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Wednesday: Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

I really wanted to post about something happy and positive, but my mind keeps directing me to this very scary memory.

It started as a beautiful summer day. We met up with some friends of ours at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It was so hot out. The water play in the children’s garden was great fun as they chased each other around with the water bottles meant to water the plants. The butterfly house was neat, unless you were Katy. She was not impressed with all of the flying insects. It didn’t matter how pretty they were, she wanted out.

We were headed back to the visitor’s center when Annelies said her tummy hurt. Tested and she was 90. Dexcom was reading a right arrow. Figured it was from the heat but she thought she needed some quick carbs. Even if technology says otherwise, we listen to what her body is telling her. Box of Nerds and continue into the center to grab some drinks. We had just finished paying when she starts saying that she can’t see. It was all black. And then she can’t hear. And then she wilted onto me and passed out. Allen quickly drug her off to the side and thankfully we were able to finally get a bit of response from her. Barely. When the straw of the juice pouch was brought to her mouth she reflexively drank from it.

All around us staff are buzzing… do we need anything…should we call security… do you need an accident report… do you need a Band-Aid.  I don’t know how many times I said she has diabetes, we have to get her blood sugar up.  No, we are not moving her.  After she finished the juice pouch, I ran to buy an apple juice…there was a long line… but staff member says, ‘just take it, don’t worry, and go.’  I struggle to get it open and finally she’s drinking it… I try to give the hovering supervisor money but she refuses to take it “don’t worry about it” she says to us. The staff was just as freaked as we were but they were amazing.

Never ever, have I been so frightened in my life.  My mind raced 100mph through the checklist filed away in the back of my brain. But I couldn’t remember where the Glucagon was.  The same places they have always been and my mind was a blank. Two on hand (one in her kit and one in my purse) but I was clueless to their location.  Before she came to, I thought this is it, a Glucagon that won’t make it past its expiration date and the first time I’ll have to call 911.   But she did come to and we didn’t have to do either. Even though my mind was cluttered and freaking out, I thought was calm. Wrong. I couldn’t even put a test strip in her meter, I was shaking so badly.  And even then, I put the blasted strip in upside down.  Retest after the nerds, juice pouch and half a bottle of apple juice she was only 95. She had dropped and dropped fast, her Dexcom couldn’t even keep up with her. Just before we retested to make sure she was staying up, then Dexcom started alarming under 55.

I felt like I could have prevented all this. That I did something wrong. I could have made better decisions during our outing. Most of all I felt that I failed her.

Later, after a few good cries, including blubbering call to my mom, we tried to process it all. To figure out a reason why. Possibly it was a combination of the heat, insulin on board from her snack and the chasing each other with the spray water bottles in the children’s garden.  On paper, we did everything we were supposed to but it still happened.

The hardest part of it all was trying to remind myself that it was not my fault. I am not a pancreas, I am only doing my best to mimic one. That it was diabetes fault.

But I still wonder, maybe if I had done something different, this would have never happened.

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