I love these posts, you know the ones: “We’ve only had Buster the Service Dog for 3 weeks, and already he has saved little Timmy’s life from low blood sugar 6 times! Little Timmy was 26 when Buster alerted!”. While I agree that these dogs have an amazing ability to pick up on sudden, out of the blue blood sugar issues, and it is always welcome to have another set of eye (or in this case, a nose) watching out for your child, there may be some other issue that needs to be addressed. Carb ratios, basal rates, growth hormones, puberty, illness, any number of things that might need to be looked at and considered to help your child.
With the exception of 1 parent, everyone in this image is a type 1 diabetic. Look at all of them. They are happy. Smiling. Holding cute, amazing dogs. They were all gathered together for the Canine Hope For Diabetics 2014 Diabetic Alert Dog Conference at a gorgeous location in the Southern California woods. Perfect weather, lots of friends, dogs, great conversation, activities for the kids and the dogs, training sessions for the dog handlers, discussion groups about diabetes, diabetes technology, animal care and training, it was an amazing weekend. And I captured it all with my camera. So what’s not to love?
As a father of a type 1, I love meeting adult type 1’s that bust the stereotypes that we hear about constantly. We are barraged with poor quality of life stories, shortened life spans, poor health, blindness, amputations, the list goes on. And as the father of a female type 1, we hear a lot about how pregnancy is hard, ill advised, and a difficult and constant struggle of an experience.
Through my association with Canine Hope for Diabetics and being involved in local JDRF events, I have had the great honor of meeting many adult type ones living healthy, productive lives. Some are married, some are extremely successful, some have children, but all of them are kicking type 1 ass. I have reached out to a few of them to shed some light on common myths in the diabetic world. Here is the first in what I hope will become a series. Lori Mayfield, our guest blogger today, is a woman I met through Canine Hope. I have had the pleasure of knowing her for a few years, and even got to photograph her and her amazing dog RJ on the day they were forever placed with each other. Lori has been married for several years with a beautiful family, and I asked her to talk about her experience with pregnancy and type 1. Again, as a parent of a type 1 daughter, Lori is someone I really look up to and admire, a role model, and as we travel further through life with T1, I know she will be a huge wealth of knowledge and experience for our family to tap into. A huge thank you to Lori for doing this for us!
I will never know what it is like to live life with type 1 diabetes. I will never know how fuzzy, off, and out of focus a 400 feels, and I will never know how disorienting and scary a 25 feels. As often as I ask, as often as I have had it explained to me, as often as I have witnessed these, and with as many diabetics as I have spoken with, I will still never truly understand.
On our Facebook page this week, I have been doing a series of screen captures of our CGM graph from overnight to show why we do night checks. In this graph above, you can clearly see that at 8pm she was low, at which point we gave her carbs. When we went to bed at 10 and checked her, she was sitting comfortably at 150, a good number for us for night time. My wife woke up at midnight to check her and she had gone up, a bounce back from the carbs administered at 8, she bolused her. Raven woke me up at 2, and Stella was hovering around 200 so I bolused again, and she woke up at a great 133 ready to start her day. A question came up though.
In January of 2013, we experienced a massive shift in our daughter’s blood glucose numbers. Her overnight numbers skyrocketed, and we were getting unexplained, random, and unshakeable highs. The reason? Puberty. She has experienced tremendous growth over the last year, and is now 5 feet tall. Just between her June and August Endo appointments, she shot up an inch and 4 pounds. Since January 2013, we have been making constant adjustments to basal rates to try and keep her BG numbers in check. Her A1C test result that January (which would have been for the 3 months prior) was our best ever at 6.9. Her next one 3 months later, all though still great for puberty, was 7.3, and since then we have gotten her down to 7.1 and working or butts off to get her there. Fast forward to last Thursday. More »
Today was one of those days. A “perfect storm” in the diabetic world. And I blogged nervously through the whole thing on our Facebook page. I feel the need to put it all in one place, and explain a little more what is happening as we go through the day. The image above was our starting point. We use a technology which enables us to remotely watch the data generated from my daughters Dexcom. For more info on this, click “CGM in the Cloud”.
Our daughter uses an Animas pump to provide her insulin delivery. And the insulin we use is Humalog. For us (different people have different results) we find that we only get 2-2.5 days of use out of the Humalog during the summer before we require a site change. The heat causes the Humalog to lose it’s effectivity. Today was day 3. Why? Because she had great numbers last night, and woke up at a nice 139. We thought we would be okay. After breakfast, Stella started to climb. And climb. And climb. We waited a reasonable amount of time to see if she would come back down. She didn’t.