Yesterday was pasta night at our house. We have kids. Kids like pasta. Pasta is easy. Except for blood sugar control. But we’ve been doing this awhile now, and we have gotten pretty good with our combo bolus ratio on pasta night. 3 hours after dinner, Stella’s blood sugar was 136. Perfect on pasta night. About 5 hours after dinner, we went to bed and checked her again. She was 177, but the meter said she had some insulin on board, so off to bed we went, feeling comfortable with those numbers. Cue dramatic music…
At midnight, Raven woke my wife up with an alert. This is slightly unusual, because normally, Raven sleeps pretty soundly until 1am. I have discussed this before on the blog here, that Raven has a sleep cycle that runs from 10:30 to 1, and she sleeps pretty soundly. Her alerts often start shortly after 1am. Laurie got up to check, and Stella was 317. For pasta night, before we worked through our combo bolus, this would be pretty normal. But could it be a growth spurt? Hormones? Did we screw up the combo bolus? Not knowing the answers to those questions, or even what the question really is, is really the most frustrating thing about type 1 diabetes. Laurie bolused her and came back to bed.At 2:15 am, Raven alerted again and woke me up. So Raven and I went to go check Stella. I’m going to veer off here for a little background/insight into life with a type 1 and DAD’s.
When a dog alerts (or 2 dogs, or 3-4 dogs if we have guests 🙂 ) the dog goes with us to check. If the dog is correct, we reward the dog instantly with a treat of some sort, most often kibble for a high, and something yummier like Natural Balance rolled meal cut up into small chunks for a low. If the dog is wrong (not often), or we think the dog may have “predicted” an impending issue (more likely), we tell the dog we will check later.
Another thing we do is keep a log of BS readings in the middle of the night. As sometimes my wife checks, and sometimes I check, it helps us to know what has been happening. The log has the date, time, BS reading, how much insulin was on board, how much (if any) insulin was given, and if a dog alerted. We keep the log on Stella’s dresser right next to the bed. It makes for decent communication, saves us from having to wake each other, and provides enough information to make good decisions while half asleep in zombie mode.
Now back to the story. Raven wakes me up, we go to check Stella. I look at the log and see that she was 317 at midnight, and Laurie gave her 3 units of insulin to correct. (for us, that is a pretty big correction). So I check Stella again. Now she was 427. Wow! We are going the wrong way! At this point, I wake Laurie up. It’s my guess that we have a bad site. (for those that follow us here and on Facebook, you know we just changed the site that day). At 2am, this is a 2 person job, we are either going to change the site in her sleep, or give her an injection. I wanted help, as Stella was curled up in a ball, and I wanted to roll her over and see her site (it is on her belly today) without waking her. It is pretty amazing what a type 1 child will sleep through. Laurie came in and helped un-bundle her and roll her over, and that’s when we learned what the issue was.
Stella took a shower before bed, and didn’t reconnect her pump. Her pump was till on the counter in our bathroom. 🙁
Funny thing about the Animas Ping pump/meter combo. They communicate with each other, allowing us to make changes/adjustments/bolus Stella in the middle of the night without having to roll her over and find her pump. It’s very convenient. But they lose communication with each other after about 6-8 feet, and sometimes even closer. We get an error message that warns us. So when Laurie went to check her at 12, had it mentioned the communication error, she would have gone looking for the pump. Instead, everything worked fine, and the pump just pushed 3 units of insulin into our bathroom.
2 good things happened last night that helped us prevent a disaster. 1 was the log we keep, which allowed me to see that we were having a problem, and it was escalating. Had there been no log, I may have assumed it was a random high, bolused Stella, and went back to bed.
The other thing was the persistent alerts from Raven. Waking us up twice for a high. She knew there was something very unusual about last night, and was adamant about getting it fixed. She was a very good girl last night. Thank you Raven!
Once again, we are forever grateful for these amazing dogs that both work hard to take care of their little girl.