An all time low

An all time low

Taking BB back into hospital last week unleashed a well of emotion that I didn’t realise I still carried inside.  We parked in the same bay as we had when we came in for surgery eighteen months before.  I remember walking out in May 2012 promising myself I would keep her safe and not end up there again.

Time has proven to me once again that I should refrain from making promises I simply cannot keep.

We walked in the brightly lit building, I walked to the ward, clutching an overnight bag, two books, three teddies and an excited daughter.  She practically skipped into nurses station, I dragged my heels reluctantly behind.

Within two minutes I was counting my blessings.  Around us were kids with wires, babies being carried by anxious parents, children who were all too familiar with the nursing team.  I felt humbled to have kids who only pop in to hospital, I berrated myself for the times I have complained about the hand we have been dealt.

We settled in, I’m an old pro at sorting the telly, making my bed, and finding the weakly brewed tea.  BB hurtled into the play room, bouncing with laughter, launching from toy to bike to toy again.

Her starvation test began at 6.30pm.  Its purpose being to see if her blood sugars fell below ‘normal range’ within 20 hours.  Normal for a child is a blood sugar reading of between 4 and 8.  The aim was to let BB get to 2.6 and then take blood to determine the cause of her hypoglycemia.

At 6.55pm, 25 minutes into the test, BB told me she was starving.  At 7.15 I had to physically restrain her from taking a bite out of my tuna sandwich which I finished later when she finally fell asleep.

The morning started at 8am, sleep was fitful, BB woke at every blood test, on the hour every hour.  When I finally peeled myself from my coarse cotton sheets I felt like I had been beaten by an alien in my brief sleep.

And BB was hungry.

At 8am her blood sugars were 3.6, already the impact of being parted from food for 13 hours was causing her to drop below a ‘normal range’.

At 9am, the child was driving me spare.  Frequent requests for food and general wails of horror when denied were making my ears bleed.  Tiredness was overwhelming my sympathy gene.  Her blood sugar reading was taken and she was 3.2.

The diabetic mother in me started to react, the urge to force sugar on my daughter was intense.  I sat on my fingers and gritted my teeth and started to panic.

The hour ticked by, my daughter stopped asking for food, she stopped talking altogether.  She ceased to smile, speak, or acknowledge my inane chatter.  Instead I watched as a sweat spread over her, her eyes turned glassy, her body limp and dark circles appeared on her face.

Anyone could see that suddenly my healthy little girl looked awfully sick.

10am and finally a nurse with a needle appeared and pricked my daughters skin.

“2.4” she declared and then pressed a buzzer and we were off.

Two doctors appeared with vials that needed filling.  The cannula in BB’s hand seized up and refused to donate blood.  We were whisked to a room, needles appeared, “I’m sorry” said the doctor and she plunged one into my daughters hand.

She screamed loud and long as they pulled and pushed at her veins.  She sweated, sobbed and eventually passed out, then laid motionless in my arms, her fight flushed away.

“It’s ok, as soon as the lab confirm a blood sugar of less than 2.6, we can give her sugar” stated the doctor.  “We will push it through.”

Twelve vials of blood lay on the side, red dots gathered at my feet, brusies were already forming on her hands.

“We need to wake her.”

We pinched, called, and rubbed water on my child who eventually woke with a wimper.

I started to breathe again.

We took her blood sugar, 1.2.

She was barely there.  Only 15 hours after being fed my daughter looked malnourished, ghoulish and terribly, terribly ill.

What felt like forever occurred until someone appeared with apple juice and told me she could drink.  I brought my daughter back to life with apple juice and toast.

An hour later, her blood sugar was 10.  Higher than ‘normal range’ but normal apparently, following sugars that low.

The dark circles disappeared a day later.  The bruises are just starting to turn yellow.

The test results will be in next week.

It may be nothing, she may just be a girl who needs to wake up to a juice.

I can manage something I can treat with juice.

24 hours after we walked in, we walked out of the hospital.

For that I am forever grateful.



  1. Cakesphotoslife (Angie)
    August 18, 2013 / 9:52 pm

    Jane I seriously can’t comprehend what you go through, your so brave as are your children, I now it’s mothers instinct we just get on with it because they are our children but your an angel in disguise x

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:39 pm

      How lovely, thank you x

  2. August 18, 2013 / 9:55 pm

    oh my goodness Jane, poor BB..and poor you (but like you say, thankful that you walked out of there with a healthy child)….it sounds a scary situation to be in & following you & BB I do wonder if this is what causes Jacks ‘funny turns’ that he has from time to time…I will be watching him extra close, as well as your updates, from now on xx

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:40 pm

      Thanks helen, am sure Jack is fine, shall I pop over with my blood sugar meter?? xxx

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:40 pm

      Thanks lovely x

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:40 pm

      Yup x

  3. August 19, 2013 / 4:38 am

    Reading that had me terrified! How is a mother supposed to be strong enough to stand by and watch this being done to her child? You are brave! I know, you have no choice. Still, it takes courage to remain calm and let over control to those around you, it’s a form of motherly love that defies logic.
    Hope you stay put off hospitals for a looooong time now!

