Monday, July 11, 2011

30 miles

60. Twenty minutes after eating breakfast. I’m 30 miles away at work when the text comes in from Hannah.

A sudden rush of fear takes me over. Just like that.

All from one number, and then the what if’s set in.

I quick send a text back to Hannah that Maddi needs 3 glucose tabs STAT. The “ok” response from Hannah seems to take an eternity as I anxiously wait.

My heart pounds, knowing Maddi just bolused for her breakfast not long ago and has somewhere around 3.8 units of insulin beginning to work in her system. Maddison’s insulin is working faster than her food is absorbing, (or her basals are off) which could mean disaster if not tended to immediately.

Im 30 miles away at work, hoping and praying that glucose tablets will solve this potentially very dangerous situation. When I'm home with Maddi and lows happen its not such a big deal, but put 30 miles between us and I lose my cool. The what if's ALWAYS get me. Co-workers around me can see my worry, but they don’t really get it. They dont realize that the same medication that keeps my child alive and healthy every day can also kill her. If timing is wrong. If the dose is wrong. If carbs are counted wrong. If the pump fails to deliver, or malfunctions and delivers too much. If carbs aren’t absorbing due to impending illness, or because a high fat/protein meal slows it all down. Or, maybe today Diabetes just decides that she needs less insulin than yesterday. It’s a dirty game this disease plays!

I begin to wonder....what would happen if Maddi didn’t feel that low? Would Hannah stay calm if Maddi had a seizure? Would Hannah use that massive Glucagon needle to save her sisters life? Would the Paramedics get there in time?

15 minutes later I called Maddi back. She’s 141, and I sigh a deep breath of relief. Disaster averted. This low was an easy fix. Back to life we go. Just like that. We are amazing, us families with D. We keep our children alive, every-single-day. We get kicked down in the blink of an eye, yet always find our way back up. 24/7/365

Now I'm left to wonder what happened. 9 times out of 10 there is a "reason" something goes wrong with numbers. If there is a reason, I WILL find it. My guess is Maddi didnt check her sugar before she ate and bolused for breakfast. My bad. I told her when I left for work this morning that she was 138 and "good" I said, which to her (she explained) meant she didnt need to re-check her sugar before eating....fine most days...but today she didnt eat breakfast for another two and a half hours after I left! THAT to me is the "reason" for Maddi's low this morning (basal set too high!) and she must have been hoovering in the low range when breakfast started and insulin was bolused. Well, it sounds right to me anyway, so for tomorrow Maddi knows now to either eat sooner...OR recheck and delay/reduce her bolus if she decides to eat breakfast late. Now we just HOPE that I'm right for tomorrow :)

Todays Breakfast carbs were added by both girls, and I confirmed by text. BY TEXT. We dose a dangerous medication by text?! Yes, Summer means Diabetes is managed by text message, or a phone call when I’m away. It’s crazy when you actually think about that!

The comfort of having a school nurse to oversee Diabetes is now weeks gone. Maddison, Hannah and I have managed Diabetes pretty well over the past 8 weeks of summer. This summer of D management has been a team effort. Hannah oversees the happenings, and we all text back and forth as needed. Maddison has had very few lows, a couple random 300 highs, alot of in range numbers.....but mostly I see just too many out of range numbers in the low 200’s lately on the days Im away at work. But, whats a Mom to do when she is just a texting pancreas these days?

Its hard for me to say I can or should make insulin dose changes, when I’m not even sure if carbs are being counted right. Carbs will be missed by text. Carbs will be missed by phone call. Carbs will be missed when Maddi is learning the ropes, and highs and lows can easily be over treated. I don’t know if Maddi is zooming through the house with her pets, or lazing around on the couch all day. So, Chasing numbers begins. I feel trapped, unable to make any changes because I'm not sure whats really going on during her time on the D watch. I dont like it, but it just is. I have to let go of "perfecting" her numbers and realize she is more in control now, and I have to tell myself she WILL be okay, even if her A1c heads north because of it. Telling my heart that is another story.

Diabetes is becoming harder for me, because as a parent I have to let go. Id be happiest if I never had to let this sometimes overwhelming burden of a disease fall on Maddi’s shoulders. But that isn’t reality. She is counting carbs, adding and subtracting carbs, correcting, setting temp basals and treating lows on her own every day now, and she only has my help and confirmation by text. She will run higher than I'd like. She will have lows. She will grow proud of her independance, Struggle some days.....but in the end, she will always be ok.


Hallie said...

Distance makes it so much harder! And it IS crazy - how we dose by text or phone. How the same medication that keeps them alive can kill them. How we can have a total freak out and then BOOM be "back to normal". Crazy. I'm glad she came up quickly and I'm so glad Hannah is there to help. It sounds like they are doing very well! I dread giving over control - for many reasons. I totally get it.

Denise aka 'Mom of Bean' said...

That would be tough! Thank goodness for texting and phone calls...and big sisters and gluc tablets!! ;)