Good BG control came up recently when I spoke to a few parents considing an insulin pump for their child with diabetes. I love the pump (we have the Animas One Touch Ping). Benny’s been using his for more than five years and it allows flexibility and precise dosing. No shots is a nice bonus, but it’s the targeted control that I really love. The pump is just a machine, though, connected to the body by what’s basically a band-aid with a stick. Stuff happens. Things go wrong.
Luckily those problems are few and far between, but we had a doozy this week. Benny had a weird high at school. 300 at 3pm. 380 at 3:30. The dose was 7 units (which is big for him) and they were nervous about the possiblity of a low on the school bus home, so I picked him up. Of course, he was starving and wanted to eat. That’s tough when he’s so high; you really just want them to drink water and run around until the BG gets better. But I hate to tell my hungry 8-year old he can’t have dinner, so we ate. And boy did he eat! I took that as a good sign; the giant insulin bolus seemed to be doing its job.
We changed the inset right after dinner and slammed another 8 units to cover the high BG and the food. Still, an hour later we got the dreaded HIGH read-out. That means it’s over 500, so high the meter busts out all-caps to yell at you instead of showing a real number. Hate that.
Benny asked whether we should call the doctor, but I told him we could handle it. I said we’d check again in a half hour and if he wasn’t coming down we’d make some decisions. That would include whether to give him a shot but, since I didn’t feel like starting a panic at bedtime, I kept that to myself.
At 9:15 he was down to 280. Great news, but of course, now we were braced for the low. We’d given the kid enough insulin to bring down a small elephant, so we expected him to crash at some point overnight. We got lucky, though. At 11pm he was around 150 and at 1:30 he was 95. I liked that 95, but I didn’t trust it to stay, so I gave him a 15 carb juice box. Benny woke up feeilng good and with a normal BG. We were pretty tired, but grateful for a safe night and a working inset.
These are the nights I think of when people ask me if we’ve got Benny’s diabetes under control. Sometimes I educate, sometimes I just say yes. “Under control” with diabetes doesn’t mean perfect BG’s, sunshine and sugar-free lollipops. It means rolling with the punches, dealing with what’s in front of you and sometimes laughing when you want to cry. So yeah, we’ve got control.