Early Warning System
Don’t judge me too quickly when I tell you I was relieved when my daughter came down with a minor ailment last Tuesday. I am, of course, sorry that she was not feeling her best, and grateful that her recovery was efficient. Rest assured she received her fair share of hugs, tv shows, and cold drinks.
The problem was that her blood sugar was very high on Sunday and Monday. We have our occasional outliers numbers-wise, but this was a lengthy and un-fixable stretch which made me begin to question all sorts of things. After the first couple of corrections didn’t work, we had eliminated the possibility of bad carb counting and had checked the infusion site. We looked for bubbles in the tubing and saw none. Then we changed the site (which looked fine). That didn’t work either, so I started a new bottle of insulin. It had been hot, and I know insulin doesn’t love summer. Nothing budged. My bag of tricks was empty and I was wondering if somehow her basal rates needed to be doubled overnight when I heard these words: “Mommy….I don’t feel well.” And despite my best mommy instincts, I felt relief.
Word on the street is that many people with diabetes have this early warning system for illness. Before the symptoms appear, the body is fighting something off and the blood sugar skyrockets. For some, these highs continue throughout the illness. This happens for my daughter with a serious illness, but for minor things like colds, the most glorious thing happens. Once she’s come down with the illness, her blood sugar drops into her goal range and remains there in a bizarrely consistent fashion.
Now if diabetes would just fine-tune this warning system, it would be much more helpful. We need a more efficient way to differentiate these high numbers from those with other causes. We could also use a heads-up on what the impending illness is so we can begin to react. I could then conveniently pre-schedule pediatrician appointments, pick up a bottle of ginger ale, or start pushing vitamin c.
Unfortunately, diabetes isn’t a terribly good listener, so I guess I’ll have to settle for those nice numbers we saw as my daughter recovered at the end of last week.