Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What a 32 will do......

Maddison went swimming yesterday, which is a promise of later lows. I decreased her basal by 50% for a few hours (gotta love the pump!) which should have helped. All moms that battle Diabetes know swimming can be torture until you figure out how long after the activity to expect those lows. Some kids go low right away, some spike to crazy highs. Some kids don't have lows later, some do for up to 24 hours! Metabolism is an awesome thing. Last swim season Maddison had the "expected" lows at night following swimming which we learned to avoid by extra snacks before bed. That easy right?

Despite a temp basal of 50% she was low (61) before bed. I gave her double the normal amount of carbs to get her through the night. Up to 98. Hmmm......she should be higher than that to sleep, especially after swimming. I figured the milk and peanut butter carbs didn't kick in yet but she will be fine for an hour, I am exhausted and NEED an hour cat nap seeing this night was going to be rough. Set the alarm clock for 1 hour.......she was 71. Ahhhh, long night for sure! Long story short, I was up every hour, then every 2 hours chasing numbers. Oh how I hate swim season! It can be scary! I decide to turn OFF her basal for ONE hour (because I can't go less than 50%) and she is finally 224 after that. Only two more hours until I wake up at 5am so I HALF correct the 224 and wake up at 5am and she is 89. -Whew!-

I think the mistake I made next was pre-bolusing her breakfast when she was just 89. But I have always done so, why would today be any different? I dont know if at this point in the morning she was still ultra sensitive to insulin because of the swimming 14 hours prior? That has been known to Hannah was so excitedly talking about leaving for her 6th grade trip up north Maddison began to cry. She complained that Hannah's trip wasn't fair. She sounded off to me, and then she said the dreaded words that I hate to hear her say.... "Mom I feel like I am not even real" which means she is SERIOUSLY LOW. I pick her up frantically knowing after last night this is not good. She is pale as can be. She is shaking, sweaty and her eyes are not focusing!!! No time to even check, get the juice first, and she is 32!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Somehow we got through it, after three juice boxes and 20c of Glucose tablets she is only 48!!!!!!!!!!!Where the hell is the liver when you need it?!! I expected her to be sky high with a "rebound" on the next poke but she is still only in the 60's. What the hell is happening? There is no school nurse for the next three days while Hannah and the other 6th graders are taking chances on these numbers continuing through out the day while I must go to work....I get her stabalized eventually, but we are staying home!

So this is what a 32 does to you..................besides the adrenaline rush when you realize your child is about to have a seizure, a 32 stops your entire world. I wanted to take Maddison in my arms and never let go. We have been doing so well, no lows and no serious highs for so long, and now this 32 slapped me in the face and forces fear into every pore of my body. Does anyone know that my child could have just lost her life? In a split second one dose of insulin could have taken her life!!!! What If she didn't end up okay? What if I couldn't get her blood sugar back up? What if she wasn't here with me right now? Does any other disease act in such a silent way? No one knows Diabetes is there, you ARE healthy, but you can suddenly be taken over by the one thing that keeps you alive? How f'ed up is that?

As we crawled in bed together to recouperate, I was crying inside. Scared out of my mind. All I could see in my mind was the look in her eyes as she was staring blankly ahead. I had to leave her so she wouldn't hear me lose it. My heart was broken by one number. I had been feeling so "safe" in managing her numbers only to be taken off guard, from out of nowhere....... a number we have NEVER seen in this 15 month battle. My emotions ran wild from one extreme to the other. I feel like such a failure, although I did nothing wrong or different. I started to think of all the Diabetes days ahead. Swimming days, sick days, puberty, roller coaster numbers for no reason, vomiting days. Oh no! That is the last thing I need to worry about, vomiting in Diabetes can quickly be life threatning. Now I am fearful of this stupid disease all over again!

