Wednesday, February 1, 2012
As every good mystery does, this one begins with a puzzling scene...
A boy checking his sugar 20 minutes after eating lunch and seeing a 47 blinking back at him. He shifts his eyes to see if anyone else can see the ghostlike numbers on his monitor.
He wonders if he is imagining it.
He checks again, just to make sure.
He fumbles for his cell phone and calls his mother. She'll know what to do.
She is speechless.
"Mom? ... Mom?"
"I'm sorry honey, I'm here. Eat a bag of fruit snacks AND an apple juice. Do you think your tummy can handle that?"
The scene switches to the mother. Even though she sits perfectly still on the couch, it is evident that her mind is working at lightning speed trying to calculate how much insulin is still in her dear little boy's system.
He'll call her soon. He always does.
But as an hour elapses she realizes that the call is not coming, so she grabs her coat and rushes across town to check on him herself.
As she drives by the school the landscape of the playground catches her view. There she sees her son's class having "free play." Children are running. Children are bouncing balls. Children are metabolizing much of the sugar in their body into energy.
She knows her son doesn't have enough sugar for that kind of energy.
She parks and walks at a fast clip towards her son's classroom. She enters it and grabs his blood sugar monitor...as she walks out the door she sees the class making their way back in.
His finger didn't stand a chance. She grabbed it with a swiftness that only a worried D mother could muster, and in seconds had the blood sugar confirmation in her hand.
Before her son even knew what was happening she began stuffing food into his mouth. More fruit snacks. More Apple juice.
The rest of the afternoon and evening consisted of an uncovered banana after school, and uncovered donut, and then dinner where she bolused him less than half of the carbs that were consumed. The nighttime yielded more uncovered snacks and two temporary basals of zero for an hours time each.
He woke up the next morning 95 and has been fighting lows the entire day since.
This has happened before, and it has happened many times to my friends. When they reach out to the community and ask, 'why,' I always respond with the phrase, "Diabetes hardly ever makes sense...and trying to figure out why will only make our brains swellier."
But when one is in the thick of this mysterious conundrum, one really has to say...WHAT THE WHAT! WHY THE WHY! HEAVENS TO BETSY, SLOW THIS TRAIN DOWN!
Unsolved mysteries gather and multiply throughout our community every day. Diabetes is math. And math SHOULD make sense. But our bodies are so much more complicated than ratios and hard numbers. Our bodies are miracles, and it is blaringly obvious that as a human community we haven't figured out all the subtle nuances our bodies have to offer. If we pooled our money and hired the most talented detective alive, I'm sure most...if not all our unsolved mysteries, would stay just like that...unsolved.
There are a million and one reasons why these lows could be happening. Unfortunately, there are a million and one reasons why I'll probably never know for sure which reason it is.
In the meantime, I will SWAG my way through this episode and hope that we come out on top very soon.