Sunday, August 22, 2021

Blood Sugar

It's interesting to me when people mention they have no memories of being very small because I...have so many. My memory really begins in earnest around age three (though I do have a few earlier hazy memories). One of three-year-old memories is my mom testing her blood sugar levels. Oddly enough, I don't remember her being pregnant, per se (I don't think three-year-olds care about their mothers' girths enough to notice things like that), but I do remember her having to monitor her blood sugar levels. They didn't have handheld glucometers back then, so it was a big boxy thing that sat on the table. 

The poking part, however, is pretty much the same.

And I'm so pleased (haha...) to be giving my children the same early childhood memories. 

Alexander was already fascinated by blood. He talks about blood all the time, about how it runs through his veins, about his white blood cells and red blood cells, and what all the different parts of blood do. 

We were watching an episode of The Mysterious Benedict Society a couple of evenings ago and Mr. Benedict (who was out hiking) made a passing remark about needing to stay hydrated. Alexander started rambling about hydration.

"Why is it important to stay hydrated? Can you only stay hydrated with water? You need to stay hydrated when you exercise. But you don't always have to stay hydrated with water. Vampires stay hydrated with bllllloooood!"
He can turn almost any conversation to blood (or poop, but that topic is a fairly normal one for that age to turn to).

Needless to say, he considers watching me test my blood sugar level the greatest privilege in his short, little life. He wouldn't miss it for the world! He's starting to understand what a good reading is, what's low, what's high, what we have to do when I'm low, and...honestly I've really never been very high. But! He knows that we need to do a few exercises after every meal to make our muscles hungry for sugar.

I tested my blood sugar levels the other day and Alexander said, "What's your blood sugar at?"

"98," I said. 

In the US we still use mg/dL. I understand the rest of the world has moved on to bigger and better things (mmol/L). This is true about an astounding number of things in the United States. For as proud as we are as a nation, we certainly have allowed ourselves to stagnate. But I digress...

"Is that a good number?" Alexander asked.

"I'll take it," I said.

"What if it was five-tee-eight?" he asked.

"Fifty-eight would be a little low."

"Fifty-eight, maybe," he said, "But what about five-tee-eight?"

Those are the same number. Maybe. He doesn't have much of a concept beyond 1 means a single item, 2 is twice as much as that, 3 is quite a lot, and anything beyond that is ginormous. Eight, for example, is often his go-to choice for "big number." I mean, sure...he can count to twenty and say big numbers like eleventy-billion...but he can't really conceptualize those numbers yet. They're all just...big.

This morning I took my blood sugar two hours after breakfast (as one does) and I was at a fairly low 84 mg/dL (which is below the legal limit to drive in Australia (though above the legal limit to drive in America), so...).

"Momma needs to have a snack," I said. 

"Mmmmm," Alexander said, acting faint. "Me, too! I can feel my blood sugar lowering and lowering."

I gave him a little chuckle, and he snapped to attention with indignation.

"What?!" he demanded. "Kids have blood sugar, too, you know!"

So we had a little snack together.

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