Monday, July 13, 2009

This time around it has a name

In the last post, I shared our struggles with Adele's flu last week. She is better now, but it was a long and exhausting week. During our 2nd doctor visit after 5 days of fever, they did all kinds of tests including a test for the Swine flu virus (H1N1). A few days later, the doc gave us a call confirming that the H1N1 virus was the culprit. Every year, Adele's daily Diabetes management is thrown into a whirlwind because of the various viruses that she comes in contact with. This time it was different. This time it had a name: H1N1. This unwelcome guest has since also paid a visit to my wife Michele. At least her sugars have remained stable (she doesn't have Type 1 Diabetes). I'm still healthy so far.

So now Adele and Michele have become H1N1 statistics. They're forever in the record books. I told Adele she was in the paper this weekend. An article stated that 3 new cases of the Swine flu had been confirmed in Moncton and she was one of these people. She still wasn't too impressed.

We needed to completely change our Type 1 gameplan to try and stay on top of the H1N1 virus. After about 2 days of out-of-control blood sugars, Adele's total daily insulin amount was close to 50% more than before the flu. This was necessary in order to keep things in check. It worked for about 5 days after which she started to go low. I knew this would surely happen as soon as her body began winning the battle with the virus. I knew it was going to happen, but I didn't know when. This is a very dangerous time for insulin reactions to occur (very low blood sugars and unconsciousness). We avoided this by keeping a very close eye on Adele's sugars which meant 10 to 15 blood glucose checks a day and 2 or 3 during the night. Last week was also a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) vacation. This was not by choice but rather because Adele was just too sick and she didn't want to go through the sensor insertion. This was not a bad thing since the sensor she had on when she started to get sick was giving errors because the sugar started shooting up very fast. The sensor seems to have a hard time with rapid glucose fluctuations.

Here are Adele's basal insulin rates that were programmed into her pump before the H1N1 visit:
12 am to 5 am -> 0.25 units of insulin / hour
5 am to 9 am -> 0.5 units of insulin / hour
9 am to 8 pm -> 0.25 units of insulin / hour
8 pm to 12 am -> 0.5 units of insulin / hour

While she was sick (days 3 through 7), her basal insulin rates were:
12 am to 5 am -> 0.4units of insulin / hour
5 am to 9 am -> 0.75 units of insulin / hour
9 am to 8 pm -> 0.4 units of insulin / hour
8 pm to 12 am -> 0.75 units of insulin / hour

Currently, her basal insulin rates are:
12 am to 5 am -> 0.3 units of insulin / hour
5 am to 9 am -> 0.6 units of insulin / hour
9 am to 8 pm -> 0.3 units of insulin / hour
8 pm to 12 am -> 0.6 units of insulin / hour

How did I come up with these? All insulin dosage is determined by trial and error and by looking at how the body reacts to food and insulin. In the beginning it is done with the help of your diabetes healthcare team, but after you get the hang of it, you begin to make changes independantly. Independance is the goal. I currently make all changes myself. For example, if she's waking up low, I'll usually either start the higher basal rate later in the morning (like at 6 am instead of 5 for example) or I could also lower the basal rate itself (from 0.6 units of insulin / hour to 0.5 for example). There is no magic formula that gives you this information. There is no doctor that can tell you the exact number that will work for sure. It's a matter of studying blood glucose variations in relation to the amount of insulin delivered and make changes that you THINK will work and then see if you were correct. I'm not sure how it is for an adult with a routine daily schedule, but for a growing, outgoing 9 year old, these changes are pretty much constant. That is what the Type 1 game is all about...


Christiane said...

When it rain, it pours. I hope Adele is feeling better. My girl just started on the pump a week ago.

Anonymous said...

I have been holding my breath waiting for the shoe to drop with H1N1 - and now it has. I hope Adele is feeling better very soon, and Michele as well. Being ill is never fun, but with Type 1 it can be downright scary.

Anonymous said...

i been told that i can not make changes myself in the insulin dosage and i should always check with my doctor first
its my daughter who has type 1 DM
she was diagnosed when she was 2 and a half ys old
shes now 7
i hope your daughter is feelin so much better now