CJ perked up. His eyes opened and he could focus. He sat up. Hubby was on the phone with Dr. McCormick. As long as lil CJ responded to the glucagon, we did not need to call 911 and head to the hospital. We needed to feed him and suspend his pump. No basal and above all no corrections or boluses for at least 4 hours. (This was news to me. But despite the glucagon and 40 carb banana, lil CJ never needed any.) Thankfully, lil CJ never vomited.

Lil CJ wanted a banana and to watch Max & Ruby.

And like that, our morning of horror ended. It all happened within 20 minutes.

Big B heard the chaos. She was crying in her room worried her lil brother was dying. She was too afraid to come out. I could feel my heart break with sadness. I lied to her and said it was just a bad low. Nothing to worry about.

Big B went off to school that Friday morning, and lil CJ fell asleep in our bed. Our Gwenny girl, who is not a scent dog, must has known something was a amiss. She stayed in the bedroom the entire morning until lil CJ finally woke for the day.

Later in the day, lil CJ began to mention what he thought happened. Hubby and I just listened.

lil CJ said:

"I no want to sleep on mommy's bed. There is lots of blood." --- I guess he assumed there was blood on it from the glucagon gun we used. However, there was not a drop.

"The snake came and made me shake. It followed me into the kitchen too." --- My sweet lil CJ, I don't know if he had hallucinated and saw a snake coming for him, or he equated all the shaking to a snake. Either way, hubby assured lil CJ that the snake was gone. Hubby & I both promised to do our best to never allow it to return.

I try to see some positive in most every situation. I now know that the dreaded emergency glucagon is a GOOD thing. If we need to use it, I will not ever hesitate. Lesson learned the hard way.

Diabetes has thrown our life for a loop. So many things are different for us now. Many unexpected and very important future decisions need to be made.

People often ask me how I am doing. The truth is - diabetes f*cking sucks. It is a constant nuisance morning, noon, and night. But I know 100% without a doubt, God would never have allowed this disease to enter our lives if we were not able to handle it. He has a reason. And, I look forward to the day when I finally know why God chose my son.

Until then, I will trust in Him for strength along with our amazing family and friends He has surrounded us with for support.

Oh...and wine too. ;o)


Big B asked to have an insertion site like her brother. She was so good allowing me to stick her. lil CJ was so excited to share his 'sticker' with her too.

Wendi & Dito sent a Mickey Edible Arrangement as sweet gesture. The delicious fruit was gone in 20 minutes.