Hello Ketones

She was awake early with stomach cramps, nausea and a low grade fever. She felt miserable. On the bright side her blood sugar was quite reasonable.  I relegated her to the 'sick corner' of the sofa with the remote and a cup of peppermint tea.  

I proceeded to make the requisite phone calls, and coffee.  Then, ironically, I had to go to the school anyway to drop off dessert for lunch with a visiting author. On the way home I stopped at the convenience store to pick up a low-carb sports drink.  

Arriving home, I had my daughter check her blood sugar again.  Then it occurred to me (belatedly, I know) to check for ketones too.  I dug the blood ketone meter out of the diabetes box.  A quick drop of blood and the result read out.  '1.2.'

"That seems pretty high," I said vaguely. We check ketones during illnesses, but it's been years since she's had any.  I did some quick research. 'Moderate' was the official term I was looking for.  We needed to take action quickly or things would go from bad to worse.  Meanwhile, her blood sugar was down to 120. She needed insulin to help clear the ketones, and therefore she'd need to take in some carbohydrates to balance it out. 

I calculated a generous insulin dose and she managed to get down 15 carbs of ginger ale.  I then provided her with a cheerful travel cup full of the diet sports drink. She sipped as best she could to start washing those ketones out of her system. The combination of insulin and hydration began to work their magic. We were soon out of the woods.

What struck me about this incident was how unprepared I felt for it.  My instinct, when I didn't know what that ketone reading meant, was to time travel back 11 years and dig out the booklet our children's hospital gave us when she was diagnosed. The chart was right where I pictured it, accompanied by lots of helpful advice which helped me deal with the problem.  Yet questions remain.

Should I be relying on 11 year old information or are there newer protocols?  Would it be worthwhile to review sick day plans at our next endo appointment?  Should plans for various emergencies be reviewed every couple of years as a rule?

Hopefully it will be another few years before I need this information again, but I don't plan to wait that long to refresh my memory.

1 comment:

  1. It's all so new to me; I have no idea. We just struggled with ketones and illness last week. It's so hard to get the child to eat when he's sick, though thankfully he was excellent about drinking plenty so it flushed out eventually. Hope your daughter feels better very soon!


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