Tag Archives: Hypoglycemia

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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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!

Surprise! A Ketone All-Nighter

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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.