Saturday, October 17, 2009

Which dog am I feeding?

I can't believe that we're already in mid October! We were in August and then BAM, we're past Thankgiving weekend and looking for tuques and gloves. The school routine is now in full swing. I talk to Adele's teacher's aid several times during the day. She tells me Adele's sugars and I tell her how much insulin she needs to take or if she needs extra snacks. Then, every weeknight, there's homework and the infamous "preparing the next day's lunch" task. Adele needs to bring her own lunch because of her Celiac disease (wheat gluten intolerance) and we also need to calculate the carbohydrate content of everything in her lunch bag in order to be able to calculate how much insulin we think she needs after eating. This task is not the most popular at our household, but it needs to be done.

Adele has been wearing the Continuous Glucose Monitor now pretty much every day. She actually prefers to have it on since it makes monitoring her sugar at school much easier. She doesn't need to stop doing what she's doing for a finger prick. She just glances at her pump whenever her teacher's aid asks her what her sugar is. Like I've mentioned in previous posts, it is not always easy to calibrate, but we love it when it is working correctly.

Last Saturday, after getting back from the market, Adele said she felt low. She had eaten a sorbet (quick sugar) and we had guessed the carb count. Her pump said she was 5.2. We always test if she says she's feeling low. The finger prick gave us 2.4! She ate some much needed sugar and we re-calibrated the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). The rest of the weekend was lots of ups and downs. CGM showed that her sugar was trending down Sunday afternoon before picking apples, so I turned the pump off for a short while which seemed to fix the problem. Her sugar had stabilised before supper, but then started to shoot up in the evening after our Thanksgiving feast at my parents. It went as high as 19.0 and had a hard time coming down even after double correcting. Holiday Monday was the same, lots of ups and downs. I find that her sugars are usually more stable during the week when she's at school since she is on a fixed schedule. This is normal and just a reality of the Type 1 game.

This past weekend, we were on a CGM vacation. Her last sensor wasn't working properly at the end of the week. It kept on giving false readings, so we took it out. The CGM alarm kept going off indicating that Adele was low and we'd do a test with her meter and she wasn't. We didn't have time to put a new one in, so we're back to old school finger pricks for a few days. Yesterday, we went to Camp Wildwood near Bouctouche. It was an activity organized by the local Type 1 Diabetes local support group. We had the chance to meet Sebastien Sasseville (, the first canadian with Type 1 to make it to the summit of Mount Everest. It was very interesting hearing what he had to say during his presentation as well as chatting with him afterwards. Adele brought a friend and they really had a good time. The evening ended with a bombfire. And I came back with a renewed sense of hope for Adele's future after Sebastien's talk. My dream is for a cure first and foremost, but also for Adele to thrive despite (or even because of) her diabetes like Sebastien Sasseville. Until then we'll try to keep a positive attitude while playing the Type 1 game and hope it rubs off. Or like Sebastien would say "Feed the GOOD dog and starve the bad dog".

1 comment:

Keeley's mom & dad said...

Hi Mike, I'm glad you guys enjoyed seeing Sebastien. Keeley, Piper and Sean went. My mom was sick and couldn't look after Grady so I had to miss it :0( I see that Adele has a teacher's aid and am wondering if I could ask a few questions? I just registered Keeley for kindergarten next year and I am scared!! I'm assuming that the teacher's aid will learn how to use the pump?? Adele tests herself but does the TA tell her when to do it? I'm so nervous about it all. I will be there for the 1st week to help but am petrified for the 1st day alone. And, although she doesn't have Celiac ( but did go to the IWK for the biopsy last year which came back inconclusive) I am thinking if her yearly comes back with elevated levels, we may end up getting another biopsy. Sorry for the long comment, but when I read your blog, it's like reading our lives. Like how you went to the market and had to guess the carbs. We do it all the time. We used to bring her own snacks everywhere so we knew the count but it wasn't fair, and we ended up not giving Piper anything new either. We've changed that, as we will not let the disease run our lives, we're going to do our best to RUN IT. Anyway, your blog is fantastic, thanks so much for sharing with us. Nat McKinley/ PS-- the email acct attached to this isn't checked but I'm on FB when the kids finally go for :0) Take care!