Tag Archives: Blood Sugar Checks

Vampire Cannula….the Worst Ever?

Sometimes when high blood sugars don’t seem to respond AT ALL to correction boluses, you know its not a carbohydrate issue, or bad insulin, the only thing to do is pull the site and start over.

And sometimes, low and behold, the answer is in the cannula. Or in this case, all the way up the tubing.

Worst occlusion ever.

Four Little Words

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“Mom, I’m so thirsty.”

Uttered by my middle son this evening, these four little words made by blood run cold. Only because, a few minutes earlier he has also said “I feel like I’ve had to go to the bathroom a million times today!”.

Please no please no please NO.

I took a deep breath and tried to stay calm. As I was trying to recall if I’d observed any other symptoms lately, my mind was simultaneously jumping ahead to life-with-diabetes x 3. As I was sitting with him I started to feel more and more stressed, and so suggested that I needed to check his blood sugar NOW.

Mistake.

The mere mention of poking his finger reduced him to fearful tears, and pretty soon he was asking me if he was going to get a pump too. Whoa, bud, let’s not go there yet. Managing his mini-freak-out helped me get over my own anxiety enough to let him go to sleep before I poked him. (Not even a flinch, by the way.)

And that was the longest 5-second meter countdown EVER.

107.

Phew.

No diabetes tonight.

Pacific Crest Sports Festival 2013

One of the highlights of this past summer was our family trip to Sunriver, Oregon in June for the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival. I love this weekend because everyone has a chance to challenge themselves, and we all learn how to support and encourage one another.

You never know what kind of weather you’ll get in Bend, but this year was beautiful! The sky was sunny and the air was warm every day. This did make for challenging running conditions later in the day, and also presented some additional diabetes-related considerations. We made sure to do extra blood sugar checks (before and after races) and keep lots of juice boxes, glucose tablets, and snacks on hand. Luke had one scary, almost-Glucagoned-him, very low blood sugar, but otherwise diabetes didn’t slow anyone down!

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Evie and Luke take care of their diabetes after a race

I was planning to run the 10K this year, but the timing of the race was inconvenient, so I went ahead and signed up for the Half-Marathon instead. My longest run up to then had been about 7 miles, so I had no huge expectations for 13.1 miles, other than crossing the finish line. I surprised myself by running the majority of the race, and reveled in the accomplishment for the rest of the day! I’ll definitely run another Half in the future.

This year was definitely the year for stepping up! Evie and Will, along with some of the other older kids, ran in the 5K race instead of the one-mile this year, and Jackson ran the 1-mile for the first time. I love to see them succeed when they challenge themselves, and it’s so good for their blossoming confidence to try new things, even when it’s tough!

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Small racers run in the 1-Mile Dash

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Our 5K runners….what a great group of kids!

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Will, Luke, and Evie after the 5K finish, enjoying treats in the Runner’s Pavilion

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Evie crosses the 5K finish line alongside Ruby

One of my other favorite things about this weekend is that we also have the opportunity to provide support and encouragement to athlete’s of all ages and skill levels on the race courses–our friends and family, as well as strangers. I know how energizing it is to pass people who cheer and yell for you during a tough run, and I’m happy to be able to pass that on!

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Learning how to encourage each other: 1-Milers pose for an after race photo, Jackson high-fives a triathlete along the course

Once again, it was an awesome weekend, and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Back to School!

This school year, everyone is going to be prepared!

Last year and the year before I wasn’t great about keeping a lot of supplies at school. A box of graham crackers for awhile….maybe a few extra juice boxes. But this year I’m not going to have the luxury of running up to the health room if someone pulls a set or needs more strips for their meter. So, in the hopes that as many issues as possible can be taken care of at school, I put together diabetes supply boxes for Evie and Luke:photo 1 (11)

I felt like I was packing for a week in the wilderness! Diabetes is all about troubleshooting and planning ahead, so there are multiples of everything that either of them could need at any time; anything they could need replaced, or forget, or run out of is in this box.

  • Glucose Tabs
  • Ketone Test Strips
  • Infusion Sets
  • Reservoirs
  • IV-3000
  • Skin Tac WIpes
  • Alcohol Wipes
  • Insulin Syringes
  • Disposable Lancets
  • Pump Batteries
  • Extra BG meter
  • BG Test Strips
  • Lancets
  • Meter Charger
  • Snacks
  • Juice Boxes

Did I forget anything?

