Monday, August 5, 2013


"Does he have some Gatorade that he keeps with him?" Hockey camp coach to me...this morning... in response to my informing him that Joe has type 1 diabetes.

"Ah...well yeah..."

I thought this facial expression goes well with the "Ahhh ...well yeah..." response.

Oh man, how I wish managing Joe's diabetes only entailed some Gatorade. 

Joe attended another hockey camp today.  It runs all week.  He is on the ice from 9am to 11am and then again from 1pm to 4pm.  The camp is named "Battle Camp".  Nice.

Fortunately, I learned a few things about Joe's diabetes and it's response to the intense activity of hockey camp a few weeks ago.  I learned how much to decrease his basal by, about how many free carbs he needs trickled in pre-camp and during camp.  I learned how little his insulin needs would be for lunch.

Here was my plan:

Yes, I realize it is blurry.  I just wanted to show you proof of how "organized" I can be. 

Here was my plan (the readable version):

CAMPER:  Joe Maher     Age:  10

Mother: Reyna Maher (802)598-XXXX  Father: Dave Maher (802) 598-XXXX

What is Type 1 Diabetes:  It is an autoimmune disease in which a person's own body (white blood cells) attack the insulin producing cells (beta cells) in the pancreas.  Due to the subsequent lack of insulin, the body's cells are unable to use sugars for fuel.

Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes:  Joe uses an insulin pump as an insulin source.

Plan for Camp: 

  1. Joe must carry his diabetes bag with him everywhere during his day.  The bag contains a glucometer, SUGAR, and a phone.
  2. My husband or I will come by between 10 and 10:30 to check Joe's blood sugar.
  3. Joe will need to check a blood sugar and call me prior to snack time and/or lunch time (the phone is in his diabetes bag for this purpose)
  4. My husband or I will come by between 2 and 2:30 to check Joe's blood sugar.
What YOU need to watch for:  If Joe becomes irritable, shaky, pale,  lethargic, or says he is "too tired" to do something he could be experiencing a LOW.

  1. If you notice these signs (or anything out of the ordinary), please have Joe check his blood sugar and then have him call me.
  2. If Joe will not check a blood sugar, have him eat three sugar tablets (located in his diabetes bag) and call me.
LOW BLOOD SUGAR ~ This can happen at any time to a person taking insulin.  It can be due to low carbohydrate intake, too much insulin, increased activity level, illness, and a hot or cold environment.  It is an immediate health concern.  If it is not treated with sugar the person can go unconscious, have a seizure , and/or die.

So, here is how it went.  I fed him a 30 CHO gram breakfast and only bloused him for 15 CHO (1.5 units of insulin).  I then decreased his basal by 50% for 8 hours (the length of the camp).  During the day Joe drank a couple of G2s for "free".  I still have no idea when he chugs those.  There was not a "snack time."  He had only one time during the day to eat.  Lunch was at noon.  He received only 2.5 units of insulin to cover 120 grams of carbohydrate (CrAzY...his usual lunch ratio is a 1:18).
The numbers went like this, the BEST ever:
7:17am 127
9:15am 150
10:13am 163
12:02pm 139
2:11pm 197
4:49pm 336   I was a little bummed out about that one.  Did a half of a correction dose.  Dont' know the outcome of that yet.
A day-in-the-life of some hard earned euglycemia.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Patient Portuguese Pancreas Princess

There may be a little spittle on your screen if ya try to say the title out loud.  Truth, I am Portuguese (half, from my father's side).  Truth, Joe's misguided T-cells forced me into performing as an exogenous pancreas.  False, I am not patient.  And I am actually a "queen" not a "princess"...well, my name means "queen" in Spanish.

Sorry for the jibber-jabber.

This morning at 6:30ish...

"Is Joe up..."  (my less~than~subtle way of knowing he is alive)

"They are both still asleep." 

"Check Joe's number, the basal increase .. he was 127." (@ the 2am check)

Yesterday morning, I had logged Joe's numbers and noticed he had a consistent climb of about 50 points from the 2am check to the 7am check.  I think he is growing.  He is constantly eating bacon (don't ask).  I tweaked his basal from 2:30am to 6am.  I had to do the every-other-hour-thingy with the Omnipod.  I was not just gonna crank him up by 0.05 units for that length of time, because 0.05 is like 1/7 of 0.35 (what is that? like a 14% increase) ... with the Ping, I would have just cranked that bad boy up by 0.025u/hr, oh well.

Last night was my night to do the night check.  Dave and I usually rotate night checks.  He does the 2am check for two nights.  I do the 2am check for two nights...and so-on and so-forth.  We have been doing this system for a good year now.  Alternating every other night did not seem to let us fall back into the "habit" of sleeping through the night.  I have thought of a three night alternating schedule, but I fear the overwhelmingness of the the thought of three nights in a row of 2am alarms is psychologically detrimental and destructive to the checker-person. 


When I do the night checks, I wake-up early.  I set my alarm for 2am, but many times I wake-up at like 12:03 or 12:49 or 12:55.  And.  I just check Joe then.  And.  Yes, technically this is cheating my system that I so braggity McBragger-pantsed on my blog just a couple of days ago.

Last night...

I did it again.  I woke up at midnight.  I knew that I needed to wait til 2am.  I needed to get a good glimpse of Joe's numbers at appropriate intervals surrounding the basal changes.  So, back to bed I went til the 2am alarm.

What was he at 6:30am you may or may not be asking???  128.

A horizontal Portuguese Pancreas Princess raised her arm from her bed for a zestful celebratory pump, when Dave relayed the number.

A day~in~the~life of night time basal tweakage.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


There was a time that I was a neat night pancreas...

See how the used test strips are/were housed in a dish?

"Oh...yea...If ya get some sort of error message when checking Joe ... just grab another strip and re-test....and if that one errors-out...just grab another strip...and so-on...til you get a number." ~ Me to Dave

You see...

A few nights ago...and btw, I am surprised this hasn't happened to me before during my 7 years as an exogenous pancreas.

During the 2am check, while trying to coax out a strip from a fresh (fresh - meaning full and hard to manipulate out a strip) freestyle vial~vesicle~container~thingy, I dumped out all 47 or so strips onto Joe's chest of drawers.  Unfortunately, they spewed out all willy-nilly-like all over the place and there were some old used test strips spritzled into the mix.  I'm a slob night time pancreas, so it seems.

So, our test strip vial now has "old-dirtys" mixed in with "new-cleans".  Nice.


A day~in~the~life of needing to clean up my night-time act.  I'm sure you are better about throwing away your used night strips.