This is what you get when you “rage” bolus in the wee hours of the morning… a guilt producing, scary low blood sugar reading that you, the parent caused. 😢
Multiple, multiple times every single day we make medical decisions that affect Eden’s life.
We do the very best we can to act like her non-functioning pancreas but we make mistakes, we are not perfect and Type 1 Diabetes is unpredictable and stupid.
Last night Eden had basketball practice – as typical LATELY – her blood sugar starts off fine and then adrenaline kicks in and she skyrockets mid practice. I have experimented with giving her extra insulin before practice to counterbalance the high that is coming – but that in itself is very risky. Exercise typically causes a DROP in blood sugar, so additional insulin upfront could have BAD consequences. Adrenaline highs usually correct themselves over a period of hours after her body recovers and her blood sugar levels out.
I say USUALLY…
Because over the past few months, everything that we had become accustomed to her body doing has changed. Her body is changing and so are her insulin needs and how it reacts.
We fill the reservoir in the pump that holds the insulin with 2-3 days worth of insulin. (mind you she doesn’t use the same amount daily) The insulin only stays stable for that length of time due to body and outside temperatures and we also need to rotate the location of the cannula under her skin. The longer the cannula stays under the skin in one place, the poorer the adsorption, the greater risk for bacteria entering her body and the development of scar tissue. The longer the insulin stays in the reservoir, the more it breaks down and is less effective in controlling her blood sugars.
Eden does not particularly like having her site changed. Honestly, I really can’t blame her – its a big needle that we have to insert into her body and I hate having to do it – but it is a necessary evil.
I mark on my calendar the 2 day mark and check in with her on how much insulin she has remaining so that she doesn’t run out, consider how stable her numbers are and go from there. Yesterday was day 3 and her site needed to be changed but she still had plenty of insulin left to get through the night after practice so I opted to put it off and do it in the morning – putting off inflicting pain on my child and wanting to use every precious drop of the liquid gold she had remaining in her pump.
Her blood sugar after practice was high – not unusual – and not as high as it has been getting
A fairly typical reading of late – she gave herself a correction dose of insulin to bring it down and I watched Dex closely over the next couple of hours.
Bedtime for me and Dex showed she had come down consistently – not too quickly – and leveled off in the 200’s.. I was totally happy with that knowing that she would continue to drop on her own.
What I did NOT expect was at her next check that her Dexcom reading would be WAY off – showing a reading in the mid 200’s when a finger prick was actually 395 😒
SO – I give her another correction dose of insulin using her pump and stumble back to bed.
Restless – I continue to check Dex consistently over the next few hours – waiting for it to catch up and display an accurate blood sugar number. Dex still showing in the 200’s..
Get up again and do another finger prick… 302
UGH… another correction with her pump.
Back to bed – I fall asleep for 30 mins or so and it dawns on me… HER PUMP SITE IS NOT WORKING.
Fed up and exhausted – I get BACK OUT OF BED – head to the supply cupboard – get a syringe – go to the fridge and get the insulin. I draw out insulin for the correction I am convinced she just didn’t receive and an extra unit to make up for the basal insulin she wasn’t going to be getting..
I take the insulin and I inject it into her arm and head back to bed.
2 hours later and I am awoken by D-dad getting up and ready for work. I look at my wrist and it says Eden’s blood sugar is 85 with an arrow down… I thought to myself – well, it probably isn’t accurate – it has been off all night – fighting the need to get up.
Get out of bed AGAIN to test Eden.
Finger prick 85…
SPOT ON – COMPLETELY ACCURATE and MATCHING DEX
SAY WHAT ?!
Well, I guess my day has now officially started.. 85 is on the low end and thanks to Dex it shows, still dropping. Given the fact it is Spring Break and she will be in bed for a few more hours – too low for my liking.. Within minutes, my wrist is vibrating and she drops to 74 – head to her room – wake her up to eat some sugar. I watch and wait – she drops into the 60’s – head back to her room – wake her again and make her eat some more..
and that, my friends is how we ended up at a lovely blood sugar reading of 52 this morning.
Fed up with a blood sugar that would not come down, frustrated with an inaccurate reading from Dex that we rely heavily on and mad at myself that I didn’t just change her site before bed and just wanting to SLEEP.
I, her mother, gave her a dose of insulin that caused a dangerous low blood sugar..
To be fair – we will never actually know whether it was the exercise finally catching up with Eden or the dose of insulin I gave her that caused it. Her Dex could have been accurate the entire time and she could have had residue on her fingers causing an inaccurate finger prick. It could have been a combination of all of those things and/or her site could have been functioning just fine and we were only dealing with a stubborn high??
no way to know whether it was my fault or not… But I am her mother and I am in charge of keeping her ALIVE during the overnight hours.. the guilty feelings will ALWAYS creep in – even though we do the very best we can with what we have…
So – not only did I save my child’s life today – I could easily have taken it away..
It could have been MUCH worse and those thoughts will plague me today… a hard thing to swallow for sure but I cannot dwell on it too long..
It is our life – walking that tightrope every.single.day. and some days we fall off..
But we bounce back and do it all over again because we have no other choice.
THAT is the Type 1 Diabetes life..
WE NEED A CURE…