It’s amazing how quickly things can turn on a dime with a toddler. One day, they can seem completely and perfectly fine, and then the next day, a nurse is saying a word over the phone to you that you never, ever want to hear in reference to your child.

Ali woke up whimpering, which is odd. Usually she wakes up talking to herself quite happily.

I went to get her, and she was VERY not herself. She wanted to go lay in Mommy and Daddy’s bed. So we went in there and she laid down on me and didn’t move a muscle for several minutes.

She finally said, “Want to go downstairs and eat breakfast” in a slurred, whimpery voice. I said “okay, let’s do that”, and she still didn’t move a muscle. I waited a minute to see if she asked again, and then I rolled her over onto the bed so I could see what was going on.

And, in very un-Ali (and un-any-toddler)-like fashion, she laid on her side in our bed for about 15 minutes falling asleep, waking up and asking for food, then falling asleep, waking up and asking for food, and so on. I would try to sit her up and she would just collapse back onto the bed. I took her temperature and it was low, not high.

After trying to figure out what in the world was going on for a while, I finally decided that she was certainly not just unusually tired, so I forced her to get up and took her downstairs. When I got her into the a lit room, I could see that she was shaking quite a bit – mainly her arms and hands.

I fixed her some breakfast and got her some juice. She was now just staring off into space and not talking, but she was eating and drinking. I called Lydia, our resident-former-nurse-friend, and she thought she was probably getting sick and about to violently puke on me.

She’s always the optimist.

Then I called the doctor and asked for a nurse to call me.

Then while I was waiting on the nurse, I called Chris. I was telling him what was going on, while Ali just sat and stared listlessly.

Then, in an instant, right as she finished all of her breakfast and her juice, she completely snapped out of it. She got bright eyed, immediately started pointing out the states on her placemat and telling me what they were, and jabbering up a storm. It was as if someone had flipped a switch – it was crazy quick.

I got off the phone with Chris and talked to her, and she seemed completely normal. Then the nurse called back, and I rather relievedly (I know that’s not a word) told her that she seemed all better, but described everything that had happened. The nurse sounded serious about it anyway and said she’d call me back after she talked to the doctor in the office.

I at this point just assumed that Ali had a sugar crash (although it’s certainly never happened before) and was now fine.

Then the nurse called back.

She had called Ali’s doctor (who wasn’t in the office that day) because she thought it was very serious and thought it might have been a seizure (the word alone sent chills down my back), but that Doctor Amy didn’t think so, but had given her a list of questions to ask me just in case.

She asked if I thought she possibly could have been sleepwalking.

No, I’m more familiar than I want to be with sleepwalking, and I was sure that she was not. I answered a few more questions, and the nurse told me to just keep an eye on her, and if anything weird happened, to bring her in immediately.

Five minutes later, the nurse calls me again. After relaying my information to Doctor Amy, she decided that Ali needed to be seen today. Just to make sure. So she scheduled me an appointment with the doctor in the office for an hour later.

Then I started to get nervous. Because the thing is, as annoying as it is when a nurse or doctor doesn’t take you as seriously as you take yourself, it’s a hundred times worse and completely frightening when a nurse or doctor takes you MORE seriously than you take yourself.

Ali still seemed perfectly fine, though. As if nothing had ever happened. She seemed to have no recollection of the morning whatsoever.

So I took her in, driving seemingly straight into tornadoes – the rain was torrential and the tornado sirens were blaring (there’s nothing to heighten nervousness like a good storm), and the doctor confirmed my gut suspicion: he really thought it had been a hypoglycemic incident – that she had just had a sugar crash. He thought she had been much too responsive for it to have been a seizure, and tested her blood for an infection, of which there was none. So he told me to feed her more protein and sent us on our way.

We stopped by work on our way back home, and she was as happy as ever, splashing in puddles:
and showing everyone her “brave girl sticker”:
Bonnie thought it looked like a fun finger to show people, so she joined her (since she had a band-aid on the same finger and was therefore “justified”):

Yes, this middle-finger-band-aid thing is definitely not going to help Ali’s already existing pointing issue at all.
At any rate, she seems fine now. I’m not sure what that means – if she’s likely to have more hypoglycemia attacks or if it was just a one-time thing, but I will definitely be keeping and eye on her.

14 thoughts on “Adventures in Being Scared out of My Wits

  1. Definitely a scary morning for you! I’m hoping there are no more scare episodes like that again.

  2. As i was reading this post, half way through I was saying “Oh no, Oh no” because I was thinking something completely different than siezures. okay.. i am no doc.. and I certainly don’t want to alarm you.. but as a diabetic (i know i’ve already scared you). just monitor her. If she does this again, take note. Even if its not as lethargic.. even if its she says she’s hungry and is slightly shaking. Everything that you mentioned is a classic HYPO-glycemic spell (not enough sugar, or not enough insulin production). Especially the part about her bouncing back after getting food.

    It is very common for hypo spells to happen upon waking up because it is the longest period of time that your body goes without eating. And while you are asleep that’s when your body is processing all those foods.

    Just the fact that she had no energy to get up, and the shaking, and the getting well after food makes me concerned. And docs normally don’t consider it unless you have family history.. but there are cases of onset diabetes with no family history (hello, me). Although, there was a history of autoimmune disease (my mom died from Lupus).

    LONG COMMENT: i know.. but also look out for Ali getting sleepy after meals in the sense that she always seems tired, or thirsty (signs of HYPER-glycemic spell).

    Word of encouragement; she very well could never have another issue with this and it only be a weird fluke.. but just be mindful of the signs and symptoms so that prevention can play a big part down the road. Keep us updated.

  3. That thought most definitely crossed my mind, especially since I thought it was a sugar crash all along. I didn’t want to mention it to the doctor because a) he isn’t my normal doctor, and b) I figured I better wait until it happened twice, or I had other evidence, before asking them to run tests on that. But I definitely have that thought in the back of my brain and will be taking note! Thanks, Rachel!

  4. What a scary morning, but it’s good to hear that there are nurses/doctors out there who take you seriously and don’t think you’re crazy every time you call :)

  5. Oh my goodness, I bet that was scary. James had a couple of febral (sp?) seizures when he was about 11 months old and it was so scary.

  6. Wow, that would be really scary! I’m glad she’s okay. You are a lot more calm than I am…I think I would have freaked out and gone to the ER without calling anyone. :P

  7. How scary! I am glad that she is ok and it wasn’t anything serious.And that you made it through the crummy weather which would scare me more.

  8. I have issues with my sugar dropping at random times, and it’s no fun at all. I hope it doesn’t happen again!

  9. If it ever happens again, and I hope it doesn’t, make her drink some orange juice immediately and see if she gets better immediately. Then you know it is sugar whether hypo or hyper. LYB

  10. Wo, I just read that about what happened yesterday. So glad she is fine now. All of those symptoms would have freaked me out, too, but I was thinking low blood sugar from the start.

  11. O.K. I just read this and it would scare me too. It would have never crossed my mind to think blood sugar. Siezure however would have been my first thought just because I have a huge fear of siezures. It’s good to know all that stuff with my own kids though. In case anything like that happens.

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