A Mystery (One of Many)
It’s been very (very) hot here this week. On the evening of field day our town opened the pool, although it’s not typically open on weekdays until after school is out. We happily arrived a few minutes after the gates opened, and after a stifling day on the field and in school, my daughter wasted little time getting in.
I did have her stop to check her blood sugar prior to disconnecting her pump to get in the water. It was in the high 200’s. She’d run a bit high all day, probably partly due to the heat which tends to bump her up a bit, and was clearly rising. We corrected the number before disconnecting and she jumped in the pool with her friends, not to emerge for an hour and a half.
I’ve been cautious about correcting in the late afternoon for the past couple of weeks since she’s tended to drop like a stone by 7 p.m. We really should change our correction factor at that time, but I’ve lazily just skimmed a bit off of the suggested bolus and moved on. On Wednesday, though, I gave the whole thing for two reasons. She’d been high-ish all day and needed to start heading down, and she was disconnecting for at least an hour, so would miss that hour’s basal insulin. I figured we’d be lucky if she came out below 200.
When she plugged back in, she was 106. I was surprised but pleased. I also figured she’d creep back up from the missing insulin. She usually experiences a post-swimming high after a long disconnect.
Around 7, she was 80. We covered all of dinner, still anticipating that her numbers would rise. At 8:45, she appeared. “I felt low and I’m 60.” I tucked her back in after a juice and a hug. She never got above 120 all night.
Why did this happen? Maybe because she finally cooled off. Maybe it was the giant iced tea she drank at the pool, which re-hydrated her. Maybe the swimming made all that insulin on board work extra hard. Maybe the field day exercise finally caught up with her. Maybe they added insulin to the pool water. Anybody’s guess is as good as mine.
There’s definitely science involved in diabetes management. Then there’s the experiential learning where you learn what works and what doesn’t with your own body. But after eight and a half years, I’m convinced that a huge part of it will forever remain a mystery.