Evie came home yesterday from school with a headache and an upset stomach. She gets headaches pretty frequently and for a variety of reasons, diabetes being one of them. Sometimes with nausea, sometimes not.
Her blood sugar had been pretty high at bedtime the night before, over 500, but she came back down with two overnight corrections, so I figured she had just missed a bolus, as opposed to having pump problems. Her blood sugar had not been especially high yesterday at school, or at home in the afternoon….200’s, not great, but not that unusual for her.
She had the headache all day, and had a mediocre appetite at dinner. When I checked her at bedtime her blood sugar was over 500 again, and…..surprise! her blood ketone level was 2.3 mmol/L (red light zone!). I had her test with a urine ketone strip for comparison, and she tested out with Large ketones.
(Neither Evie nor Luke have been especially prone to developing ketones in the past, and we’ve gotten out of the habit of checking regularly. In fact, we check so rarely that I had to open a new bottle of urine ketone strips for Evie to test. Time to get back in the habit.)
So I changed out her infusion set and insulin reservoir and did a correction bolus, had her drink a huge glass of water, and pushed her basal insulin rate to 175%. And then checked her blood sugar and ketone levels about a million times throughout the night.
By about 3:00 am she had negative blood ketones and her BG was below 100. I checked her again an hour or so later and she was 75, so she drank 4 oz of juice and went back to sleep. She woke up this morning at 65.
I figured she was in the clear until she texted me her blood sugar number from school this morning: 451 at 10: 30 am. Way too high for 2.5 hours after a carefully carb-counted breakfast. Sigh. Her dad brought some freshly opened insulin to school and changed out her pump reservoir again, and she bottomed out at 43 two-hours after lunch.
So the front-runners for probable causes are: bad infusion site, degraded insulin, stealthy illness, or maybe even hormonal insulin resistance? I wish it was more clear, but, frustratingly, nothing about diabetes is ever cut and dry. Sometimes it just sucks.