1920563_889170107777889_8138000872323637805_nToday 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.

Now keep in mind that just 6 short months ago, what you are about to read wasn’t available to us. We got this technology at the tail end of the school year last year, and we weren’t ready to share it with the school yet. So what happened today may have had very different results.

Just yesterday, my wife and I decided to give the school health aide access to our cloud database. Meaning she could pull up a web page and leave it open in the background and monitor Stella just like we do. The webpage has the added bonus of a musical alarm when the BS level goes over 180 or below 70.

My wife and I had talked and decided she should go to school and change Stella’s site. The aide was following along, and went with my wife to pull her out of class. At the time, Stella was taking an English placement test. A meter test verified that Stella was 339 at the time. The aide informed the teacher (per our 505/IEP plan) that Stella would have to take the test at a rescheduled time, as she isn’t to be tested when her BS is over 250.

Site changed, BS starts to come down (slowly) and life seems good. The next picture is about 1.5 hours later.

10628369_889199807774919_1163835308032618671_nI was at lunch (still 20 miles away, watching things remotely) and feeling good about what was happening. The site change was working, and she was coming down slow enough to avoid feeling crummy. And then…

10524678_889221317772768_6008524484905120328_nFor 5 years, Stella has had PE from 2-3 pm. We even have her basal rates adjusted at that time due to the effect exercise has on her BS. But this year? it is from 11:40 to 12:30. And that caused a sudden drop. We have been waiting to make changes this school year until a pattern emerged, as we have been doing pretty good so far. It may be time to revisit that. The issue? PE is only every other day, making it very difficult on the day that she has computer lab.

At 12:40, she was 98. She was actually already in the nurses office being tested and bolused for lunch. My wife was able to call the nurse and have her reduce the amount of insulin she was going to give her for her lunch due to the sudden drop.

10565244_889227947772105_6107243252289030156_n12 minutes later. Now Stella is eating her lunch. We assumed at this point we would be okay, as she was ingesting carbs.

10577150_889231621105071_5911582658161753880_n10 minutes later. A scary number at anytime, even more so when you aren’t close by to offer any help. The health aide called my wife and asked for direction. We told her to go find her (it was recess time after lunch) and give her a juice box. Normally our aide wouldn’t have seen Stella again until 2. That could have been a disaster. We picked a great day to give her the cloud.

10636034_889238031104430_92345939734498579_nJuice box and lunch have kicked in 15 minutes later. Crisis averted. Thank God. A 300 point blood sugar drop in just a couple of hours does damage though, often resulting in horrible headaches for Stella.

1910645_889256307769269_6103203005611948920_n100. BAM! Now I am waiting for the ricochet rebound high. Another 15 minutes, and she is rising.

10593192_889265867768313_8355444190734107702_nFinally resting at a beautiful 116. The arrows provide us with a trend, which way her BS is going. This straight line indicates she is holding steady (not rising or dropping)

10404121_889286064432960_566541197754323752_nAnd an hour later, still steady at 111. This technology is a game changer. My wife and I are both able to spot issues and place phone calls to discuss, or head straight to school if need be. And now, the health aide has a greater ability to offer assistance in between the regularly scheduled testing we do at school.

While today was fairly dramatic, it is closer to a normal day that an abnormal one. Such is the life of a diabetic, pubescent, pre-teen during a typical school day. Lots of ups and downs, roller coasters. Diabetes doesn’t play fair.

And yet, we are the lucky ones. It takes a village to protect these kids, and not every family has the support we do. From amazing technology to a supportive school administration, to a mom that works from home very close by, to 2 parents that know and understand, with 2 amazing DAD’s (well, maybe 3 🙂  ) that help keep her safe at home, and friends and family that live this with us every day. Thank you to all of them for coming together today and protecting our girl.

And now? Still holding steady:


Team Blackdogsrule


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  1. Thanks for sharing, as this resonates with my soul. I have two kids for whom I’d give my life. My darling daughter is T1, and she is 11 years old. I’m also a widower, as they lost their mother, and my wife, a few years ago to cancer. We just started the CGM in the cloud and school started this past Wednesday. She also has PE every other day. What you said about this being more normal than abnormal as a day goes also resonates with me. We do our best but sometimes it seems easy, and others nearly impossible. No diligent parent of a child with diabetes ever sleeps through the night. I suspect our daughters would be good friends. Your daughter has good parents, thanks again for sharing. B.R.

  2. Carolyn Thalman

    That’s not just a typical day for a pre-pubescent type 1. It’s also a typical day for a post-menopausal type 1 diabetic. The good news for me,at least, is that it’s been that way for me for 57 years. I wish that for your daughter.

  3. Life would have been very different had our daughter been able to have this sort of control & warning system early on. If the school ‘system’ been more aware & cooperative, T1D would not have been viewed as a ‘thing to be hidden’.
    We’ve come a long way since 1923 – Frederick G. Banting and John Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923 “for the discovery of insulin.”
    My only wish is for a cure.

  4. This was a great victory! Way to kick T1D’s butt – at least for a day! I am so very jealous of your cloud technology. We use the Medtronic system and by everything I have read on this technology it is not available for that system. Is that your understanding too? We need this so badly I am thinking of switching to Dex so we can ride the cloud too- but oh the $$$$!