Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tight Rope Act Getting Old ?


I say give me a plank to walk on instead any day.

I totally think that managing Type 1 diabetes, and Type 1 diabetes in children especially is a constant tight rope balancing act. If you lean to far in either direction, or lose your concentration, then over the edge you go, sometimes landing on the safety net and unfortunately sometimes not. It really is a precarious balancing act of food, activity, stress management and insulin dosing. Not to mention the inevitable "curve balls"

I equate my house with diabetes to a tight rope walk while juggling three balls as there are three of us to manage. I must admit that the prospect of caring for my 2 kids was incredibly overwhelming at first and still is at times. Things in the house of syringes and test strips has stabilized to some degree, well at least the routine has, but the numbers could always use a little work.  The routine is ingrained, as anyone dealing with diabetes can attest to, testing, thinking, calculating, injecting or bolusing, testing to see if you guessed correctly, and so on and so forth. You adapt to the routine, but are never completely at ease, once again with children in particular. Like a tight rope walk, one screw up, miscalculation, mismeasurement, and over the edge you go. 

I try to imagine or wish that the tight rope could be more like a plank, not like on a pirate ship; where you'd eventually plummet to your death to be eaten by frenzied sharks, but wide enough to take some of the nervousness and precariousness away by allowing for a larger margin for error. I do believe the technology that exists today is widening the plank. Pumps fine tune basals to prevent lows at night and spikes in the morning. Continuous blood glucose sensors are allowing us to notice trends in our blood sugars allowing us to relax and let a machine do a bit of the brain work. Newer insulin analogues in the last 2 decades have really helped me feel more at ease resting my head on the pillow at night knowing I am far less likely to be jolted out of bed with a frightening low. Glucometers, where would we be with out them? We'd likely still be judging our control based on how much weight we've gained or urine sample showing glucose from hours long gone past. That being said; most days feel like I am tight rope walking while juggling.

Why is that? Well, because so many things mess up our sugars. A handful of those yummy skittles, a sleepless night, a rebound high after a night time low. Do you realize how hard it is to stop eating after treating a low with 15 grams of carb. It is like a dog not taking advantage of the piece of bacon dropped beneath it's nose during a breakfast frenzy. Ya, that bacon is gone with in a split second, along with your plate of eggs an toast. Alright, back to the point, which is everything can effect our glucose.

My teen Type 1 often forgets to test, and will arrive home with a glucose that would cause any Endo or Doc to drop, or prompth them to call the authorities. I don't judge my girl though, I remember the balancing act, I remember being a teen, and I can only gently yell remind her to test while at school. When I ask what could be the cause of her reading (trying to encourage critical thinking) she shrugs and says, "I had some of my friends chips" That's it, as simple as a bag of chips, not criminal just thoughtless, diabetes has obviously not entrenched itself into my daughters thoughts as it has mine, she has yet to be relentlessly governed by the big Mr D.

Now my little Type 1 who is 7 is frequently falling onto the safety net, close at times to the hard concrete floor, but has always landed safely, conscious, with her brain intact. The near misses have occurred; nights where I get up and randomly check her after having a low myself, finding her reading less then the desired range or after an activity that we neglected to feed her enough, another example of losing concentration.

It is these occurrences mentioned above that remind me that we're walking a tight rope, and the minute I lose concentration, put my guard down, relax a little, the potential to miss the net is ever so present.


1 comment:

Jeff said...


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