Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Roller Coaster Numbers

Lately, the girls numbers have been running a tad higher than we'd like to see.  A bit more sporadic jumps into 'Wo, that's high!' numbers.

Of course, we are talking about type 1 diabetes here.... it's not like there's really a TRUE predictable pattern - at least not as we've found with growing little girls.

We've been playing with their basal rates trying to combat the highs.  Just as we think we've gotten a handle on things, their numbers will plummet out from under us and we'll have a night of extreme lows.


That's the worst - you bump up insulin to try to keep those high numbers at bay.  To thwart off 'future damage' to one's internal organs... yet, that very same tactic can backfire and bring numbers plunging to scary lows that are hard to bring back up to safe levels.

Just when you think you are doing the best you can to keep your child healthy, you suddenly find that very plan of action is bringing your loved one seriously close to seizures or death.

It's mind boggling.

Mind numbing.

Grief throbbing.

We've heard horror stories of others using insulin pump therapy - which simply means using an insulin pump to distribute insulin rather than a syringe - going into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from pump failure and extreme high blood glucose numbers.

DKA occurs when the body isn't getting the insulin it needs.  This results in 
glucose remaining in the blood rather than entering the cells that need it for energy.
When too much sugar builds up, the blood can become acidic, making the individual
very sick.  If not treated; if insulin is not given; the body will begin to shut down. 
Coma, brain damage, and eventually death will occur if not remedied.

We are vigilante in watching for such a scenario.  

However, things in diabetes world can take a drastic turn rather quickly.

Overnight, Trinity's numbers just. wouldn't. come. down.

A correction before bed.  One before Techno and I turned in for the night a few hours later.  Yet another in the middle of the night when Techno was up dealing with a rather bad low with Selah and himself.  Then yet another at breakfast.

Each time, her BG would start trending down, fooling us that all was moving in the right direction.  Only to discover a couple hours later it was right back up - higher than the time before.


In general the girls have been running higher at night and once they get their 'food boluses' along with their basal rate, things tend to 'settle in' a bit more come morning. 

That was what we banked on as we headed out for church.

In the middle of Sunday school Trinity feels her Dexcom vibrate and looks at her screen.  HIGH!  That means the interstitial fluid that the sensor reads was showing a level of 400 or higher as that is the highest this particular piece of equipment can detect.  

Scrubbing her fingertip with an alcohol swab and a finger prick later, her blood glucose meter glared a staggering 592.

I don't know that we've seen quite that high a number since early diagnosis.

We both drew the same conclusion that her pump site was probably failing.  She still took a correction with the plan to change said pump site as soon as class was finished.

As I was changing her pump site in the nursery, chatting with her and two other moms also in the room, I commented that her site had possibly failed and we needed to change her inset as her levels were so high at 592.  One mom asked, "Is that pretty high?"  The other, who has a brother with T1 as well responded, "Yeah, that's close to comatose high."

She wasn't wrong.

By the time the church service was over - about an hour and half after the high reading and the change of pump site - her numbers were down significantly.  

Still higher than we'd like to see, but not so alarmingly high.

The pump site must have been working at least a little b/c that insulin we gave during Sunday school was doing it's job -- even if only half heartedly.

My heart still thumps and lunges to the pit of my stomach when I see such high numbers but it no longer turns me into a puddle of mush.  

I take a deep breath; assess the situation; gauge the girls physical status; make decisions; and take action.

It's a day in, day out thing.

On the outside - our girls look like healthy,  happy little people playing, growing, even thriving.  For the most part, that's very true.

However, it's a constant battle to keep this beast of a disease at bay.

This event was such a reminder of that.

It doesn't take much; it doesn't take long; a good day can turn south in a short span of time.

I'm grateful for the technology we have and the life saving insulin to keep them laughing, giggling, and being the precious little gems that they are.

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