The only thing not in here is insulin, which I will eventually have to provide per Washington State’s Disaster Preparedness Plan. I just don’t have enough right now to tie up two bottles at two different schools. That stuff’s like gold.

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It fits!!!

Well, we’re they’re as ready as we’re they’re going to be. Happy Back-To-School (with diabetes)!

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The Little Daily Gifts

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I’m grateful for the smallest gifts, like a tiny hand casually draped over the bunk bed rail so, this time, I don’t have to root around and under the small boy who is sound asleep in a knot of blankets in the top bunk, at 2 am when I can barely keep my eyes open, to do a blood sugar check.

Hypoglycemia Unawareness

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“Actually, I’m feeling a little low…..”

This was Luke’s response when I asked if his blood sugar was high, a question brought on by some mildly squirrely behavior. (Although in hindsight, the alligator tears over a minor disagreement with his brother should have clued me into to the hypo-in-progress.)

I could not have been more surprised to see this number on the meter.

If, at 31, he just started to be aware enough of a low blood sugar to tell me, and I just started to see symptoms that would make me ask the question, what was going on in his body in between 30 and 80? Or is the meter/strip just too inaccurate at those low numbers, and he wasn’t truly that low?

He gobbled down 4 glucose tabs and a 16-gram yogurt, and when we rechecked a few minutes later he was up to 96. Phew.

This is the second time this week that he’s crashed into the low 30’s, with no symptoms or awareness, after a breakfast site change. Next time I change out his infusion set I’m going to do hourly checks until I’m sure his numbers are staying up!

DBlog Week 2013, Day One: Share And Don’t Share

Click for the Share And Don’t Share-Monday 5/13/13 List of DBlog Post Links

DBlog Week is an entire week in which diabetes bloggers will be posting daily using pre-determined writing prompts. I’ve never written every day for a week before, so this is going to stretch my brain in a new (and hopefully interesting) way. I can’t promise that the chaos of my life won’t interfere….some posts may happen in the wee hours of the night….but I’ll do my best to write on every topic!

So here goes….

“Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see?”

First off, our endo provider is also a parent of type-1 diabetic kids, so I know he already “gets it” in the visceral sort of way that providers without type 1 kids can’t. All of the anxiety, stress, worry, chaos, uncertainty, and fatigue that I feel is something I know he understands. That’s a blessing when it’s time to come in for those dreaded check-in appointments.

So for all the other providers out there who don’t have such a personal connection to Type 1, I wish they could see that I eat, sleep, and breathe diabetes. It’s ever-present in my mind; sometimes at the forefront, when I’m in the middle of carb counting or a set-change for instance, and sometimes just as a low-level anxiety, like a mosquito buzzing in my ear.

I download insulin pumps every two weeks to search for patterns and make pump adjustments. I memorize food labels and ingredient lists. I organize and keep inventory of our myriad diabetes supplies. I skip sleep to make sure I get middle of the night blood sugar checks and corrections done. I read about diabetes. I research available technology. I troubleshoot, and I problem-solve, and I teach, and I teach some more. I haggle with our insurance and mail-order pharmacy for hours. I worry about exerting too much control over their food choices. I worry about exerting too little control over their food choices. I worry about everything, and yet I know that I’m doing the best I can.

I take that on as a mom so that my kids don’t have to feel that, and so it doesn’t dictate our family life. I keep a straight face even as I’m stressing about their upcoming A1C results, so they don’t ever feel like they’re burdening me. I talk with them about their diabetes in an age-appropriate way, all the while thinking about the very real and life threatening implications of the disease.

It’s a lot, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. What I never want my providers to see (but which I have to cop to), is that we sometimes go 4-5 days on an infusion set because I don’t have a great system for remembering to change them. My kids eat more treats than I’d like and is good for them. A lot of the time we’re rushing around and I do things like forget their diabetes kit, or that they needed more strips. Lancet-changing….doesn’t happen.

An although I know I’m doing the best I can, there’s always room to do better. I’m going to be so happy when I’m doing enough to finally see some good Hemoglobin A1C numbers. More on that another time….