A Month to Make Diabetes More Aware

Dear Diabetes,
Your awareness month is over, and it’s time for you to become more aware of some things about how the world is supposed to work.

When we are solving problems, we should be able to collect data, devise a reasonable solution, try it out. If it doesn’t work exactly as we hoped, we “tweak” it and try again. Eventually, persistence wins the day. Then, the next time we face the same problem, we use our solution and problem solved. If a biologist is trying to grow a new type of plant, and the plant isn’t doing well and he gives it more water and it thrives then he will know that the same symptoms in the future can be mitigated with more water.

But, Diabetes, I have spent over 2 months trying to get our daughter’s overnight pump settings (basal rates, correction factors, even I:C ratio for snacks) to a place where she can get through the night more or less in range most times. When she was high at bedtime and it was around 2.5 hours after dinner, I made her dinner I:C ratio more aggressive. When she was very high all night with no influence from food, I adjusted her basals. When overnight highs stubbornly stayed put despite correction boluses, I changed correction factors at different times. I kept track of various factors, wrote down all bg numbers and corrections, noted when the “pattern” changed completely for 2 days and then went back. Then I analyzed all of the numbers… Was this number high even 3 hours after a correction bolus? Was the fasting number better when I did test/correct at 2 p.m. or not? What happened when I tested every 2-3 hours through the night and let the bgs take their own course with just basal settings (no corrections)?

Last night I changed the 9:30 p.m. correction factor to try to get the ongoing correction bolus at 10-10:30 to actually bring the number down some by 2:30 a.m. At 2:30 a.m. she was 340 – higher than when she was corrected at 10:30. (Let’s not even get into those days when a 10:00 correction did work, or worked a little – the majority of days it just didn’t work). WTF Diabetes? What explanation can you possible give me for this? Growth spurt? Coming down with something? 6-year-old sleepwalking and drinking juice at 1 a.m.? Has she been having a growth spurt or coming down with something for over 2 months? I might believe the juice thing (if she could reach the cabinet with the juice boxes without knocking everything else over, or if any juiceboxes had been going missing, or if she ever threw anything away without having to be reminded), but almost every night for 2 months??

And, here’s another thing. Before and while I was pregnant, everyone said “there, there” (and rolled their eyes when I wasn’t looking I’m sure) when I brought up the question about our child’s chances of having T1 (or even some other autoimmune disorder). Joslin says, “if the mother has type 1 diabetes and is over age 25, the risk drops to 1 in 100 — virtually the same as the average American.”* And when, just after our daughter’s 3rd birthday, I noticed heavy urination, more drinking, fatigue in our usually bouncing-off-the-wall little girl, and I tested her and she was higher than a non-diabetic, when I called my own endo practice and then brought her to the pediatrician it was obvious that everyone was trying to calm down the paranoid T1 mom and if a trip to the doctor would “put her mind at ease” then just do that and get on with everyone’s life. Of course, a few hours later we were in the ER at Maine Medical Center and getting admitted. So, Diabetes, you might want to work with some of the experts on their interpretation of statistics.

One more thing: If I do the following things – exercise (a)at roughly the same time (b)having eaten the same foods (c)used the same bolus/temp basal settings (d)doing the same sort of exercise (e)starting at around the same blood sugar (f)for the same amount of time (g)at the same intensity (h)the same amount of time since my last exercise (i)under the same conditions and (j)I use the same tools to test and monitor and (k)treat any low blood sugars with the same thing in the same amount relative to the blood sugar & the trending and (l)I can rule out other factors like illness, menstrual period, injury, fatigue, extreme temperature, Mercury in retrograde, then I should be able to rely on ending up at roughly the same bg – at least in a similar range – each time. Instead, one hour after exercising on Friday I was 310, today I’m at 96. Really?

And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But, if you could be more aware of even one of these things for December that would be a big help. Lots of support in the DOC if you need it.



This entry was posted in Balance, Burnout, Exercise, Getting it Wrong, Living with Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Month to Make Diabetes More Aware

  1. Tina says:

    I love the way you are schooling diabetes. It’s about time we put an end to the shenanigans.
    Just hoped over to your blog from Laddie’s – Test Guess and Go.
    Glad she listed you in her blog roll. Ill be back to meander around when my left eye stops twitching from exhaustion.
    Thanks for sharing this. Really is a great way to end my night.

  2. Lesley says:

    Hi Tina – thanks for your comments. I wish we could really get Diabetes to stop the shenanigans!!

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