Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Highs and Lows

I think I could post one with that title every week.

Today it's not as much the emotional highs and lows as it is the physical ones she experiences. It's been a weird day. For the last week or so she's had a lot of numbers over 200 and 300. I started feeling like I wasn't paying enough attention and wasn't giving her enough insulin. So this week has been better, but today she went low (below 70) like 5 times! Every time requires extra carbs to bring her back up, and sometimes she'd continue to go lower. It's so dang confusing. Sometimes I give her like 10 carbs to correct a low and she'll shoot up over 200. Tonight I gave her 15 carbs and she dropped 20 more points. So, I had to give her 20 more carbs, and it brought her up to 115, which is high enough to send her to bed. However, not high enough for us to sleep all night without worrying. So, we get to set an alarm, or just go to bed really late on a night when we're already totally exhausted, and test her blood sugar again. That's never fun, as she usually can't wake up enough to put up with it and gets really angry, screams, cries, runs away from us, etc. Then when you ask her about it in the morning, she'll say, "Oh, you tested me last night?"

Are you serious? I'm thinking...

Most of the time we go through our days and nights with a lot of peace. Then there are days like today when we're reminded how unpredictable and very serious this disease is for her.

Yesterday I went to a coffee-talk with other moms of diabetics. There is also a young woman there who has Type I and works for JDRF. We had just gone to our first pump class, so I had a lot of questions for them about the different ones and which ones they were on. They also helped me feel like Sophia's sometimes irradic behavior is very normal. I met another mom with a kindergartener who said her daughter does very similar things. We talked about getting the girls together to play. I think it would do Sophie a world of good to meet another girl her age, plus this girl has a pump. So she could see what it's like.

The moms also helped me get a better understanding of how truly awful she feels a good portion of the time still. The woman with Type 1 gave some great descriptors for how it feels. Before her diagnosis, she was hanging out in the highs all of the time, so she was tired, and thirsty, and cranky. But now she vascilates between the highs and lows and feels those swings, and feels completely yucky on either end. They said that at as high as 250 (which she's often at) her blood is as thick as corn syrup and it feels like walking in sand. At the lows (below 70) it feels like that shaky, hungry, irrational feeling we get, except MUCH worse and more intense, often with sweating. Darn. Who wants to feel that way? It really stinks to think of her as feeling that way most of the time and trying to be a normal kid too.

It helped me have more compassion for her again. I've moved on to trying to be normal through all of this, and honestly have forgotten that she still feels bad, and hasn't necessarily just gotten used to the yucky feelings and can ignore them. At the same time, it really is confusing and a bit frustrating to know how to approach this information in the way of parenting. It's like, I still have to teach her that disrespectful or aggressive behavior is unacceptable in our house, yet, I need to try to get a larger measure of grace and more creative techniques for when she's high or low. I want her to cope, and feel like she's capable of making good choices. But, it's not as black and white as I'd like for it to be.

We'll be thinking on this one for a while....


Gayla said...

praying for you guys, anj.