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:41 pm

      Me too – sadly though I think I will be popping in for the cuppa soon x x x x

  4. August 19, 2013 / 5:31 am

    That must be truly horrid having to sit there and watch your daughter go through that while knowing you can fix it quickly.

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:42 pm

      yes x

  5. August 19, 2013 / 7:47 am

    That sounds awful! Hang in there, all of you! x

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:42 pm

      Thank you x xxxx

  6. August 19, 2013 / 7:56 am

    Oh Jane, that must be so hard. Poor girl. You’ve got me thinking too, Smallest is always hungry but never eats much. Will be watching her more closely.

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:42 pm

      hope she is ok x

  7. August 19, 2013 / 8:17 am

    Oh how horrible – I remember the Cheetah Keeper having veins that refused to give and 15 attempts to cannulate for a drip – much love to you all x

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:43 pm

      Thanks Jenny x

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:43 pm

      Cheers anya

  8. August 19, 2013 / 8:59 am

    My heart’s in my mouth and my chest pounding reading that post. The whole experience sounds horrific, but at the same time, as you say, 24 hours later you walked out of hospital.

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:43 pm

      Exactly, better than most x

  9. August 19, 2013 / 9:04 am

    Reading this post made me feel like my heart was going to stop. As a mother, I cannot begin to imagine how hard it must be to watch your child go through tests like this, unable to do the very thing that our instincts push us to do, and make her feel better.

    As a person with diabetes, however, this post makes me cross with myself. I developed diabetes in my last pregnancy and it never corrected after I gave birth. If I’d taken better care of myself, lost weight, eaten better, exercised, taken my tablets more regularly, I might not be in the position I am now, which is to say pregnant and having to test my sugars 5 times a day to monitor whether I need insulin or not.

    I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this and I apologise for every whinging type II out there who doesn’t realise just how easy they’ve got it.

    Love to you and your girl. xxx

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:43 pm

      Thanks Jayne, much love x

  10. August 19, 2013 / 9:31 am

    Poor kid. I hope they find out what you can do to help her very soon.

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:43 pm

      Me too x x

  11. August 19, 2013 / 10:27 am

    My heart is in my mouth, you are such an amazing mother. I hope the test results are how you want them to be. x

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:34 pm

      Thanks Joy, sadly it is something x

  12. August 19, 2013 / 12:44 pm

    Wow I can’t imagine what you are going through!

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:33 pm

      It has been a long week x

  13. August 19, 2013 / 1:25 pm

    What an awful ordeal for both of you, but you manage to write about it so movingly. I hope you don’t have to go through anything like that again, and that lovely BB has recovered.

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:33 pm

      Thank you x

  14. August 19, 2013 / 7:49 pm

    But hang on, this is BB? It’s Twin Girl who has diabetes? What on earth have I missed?!

    • northernmum
      August 19, 2013 / 7:58 pm

      This is BB x

  15. August 19, 2013 / 8:10 pm

    I had a similar situation when Smiley was being checked for diabetes insipidus as a baby until she went limp too and allowing her to suffer like that was one of the hardest things I ever did – sending lots of love xxx

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:33 pm

      Thanks mrs

  16. August 19, 2013 / 8:16 pm

    Oh what a thing for you all to go through. I hope the results show nothing serious. Xx

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:32 pm

      Thanks sonya

  17. August 19, 2013 / 8:38 pm

    Sending you all love and I hope there is an easy and simple solution ahead for you and your brave girl x

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:32 pm

      Thanks x x x x

  18. Kerry
    August 20, 2013 / 8:10 am

    1.2 ! that is horribly low, poor BB and poor you ! Sending big hugs whilst you wait for the results xx

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:31 pm

      Thanks Kerry, how are you?

      • Kerry
        August 21, 2013 / 9:41 pm

        We are OK, suffering from constant itchy hands feet and Lips due to high blood sugar levels at the moment, it’s a new one on us and typically random !

        • northernmum
          August 21, 2013 / 9:59 pm

          Never heard of that one! when do you do carb counting? I have joined a group on fb – parents of type 1 diabetics – is helpful.

          Molly went above 20 for a fortnight – needs a boatload more insulin than ever before x

  19. August 20, 2013 / 6:04 pm

    Thinking of you all and sending best wishes xxx

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:31 pm

      Thanks sian x

  20. August 21, 2013 / 9:11 am

    What an experience for you both and so glad to read that it’s a juice that can help in the mornings. Something that I just take for granted. Much love x

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:31 pm

      Thanks annie x

  21. August 21, 2013 / 10:03 am

    What a moving post about an awful experience for both of you. Hope the results hurry back xx

  22. Mummiafelice
    August 21, 2013 / 9:51 pm

    Oh my gosh! I think I held my breath right until the end of this post. I can’t even begin to imagine how frightening this must have been, big hugs xxxx

    • northernmum
      August 21, 2013 / 9:53 pm

      Thanks x

  23. August 23, 2013 / 9:17 am

    It sounds barbaric! But I hope it gets the answers you need and hopefully you guys won’t have to go through that again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *