Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I had a dream last night. I was walking in the woods with some friends, and realized that Penny wasn't with us. We called, and fanned out to look for her, and I found her in a bed of leaves, unconscious. She didn't rouse, so I tested her blood sugar: 20. "I'll need the Glucagon," I said to whoever was standing behind me. "The big red box in her bag." In the dream, I was very calm. I explained to the person with me (it wasn't Matt, because he wouldn't need the explanation, having heard it before) that Penny was probably going to throw up when she woke up, and that as soon as I'd given her the shot, I would call 911 for an ambulance.

I woke up before I actually gave her the shot, much less calm than I had been in the dream. It was around 2:30 in the morning.

It was only a dream, I told myself. I got up and went into Penny's room. She stirred when I touched her arm. I didn't want to disturb her, so I kissed her cheek, then went to check on Alex (who was sleeping on his back with his hands tucked behind his head and his ankles crossed in the classic "lounging on summer grass" pose -- I had to giggle!) and then started to go back to bed. But as I sat down, I thought... it wouldn't hurt to actually check Penny's blood sugar. Just to be sure.

She'd been 138 when Matt checked her at 10:00 -- solidly in range. But except for Sunday evening and yesterday morning, when she was apparently fighting off the aftereffects of movie theater popcorn, she's been having a lot of lows lately. It was worth a check.

I had to fight her to get her hand out from under the blanket, but I finally got the drop of blood on the test strip... 54.


I brought her a juice box, and by the time I'd got the wrapper off the straw, she was sitting up and ready for it. She sucked it down and then collapsed back into her nest of blankets.

I re-checked her fifteen minutes later, now approaching 3 am. She was at 108, a good solid number. I went back to bed, though it took me almost an hour to relax back into sleep.

This morning, when she checked her sugars before breakfast, she was at 58.

WTF, diabetes? WTF?

And what if I hadn't had that dream? Would she have bottomed out in the 50's anyway? Or continued her nosedive? Would we have woken this morning and realized Penny hadn't turned her alarm off, and had to scramble for the Glucagon for real?

It's almost enough to make me wonder if there's a higher power.


But lest we let diabetes take the upper hand and set the tone for the day, let me share something awesome with you instead. Penny's studying maps in school right now, and her big project, due today, was to make up her own map of a place, and write a paragraph to go with it. With help, she decided to map an island, and she filled it in, and then we thought about underwater movies we'd seen to help us add features to the surrounding ocean -- she put in caves and volcanoes and even a minefield (a la Finding Nemo). The map itself was very creative and imaginative, and I was pleased.

And then she wrote the paragraph to go with it. Matt swears she wrote this all at once, without a lot of pausing for thought (presented exactly as she wrote it, with our spelling corrections in brackets):

This Island is my secret hideout where my friends hang out. We also go on quests but of course we have to leave mine filds [fields] around our island to sink and stop our enmy's [enemies'] ships. We explore the water volcanos [volcanoes] to see what and when they explode. If our enmys [enemies] are near we hide in the caves. Also we find treasure on our island! If it's hot we run in the forest to cool off. My island is a safe place you can go. (Exept [Except] for the pirats [pirates].) And have fun!

When she read that to me, I just about fell over, I was so proud and happy and excited. How awesome is that?! The "(except for the pirates)" bit killed me! (The parentheses were her idea, even.) Volcanoes and treasure and minefields and pirates and sunken ships and forests and caves, and she managed to link it all together cohesively! Obviously, she's a born storyteller. Or possibly ready to start building her own D&D modules.

Either way... That's my girl.

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