Riding the Emotional Wave


Today it feels as though I am riding the emotional wave, tonight we struggled with another low for Carter and what made the whole situation worse was how angry and frustrated he was. This of course was exacerbated by the fact that he can’t talk so the only way to express himself is to cry and have a tantrum. Tantrums in general get under my skin, but when my son is having a tantrum because he is low and feels like crap, nothing makes me ride the emotional roller coaster more than watching his frustration and realizing he doesn’t understand. Maybe he’s angry, and frustrated, I pray he isn’t scared. It pains me to watch my child have these grown up feelings and not know where to put them.  To not be able to understand that a tsp. of honey is a necessary evil because you won’t eat anything else.  Then here I sit as I am trying to comfort him,  I have to stealth fully wait for him to be calm enough for me to jam the syringe in his mouth and slam 1 teaspoon of honey directly toward the back of his throat in order to ensure he will swallow it.  It’s in this moment that I feel barbaric, though I know I am doing this for his own good, and let’s be honest, a syringe full of honey is way better than an IV in the Emergency Room.  But what scars my heart is the fact that my 21-month-old son doesn’t know that.  What he knows is that here I am falsely comforting him in an effort to trick him into consuming sugar he doesn’t want.  When it’s all over, and I’ve made sure he has swallowed the honey, he wants nothing to do with me and reaches for my husband.  He looks at me with disdain and clings to his father, being comforted by the fact that in Carter’s mind, in this moment, Daddy is the only one who understands him.  As I wipe the tears away from my checks, I check my emotions and remind myself this isn’t personal, it’s the price to pay for being the artificial pancreas.  There are parts of my job that I hate, but in order to thrust my son into survival, I will be the bad guy.  I work hard, all day every day, trying to keep my emotions in check.  It’s a good thing it’s 10:19 PM and I am ready to retire soon.  Maybe tomorrow will be filled with blood sugars between 100 and 150, and my son will happily consume all his meals.  Maybe activity will be perfect and shots will be given with joy and smiles all around.  Maybe Carter will sleep through the night, and we will all wake up feeling refreshed, and I won’t wake up at my usual 2:30 AM to go and make sure he is still breathing.  But as I sit here late in the evening, the one thing I am sure of is the relief that we have made it through one more day, and the fact that we were able to figuratively and literally raise above the low.

2 thoughts on “Riding the Emotional Wave”

  1. There is a really cute book called “honey to share” it’s a Winnie the Pooh picture book about counting honey pots. I read it to my daughter frequently and then when I need to give her honey we just say ” honey to share” and pretend we are playing. It helps her to be less defensive and accept the honey. Of course it doesn’t always work ( nothing always works lol) so there are times when we have to cram the honey in anyway. Honey is usually a good choice though because the consistency makes it harder to spit out and less likely to choke on. If your injecting it via medicine syringe try the side of the mouth between teeth and cheek. ( harder to spit out, absorbs a little through the cheek, and doesn’t make them gag). We have also tried maple syrup on occasion and that yucky glucose gel in a pinch ( the gel also absorbs through the cheek membrane a little so you can even put it on your fingers and massage it into the gum. ( just make sure your between the teeth and the gum so you do t get your fingers bitten … Lol)
    It’s really hard when they are combative. Stories have been so helpful for us. I even make up stories about diabetes and going to the doctor and I read them to my daughter frequently to prepare her. I have no idea how much she understands but I read them anyway. Pictures lots of pictures really help. Good luck! And I can totally relate!!

    1. Wonderful, thank you I will look for that book. 🙂 Yes it does get precarious sometimes doesn’t it? It’s so difficult when they are so resistant, I understand it’s because Carter doesn’t feel well, but it makes fixing the issue that much harder. Thank you so much for the advice MJ, I really appreciate it!

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