Tuesday, January 31, 2012

T1 Tuesdays: Illness and the Type 1 Diabetic

Last week we had a stomach virus slither it's way quietly through our house.
It was selective in who it chose to take down, but was mild thankfully enough.
It did not bring with it a fever or aches or diarrhea, nor did it strike in the dead of the night strangling it's victims in the grip of death.
It would begin simply near the break of dawn, cause a couple trips to the bathroom, and then suspend itself in less than 24 hours.
THAT, my friends, I can handle.
It's what happened to our family on this week exactly one year ago that I cringe with fear to remember and pray never returns.
You can read about that nightmare here. 

Anyway, one of the victims of this latest bout was our Type 1 Diabetic.
I always take for granted what my body just does on it's own when I'm not feeling well.
But it's different when you're sick and one of your organs is completely shut down.
When Ashlyn gets sick, an entirely different monster takes over.
It's called "ketones."
You can google the term "ketoacidosis" and get a plethora of information on what happens inside her body.
For the laymen though, it means that her body starts using the fat for energy instead of converting glucose to energy.
It results in tremendous stomach pain and usually vomiting for her.
That results in an inability to keep fluid down, so there is a build-up of ketones in her system.
It makes her feel worse.
When her ketones measure "large" {we have ketone strips that she dips in her urine for this reading}we have to give her 20% of her total amount of insulin intake for the entire day.
For example, if we add up all the insulin she takes in a day {humalog and lantus at all meals and bedtime}and the total is 73 units {for both insulins} then we give her 20% of that which would be 14.6 units.
The tricky part with that is how high her blood sugar levels are at that moment.
If she is over 250, we don't worry too much about her blood sugar dropping too low.
But this last weekend, she would have large ketones but her blood sugars would be in normal ranges.
We still have to give her that large dose of humalog to bring down the ketones, but she also has to take in some carbs so her blood sugar doesn't plummet.
That was the balancing act we were playing all weekend.
High ketones.....vomiting....normal blood sugars.....large dose of insulin.....sips of regular sprite {instead of diet}.....more vomiting.....moderate ketones.....feeling better.....low blood sugar....more sprite.....more vomiting.....and on and on.
She pricked her fingers for blood sugar testing at least 10 times on Saturday.
Never complained.
Not once.
She's my hero.
It did seem to take her a little longer to get back to feeling 100%, but then we declared her officially well yesterday mid-morning....so it wasn't bad overall.....
compared to LAST year......eeeeeek!

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