Highs and Lows

It’s been a couple weeks since I popped in on here so let me share what’s been going on.

On May 19 we had a very nice park outing with a group of type 1 families in our area. The group rented a bounce house for the kids and the adults got to sit around and chit chat while the kids played.  It was very nice and very good for us to get out and socialize and get some insight from others who have been dealing with this longer than we have.  Us moms have a facebook group and we communicate on a regular basis, but it’s nice to actually get together in person with the whole family.  The dads got to socialize with the other dads and the kids got to feel like “normal” kids for a little while.  Type 1 was normal for those few hours.  Exercise, especially prolonged exercise, and excitement/adrenaline can have a pretty profound impact on blood glucose readings.  Every once in a while you’d hear one parent or another say “Come on, (child), out of the jolly jump to check your BG real quick.  Oh, you’re low, have a cookie (which one of the moms kindly provided – only 10 grams of carbs a piece!  Score!)”  And so it would go for most of the kids there who are living with this every day.

For Angelina, she’s an only child, we didn’t have many friends with kids, and the friends we did have with kids we didn’t spend a ton of time with because who has time for a social life when you have kids?!?  Anyway,  at her school she is also the only kid with Type 1 so it’s just her.  Luckily she is a pretty resilient kid and isn’t afraid to tell people about her health conditions or educate them on what they are and what to do about it, but it still makes her somewhat different from her peers so it was great for her to have at least those few hours where almost every other kid there was the SAME as her and had to stop and check BG’s and be encouraged to eat some cookies so they could keep playing and stay out of the adult’s hair for another half hour.

So, we were chasing lows most of the rest of that day as the excitement, adrenaline, and extra exercise ran it’s course.  Then on Monday morning she was 47, which meant she was going to school late.  Well, that was a stubborn low.  It didn’t want to come up and I had to treat her 3 different times before we got her BG over 100.  Then she was getting dressed and said she felt bumps on her lower back.  It just looked like irritation from her waist band so I told her she still needed to go to school.  She and I decided to grab some McD’s for breakfast and load her up on carbs since the lows from the day before seemed to want to carry over to Monday.   We’re sitting eating our breakfast and she’s complaining about her back.  I lift up her shirt and she’s got these bumps all over her back and around her neck.  It looked kind of like hives, but they weren’t particularly itchy and they weren’t red at all like her hives generally are.  I decided to call her in to school that day, I gave her some benadryl and we headed back home.  I tried calling the pediatrician’s office but they didn’t have any appointments that day, only the next day.  Well, I figured whatever it was would probably be gone by the next day so I declined the appointment and figured I would just keep an eye on it and I could always take her to urgent care if it seemed worse.

She seemed good most of the day even though the bumps persisted.  The benadryl didn’t do much of anything for them.  We had to go to Target in the afternoon so I grabbed a tube of hydrocortisone and benadryl cream to try.  She put some hydrocortisone on in the care, but we saw no improvement.  Later in the evening after her bath I put a mix of hydrocortisone and benadryl cream on and sent her to bed.  In the morning, the bumps were still there but they seemed to have gotten smaller, but more spread out. I called the dr’s office again and they got her in at 10am.

I took her into the pediatrican who just said it looked like some type of reaction, possibly from the park the day before.  It just seemed weird to me because it took 16 hours after we left the park to show up, and she had a bath as soon as we got home from the park.   I do know delayed allergic reactions are possible, but we’ve never seen one like that with her.  She also wasn’t exposed to any of her KNOWN allergens, which means if it was an allergic reaction then she’s developed new allergies.  The dr just said to use the hydrocortisone and do our normal eczema skin care routine.  She said the rash didn’t look dangerous and probably wasn’t contagious so she was fine to go back to school and normal activity.  During this whole time I noticed her bg’s were up-down-up-down throughout the day.

