What Happened?

The call from the nurse's office at 2 p.m. started the mysterious chain of events:

My daughter's blood sugar was 70 after gym, having started at 208 with no insulin given for a correction.  I suggested eating her 15 g. snack and checking again before walking home.

At 3, it was up to 294...an extreme jump.  Uncertain of the cause of this high, and factoring in the coming walk home, I advised giving a little over half the correction.

After a 15 minute walk, she arrived home with a blood sugar of 358.

We made a site change the first order of business.  The cannula area appeared dark red and somewhat crusty.  I'd never seen one quite like it.  When I pulled it, it turned into a gusher.  It required a clever yoga move by my daughter to get her site area above her heart, but this basic first aid tactic did stop the bleeding and allow us to continue.

New site nicely inserted,  I determined that this grusome looking site had simply conked out, causing all of these blood sugar issues. I delivered a hearty correction for the 358 plus a few goldfish crackers. 

My daughter was able to move on to homework, but we lost a precious 20 minutes of our busy Thursday afternoon to diabetes troubleshooting.  Math homework was done in the car on the way to ballet.  Typing of the short story would have to be finished after ballet and dinner, in lieu of watching the baseball playoffs. Very sad.

About 40 minutes into the ballet class, she was next to me on the bench outside her studio.  "I need to check."  She was 49. 

"I guess the new site works," I muttered, shoving the straw into the juice box.  She sat and slurped.  She valiantly returned to her class and participated, resting on the window ledge between exercises.

What happened?  I wish I knew.  There are several possible scenarios:

The site was obviously shot, but maybe not as completely as it looked. Perhaps there was more insulin on board than I assumed when I gave the correction?

Maybe some of the high was from the bad site, but some was from another cause.  Perhaps she was lower than 70 sometime during gym and had a rebound reaction?  Gym or a math quiz might have prompted an adrenaline rush which spiked her blood sugar?  In either case, it would have been prudent to be more careful with the correction.

Maybe our correction factor is way off for that time of day?

Trying to complete a complicated math and logic problem with about half the possible information is nearly impossible.  If we're lucky, we guess the missing information correctly and solve it accurately.  Just as often, we'll guess wrong and have to hope that missing a little bit of ballet class is the worst outcome we'll see.


  1. is a gusher what it sounds like? (a gush of blood???) did her site *hurt* at all? we had a slightly similar (or similar but less extreme) pattern (or lack of pattern) today with an inflamed, painful site that worked/didn't work/worked too well/got yanked.

    i love this kind of post--i learn so much from listening to other parents unpack the possible causes of the crazy numbers.

    1. Yup...unstoppable bleeding, like a horror movie. She didn't stay it hurt, but I imagine it would have soon.
      Usually the crazy numbers have no explanation whatsoever, but happy share my guessing game!


Thanks for commenting. I review all comments before they are posted, so please be patient!