To say that Blood Sugar Levels for a Type 1 Diabetic are like a Roller Coaster Ride, would be accurate especially if you are talking about roller coasters such as Carolina Cyclone, ThunderRoad, and Top Gun, all from the Carowinds themepark in SC. Here’s a one-day roller coaster we ride fairly frequently:
7 am at breakfast: Maddie’s blood sugar=125. Good place. Eats 60 grams of carb, receives correct amount of insulin via pump, goes off to school.
10:45 am: Phone Call from Secretary at school, “Um, Jennifer–Maddie just tested for lunch and she is at 264, is there something we should do other than bolus for lunch?” Me: “No, just let her bolus for the carbs she’ll be eating and include the BG#. The pump will calculate both what she needs for her food AND will correct the high blood sugar.”
2:45 pm (Maddie has to test everyday at lunch AND just before getting on the bus to be sure her numbers are in a safe place for the ride home): Phone Call from Secretary at school , “Jennifer, Maddie is 63, what should I give her?” (63 is way too low–we shoot for her numbers to be between 80 and 180) Me: “Give her two glucose tablets and a granola bar…I’ll come pick her up asap!”
5 pm dinner: Maddie tests for dinner and her blood sugar is 135. Good spot. Now to bolus for her dinner carbs, but must subtract some carbs or monkey with the I:C ratio since she is getting ready to go to soccer practice. We don’t want to give her too much insulin since she will be using up carbs exercising. This was likely the reason for her low at school because they had recess after lunch on a hot day.
7:30 pm: Home from soccer, doing homework, practicing piano…”Mom, I feel shaky, I think I’m low.” We test, and sure enough, her number is 78. We check how much Insulin she has on board, leftover from dinner, and make an educated guess at how much carb she should eat to bring her up to a healthier level, AND be enough to carry her through the night as she sleeps. This is the trickiest part of the day, as if the rest of the day wasn’t tricky. But sending your child off to sleep with the possibility of her going low without knowing it and possibly passing out in her sleep is unbelievably scary, worse than the steepest plunges of a roller coaster.
8:45 pm: Test one last time before she sleeps=134. Hmmm…might be on its way up or might not be enough. I tend to err on wanting to give her a bit more carb, so she drinks a bit of milk, the perfect food for carb/protein ratio.
Midnight: 232 Good grief! Obviously, I overcompensated for her evening low. Other nights this doesn’t happen even with a similar amount of carb given. One never knows. It’s a bit of a guessing game. I correct the high blood sugar using the pump.
7 am the next day: 155. A good place to start the day. Who knows whether today’s roller coaster will be Top Gun, or a small one, like Scooby Doo.
Ok, so this gives you some idea…the above is a print out of Maddie’s blood sugars we keep every day. This is invaluable information for us and for our Diabetic Educator who can look at this and see trends that need fixing, places in her day that can be tweaked on the pump to better manage her blood sugar levels. I think at some point, families stop writing all this down. We’re not there yet.
Oh, and did I tell you, I’ve never been terribly fond of roller coasters?