So in comes thoughts of Glucagon. If Maddison had a seizure and couldnt take sugar by mouth, I would have to inject Glucagon into a major muscle. Glucagon is supposed to be the answer when a seizure occours or when vomiting and illness leaves your blood sugar to low that you cannot recover by ingesting carbs/sugar. When Glucagon is injected, your liver is then prompted to "dump" all its stored sugar into your blood, SAVING YOUR LIFE. Saving your functioning brain, heart......saving every organ in your body from failure. Do people realize that SUGAR runs your body? Do they realize that the sugar that kills us also saves our lives? If your liver glucose stores have been depleated by vomiting, illness or activity, you have no sugar stored for emergencies. Your liver can't save you. The injected Glucagon will do nothing, at that point it is useless and you will end up in a coma and possibly die. Basically in my mind at that moment I was imagining every possibility that we are faced with every day with this fucked up disease. Somewhere after finding a comfortable life again with Diabetes you forget how serious this disease is, and then a 32 comes along and is a vivid reminder how our bodies are broken and artifically controlled.

I was now completly irrational the entire day. I felt entirely alone although nothing in my life had changed in reality, something inside me was traumatized by Maddison's number 32. This kind of experience is why Diabetes hurts, and no one can understand that unless you live it. Diabetes has an eerie ability to take away so much from you, from the person you are, from the family that lives with Diabetes. It leaves you scarred, fearful and feeling helpless so many times, in the blink of an eye! Hannah left town being scared for her little sister, worried when she should be enjoying her trip. Something as simple as swimming is now scary for me. I have to try, try and try again until I get it right. It will cause highs, lows and stress until I figure out every detail. Do you ever figure out every detail? I think not. One day will never be the same as the next. Fear.....anxiety.......heartache is what a 32 does to you.

Here is another day, and I am finally editing this blog post....I have been depressed and anxious, unable to sleep or eat the last few days since that 32 on Wednesday morning. Why? Because when something like this shocks you back to reality you end up angry and feeling the emotions of the initial diagnosis all over again. Every-single-one-of-them. I feel uncertain of things that will come our way in the future. I feel cheated that this is just how life is for Maddison and our family. This is just how it is. Any confidence that I have gained over the last year of managing Diabetes in Maddison was taken from me in an instant. The guilt is enough to make me scream. It will take time to get back to feeling like Diabetes isn't there, like it isn't the main concern of my every day. Right now, again, it is.

Yesterday Maddison had another 38 as a result of an overdose for a cupcake at school. Why the hell isn't she feeling low until she is dangerously low?!! You know why? Because the benefit of the pump is "tighter control" and tighter control means lower numbers that leave you not feeling low until you are dropping FAST. So here we are doing what is best for our child in maintaining tight control and now it is actually causing MORE problems. That enrages me. The answer? Run her higher for a few days. How is that right? I have to intentionally inflict highs to solve the problem of lows? I am so angry with Diabetes right now. I have so many things that are running through my mind the last few days that they are all jumbled in my mind. My words won't come out. My feelings are from one extreme to the other.

I come into work today and wonder if they think I am crazy. Crazy because I SWEAR I cannot make it through one month without missing a day for Maddison's Diabetes. I wonder if they think I am taking advantage of them? I always think they feel I am lying about what is going on in my life. Then I feel I need to explain how things work with a child and Diabetes, and that leaves me more angry because explaining this disease to anyone in just a few conversations here and there is useless. You could never understand how complicated Diabetes is until you have spent the last 2 years reading every single detail about treatment, managing patterns and the way that your entire metabolism works. Don't forget digestion and excersize! We aren't just talking about running miles, lifting weights or playing a sport like adults. We are talking about walking around the block, riding a scooter, SWIMMING, playing outside prolonged hours, recess at school, the trampoline, PE class, a day at an amusement park. Can you tell I am just irritated today? I am tired of having to consider so much just to keep stabile numbers. TIRED! Then I remember, oh shit! I have this same f****** disease, no wonder I am so f'ing tired! No wonder I get knocked down so often! Poking Maddison's finger 15 times a day sometimes, and mine 10times a day equals 175 finger pokes a week between the two of us! Thats 700 numbers a month that can make my mood or break it. Is it just a number? No, to me it is not just a number. At least not this week it isn't.

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