Friday, September 30, 2011

The Roller Coaster That No One Should Ride

Life with diabetes is like a roller coaster ride.  As soon as you start getting consistent blood sugar readings (for Emerson that would be between 100 and 200 – a pretty big target right), something happens and the ride begins again.  Emerson has been pumping since June, and we are just starting to see more consistent readings.  But then, something like a growth spurt, sudden and prolonged activity due to visitors showing up or an issue with pod (aka her pump), can drastically send her low or high in a matter of minutes. 
We experienced one of those blood sugar roller coaster rides yesterday – the details of how it all unfolded are below.  We had a similar experience last week, so we learned to act a little more quickly.
6:45 a.m. – 189 (off to a good start)
9:11 a.m. – 126 (awesome reading considering the timing – did we conquer the post breakfast spike?)
12:04 p.m. – 177 (still doing good at lunch)
3:14 p.m. – 232 (much higher than our normal afternoon snack reading – we wonder about the possible causes but hope she is lower at dinner.)
5:59 p.m. – 415 (extremely high – we begin to become suspicious that it is a bad pod, but pray we are wrong and the big bolus will bring her down quickly.  Her pod isn’t due to be changed so we hope that it will make it the full three days.)
**Spent nearly an hour on the phone with the maker of the test strips reporting bad test strips, and finally I got them to agree to replace an entire bottle of test strips.
7:11 p.m. – 469 (wondering why the big bolus isn’t doing anything - something is definitely wrong but she must have gotten a decent amount of insulin if she hasn’t gone up much since dinner; now wondering if it is something else)
8:02 p.m. – 361 (ok, she’s slowly coming down, so we will give her a bath and then decide if we need to change her pod.)
8:50 p.m. – 353 (not coming down fast enough and a trace of ketones – time to change pod) 
**During the pod change, we injected the insulin into the pod and no beep (this happened early this week and the customer service representative at Omnipod told us to try a new pod), so we took out a second pod, injected insulin and no beep.  Finally, get a third pod to prime properly but it wasn’t sticking very well.  We taped the pod and applied liquid band-aid in loose areas and the pod seemed good.
9:04 p.m. – 346 (still not coming down quickly but no ketones – small snack and bolus)
10:23 p.m. – 391
12:24 a.m. – 409 (Late night pod changes usually mean high numbers but we are concerned that we might have to change the pod again.  Give correction and check again in an hour.)
1:24 a.m. – 333 (slowly coming down)
3:24 a.m. – 151 (yeah – finally, right in the middle of our target range)
6:17 a.m. – 102 (decided to do a quick check to make sure she didn’t crash before breakfast – of course, she was on track to be  low at breakfast so we gave her 5 Smarties and let her return to sleep)
6:56 a.m. – 118 (perfect again – hopefully, the day will be filled with good readings)
As you can see, life can get crazy in just a matter of minutes.  We still do not know what happened to cause her huge highs but we are guessing that maybe she hit her pod at school and it became kinked or loose (because this has happened before) or it just was defective, as there have obviously been other issues with multiple pods in the box. 
We are praying that diabetes will play nice this weekend and give us a weekend with good blood sugars – we sure need it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Meet the Redhead

Emerson, the redhead, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on February 8th, 2011 at 3 ½ years old.  Before her diagnosis, Emerson loved to dance, act, do gymnastics, and play with her friends at pre-school.  She didn’t believe in downtime – preferring instead to stay active until she was forced to go to bed.  She was a very competitive, driven kid, demanding to do things on her own and always looking to impress whoever was in her presence.  In the week leading up to her diagnosis, and for a few weeks after, things were quite a bit different.  (For the story on that difficult time please see the Diagnosis Story tab).  But after that brief “recovery” period, where we feared our Emerson had become someone else, the Emerson we knew returned… quickly becoming more competitive, driven, eager to learn, and our big helper with managing her health.  Like most kids, Emerson was clearly able to take this challenge in stride – much more so than her parents!  We couldn’t be more proud of her resiliency and ability to not let this affect her desire to live life to its fullest.
In June 2011, after 4 months with the disease, Emerson started on an insulin pump.  We chose the OmniPod, due mainly to it being tube-less and waterproof.  She loves being a “pumper” and does not miss injections at all.