Catching Lows, Chasing Highs

     They say you often know your kid is getting sick possibly even days before real symptoms start because of how their blood sugar reacts. M was sick, including throwing up in the middle of the night & massive blow-out diapers. This was the first non-"cold" sickness she’s had since developing diabetes and it threw us for a loop. She started off by being high a couple nights in a row, which is hard when you are a D parent because you don’t want to give them too much insulin and have them drop to a low in the middle of the night, but yet you also don’t want them to stay high either. We always err on the side of caution and give half-corrections but those couple of nights the insulin just wouldn’t cut down the highs. (She was hovering between 250-300).

     In the morning (after discovering, then cleaning up the vomit), I checked her ketones and moderate ones (1.6) showed on our nifty Precision Xtra ketone meter. (Great for non-potty trained toddlers!).  Right after I called her Dr.’s office, she had a blow-out diaper. Per the doctor, checked ketones an hour later and it was down to 0.1. “That must have really cleared her system”, I thought. I called her Dr.’s office for an update and again, right after I hung up, another blow-out diaper. Greeaaatt. 3 pairs of jeans later, she was finally good on her blood sugar. Until we noticed that now she was having lowered blood sugars. I mean like sugars that were normal for a normal person(!) but head scratching for our daughter, who is still getting her treatment doses dialed in.  Then 4 hours after a meal, she would suddenly start climbing on the Dexcom. This went on for a couple of days until she started a pattern of going low instead of just staying in the normal non-diabetic range after a meal. Nothing too dramatic but still a 67 during naptime is never ideal, especially with a newborn in the house and limited time to get things done. Naptime is my only possible time to potentially be by myself, have a bit of quiet, read a book, be able to eat without stuffing it down my throat, or even, dare I say it, catch a nap myself. (I say potentially because with a newborn this doesn’t always work out). So I treat the low, which means the 15/15/15 rule. (15 grams of fast acting carbs, followed by a 15 minute wait, followed by 15 grams of snack if blood is above 80 by then). Well by the second blood check and giving a snack, no toddler is going to lay back down afterwards. This went on for almost two whole weeks, a full week past any physical "sick" symptoms.

     I talked to the diabetes management team at our Dr.’s office, who stated that there isn’t much research regarding lows during sickness, but that they have heard from parents of them sometimes occurring. For as much as we’ve learned about diabetes since the commercialization of insulin in 1922, we have so much that we still don’t know!

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