On Wednesday she seemed fine, still had some bumps but dr had said it was okay, so she went to school.  Then Thursday morning I went in to get her up and she said she didn’t feel good.  She felt a little warm so I checked her temp and she was 100.1.  Hooray!  We saw high blood glucose readings most of the day and we just kind of hung around the house. She was feeling okay and seemed fine, just that low grade fever.  David had a cold Monday-Thursday so I thought maybe she was coming down with that since she had been sneezing somewhat in the morning.  Friday was the same, low grade fever most of the day and high BGs.  Around 4pm I decided that I might want to talk to her endo dr so I put a call in to the office, but the dr is only in our clinic on Thursday and they just said she would get the message when she came in next.  LAME!  So I sent her an email and told her what was going on and asked her to call me.

I didn’t hear back from the dr until Saturday afternoon, at which point Angelina’s bg’s had been on a downward trend and fever was all gone.  I missed the dr’s call by 5 minutes, but she pretty much just told me to keep doing what I was doing, which was correcting bgs at every meal and maybe erring on the side of more insulin when she ate.  So, that made me feel a little less out of control of the situation.  I don’t know why I am so obsessed with being in total control of this illness.  I know I will never be as effective at keeping her Bg in range as her pancreas was before diabetes.

So, then her bg’s started doing the up-down-up-down dance again.  She would be good in the morning (somewhere in the 100’s), then HIGH (like 300’s) at lunchtime, low again late afternoon or before dinner and we have been seeing that all week this week.  I have a feeling we are in for some carb ratio adjustments in the next few days.   Just waiting to hear back from the endo.

I Know, Mom!

Except she doesn’t know.  I feel like I am failing at being a t1’s mom. I have already started to get complacent and feeling like “I got this.”  I emptied her lunch box this morning to repack it, only to find a wholly uneaten sandwich. “Angelina, did you take insulin for this yesterday?”  “Yes.” “Did you make up carbs for it?”  “No.” “You have to eat what you take insulin for, it’s not an option.”  “Mom, I know!  My blood sugar was fine after, I got a 100!”  “This time. Next time, you might get a coma.”

I know that wasn’t the right thing to say to her, but I don’t think she takes it seriously enough. She’s not scared. I think she needs to be at least a little scared. Not enough to stop living a relatively normal life, but enough that she takes this all more seriously.  I get that she’s a kid, and kids take very little seriously.  They have parents to do that for them.  But this…well, this is something that I’m not always going to be around to remind her so she has to learn to be responsible for it herself.

She’s still having lows from honeymoon.  Twice in the past week she’s been low and I gave her a snack (Smarties, her choice) to bring it up only to find out 15 minutes later when I go to recheck her BG that she didn’t eat the snack.  I haven’t been checking her lunch box as soon as she gets home from school to see what she ate for lunch.  This is my error.  This is where I’ve gotten complacent because she was doing so well at doing what needed to be done.  It seemed like she understood how important it was, and how serious the consequences could be if she didn’t.  She’s so f***ing intelligent that I think I forget sometimes that she’s still only 9 years old.

She and I were arguing this morning (and every morning) and she took her normal stance, like she knows so much better than me about everything.  My husband said something to her that really got to me.  He told her that she gets told she’s smart all the time, but she’s smart for a 4th grader.  She’s still stupid compared to a majority of adults.  Her telling me “I know!” all the time and acting like I know nothing and she knows everything is like an ant saying that to a human.  Because yeah, you’re smart kid, but your mom is a freaking genius compared to you, especially when it comes to this.

Days like these, I feel like I’m failing as a parent.  I’ve spent her whole life praising her for being smart, for letting her have free reign and letting her have a say.  Some day I will be proud of the strong-willed qualities she has because she’s less likely to give in to peer pressure.  She’s less likely to be a follower.  She’s a leader.  She’s outspoken and she has her own opinions.  But we’ve let her develop this ego.  She thinks that she’s invincible, that the rules don’t apply to her, that by being smart she can get away with anything.  I’ve been lulled into a false sense of security that she’s got it figured out, or will have it figured out.  But days like today, I am reminded that more than anything  she’s a kid and she needs us to remind her occasionally that sometimes, the rules do apply to her.  And being smart doesn’t change the way insulin or food effects her blood sugar.