Levi: Back from the brink

So I have been going back and forth over what to write about Levi.  He has been quite the little rascal lately and I have some funny stories to tell, but the one I keep coming back to is not so much fun.  Unfortunately, until I write about our most recent battle with moods and high blood sugars, I don't think I will be able to write anything else.  So bear with me. 


My husband Greg and I have always known that uncontrolled BG (blood glucose) numbers can affect a diabetic person's mood.  We have been taught that you can't reason with a diabetic experiencing highs or lows; that individual is not thinking clearly at all.  However, that lesson wasn't truly driven home until recently and frankly, it was terrifying.

Over spring break Levi got sick.  As usual, the virus that kept his siblings down for two or three days lasted for over a week with him.  During that time we had been battling Levi's fluctuating bg numbers.  Then on Wednesday we started to lose that battle and began  "chasing highs"  ( a phrase coined by our endocrinologist to describe the continual dosage of insulin given to "catch" that high level of blood sugar and bring it back down)  all day.  To top it off, that night Levi's breathing worsened as the virus moved into his lungs.  About 10pm we finally decided to take him to the ER.  We had the light on low and Levi was sleeping fitfully; I hated to get him up, but his 02 levels just kept dropping.  As I started to wake him he squirmed around a bit, tried to snuggle in the bed a little further, but my insistent "Levi, Levi, we have to go" finally woke him.  Instead of sleepily looking at me he shot up like a wild cat.  He started screaming, rolling around on the bed, hitting and kicking anyone who came near him. When I tried to calm him, he scratched me, then when Greg tried to pick him up, Levi bit him. Levi was completely and utterly out of control.  Suddenly, in a brief moment of clarity, he dissolved into a puddle of tears saying over and over "sorry Mommy, sorry Mommy".   Greg and I were in shock.  We gathered our wits about us, got him dressed and headed out to the car, but as Greg moved to buckle him in it happened again!  Levi started lashing out, kicking and screaming, pinching as hard as he could, and again, suddenly came to his senses and started sobbing "sorry Daddy, sorry Mommy, sorry Mommy".  It happened two more times that night; even the poor Doctor was kicked hard at one point and it took two nurses and me to hold him down so they could check him over. It was insanity.  The entire night was the same-Levi fighting to beat all, then apologizing over and over.   We were finally cleared to go home, though they held a room for us in case we had to come back.  The next day he was in low grade DKA, so for two more days he either fought tooth and nail or cried and slept. 

It is a terrible thing to see your child betrayed by his own mind and body.  I believe I felt even more helpless watching him suffer through the madness brought on by high blood glucose numbers than I did when he was first diagnosed. Then, at least there was something we could do for him, even if it meant being flown to Spokane.  In this situation, all we could do was chase the highs, and bear with him, forgive him his transgressions and pray that we could bring him back from the brink. 

The most amazing thing is that with persistence and patience we can bring him back.  Once those blood sugars were again controlled, he became his regular self again, like any other happy mischievous boy.  Watching him on Father's Day, following his daddy around pointing out all the deer we see and talking animatedly (for a 2.5 year old anyways) about going fishing in the boat and catching bass,  you would never know he was different from any other little boy.  In all the ways that count, he is just an ordinary boy.

todler with type 1 diabetes