“Brrrrr…it’s a little chilly outside today,” I said to BSparl as I tucked her blanket snug around her wiggly little self in the car seat. She waved at me and showed me her sock.
“Yes, that’s a nice sock, birdy. Okay, let’s get out of here and get you into the car so we can go home!”
The automatic doors parted and a brisk gust of wind came and skipped down my collar. With the baby’s car seat safely tucked into the belly of the carriage, I ventured out to find my car in the massive parking lot.
“Ha ha, where did Mommy leave the car?” I said out loud, walking up and down the parking lot aisles and pressing the alarm on my keys. Nothing. No flashing lights, no subtle little “beep” noise from my Honda. Nothing but a sea of cars and I had no idea which one was mine.
“Am I getting old?” I asked BSparl. “Mmmmmm!” she proclaimed, raising her teething toy into the air.
I walked for several minutes, combing the lot for my car. And the wind kept whipping, only this time it felt good because it kept whisking the sweat off the nape of my neck. I felt dizzy.
“This car has to be here somewhere …” I passed the the same minivan I had just seen moments ago, the one with the stickers on the back advertising the happy family that held the title. “I just can’t find it. I can’t find anything, baby. I have no idea where this car is.”
BSparl was starting to fall asleep, tucked happily into the blankets in her car seat. And I could not find the car. The parking lot was this sea of blue and black and red cars, none of which were mine. My vision began to sharpen on the peripheral, leaving my main point of focus a little blurrier than usual. The sounds of the parking lot were magnified in my head, leaving me confused and lost in my mental cotton ball.
I felt the buzzing from my purse, and then heard the unmistakable BEEEEEEEP! of the Dexcom. Without checking to see what my blood sugar was, I reached into my purse while pushing the carriage and retrieved a jar of glucose tabs. I chomped down on four of them at a time, the glucose dust taking off into the air.
The ground was starting to shift, like a blurry and constant tremor that only I felt. I knew this low wasn’t good – I needed to find my car and sit in a hurry. But I had the baby with me. So I had to make sure she was safe, too.
I saw a young kid who was corralling the shopping carts. I motioned for him to come over, and he trotted over with a half smile.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Not really. I’m having a low blood sugar reaction and I cannot find my car. I need to get my baby into the car and out of the cold, but I can’t find my car. It’s not here. I can’t find it.” I hate when crying is the prominent symptom of a low. I felt the tears coming. And then I started to laugh, because I was picturing myself, shopping cart crammed with baby and bags, my coat sleeves covered in glucose dust, crying and roaming aimlessly around the parking lot in search of one little car.
This poor kid must have thought I was on drugs.
Everything happened in fast forward. This kid told me to stay where I was and he would find my car. He took my keys and returned quickly, telling me I was just a few aisles over. He put the baby’s car seat in her car, loaded my bags into my trunk, and asked me if I was okay. I housed a few more glucose tabs in the meantime.
“Do you need me to call someone for you?”
“No, I’ll be fine in just a few minutes. I just couldn’t find the stupid car and my blood sugar wasn’t helping. I’m so sorry. Thank you so much for your help.”
“Okay. No problem. If you need anything, I’ll be rounding up carts. I will be watching you, okay?” He paused for a second, and then rubbed his hands over his attempt at a beard. “Not like ‘watching you’ in a creepy way. Just like making sure you two are okay.”
I sat in the car and waited for my blood sugar to come up while BSparl napped in the back seat. After a few minutes, I checked to see 82 mg/dl flashing up from my meter.
“Holy biplane-building cats, Batman,” I mumbled to myself. “I must have been crazy low.”
Safe in my car with my baby buckled in, I waited in the parking lot for my blood sugar to continue to rise, thankful for the kindness of strangers.
*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*