Our date: a story of 8 phone calls and one text

My husband’s Mom is visiting with us and we decided to use the opportunity and go out on a date. You know, this thing parents do occasionally, when they get away from their offspring for a few hours to grab dinner or go to a movie. Being T1D parents makes this a lot harder for many reasons. Nonetheless, with MIL feeling comfortable and eager to babysit, and with V’s knowledge, confidence and ability to take care of herself, we went for it.

Our plan was to grab dinner and then go over to our friend’s for a house concert by a few amazing local musicians.The evening started fairly well. We got to eat and actually chew our food and taste it. We got to not worry about ordering anything gluten-free or estimating the carbs. We got to talk without being interrupted every 2.5 minutes. Glorious. In between dinner and concert we got one phone call regarding our son’s behavior and dealt with it quickly. Easy peasy. Got to our friend’s house, found comfortable seats and started enjoying the concert. And then the real fun started.

I should back track a little bit and say that before we left V was running a little high, around 300. But since she’d gone to her friend’s Birthday lunch earlier, we figured that I must have underestimated the carbs. She got her correction and we assumed that everything would level out soon. Ha! At some point in the evening my husband calls home to check in. V is still running a little high. No problem, she had dinner not long ago, things would work out soon. He calls back a bit later, speaks to his Mom and asks her to have V test and text her BG. Which she does. 458. This is not a typo. And so he begins the in-and-out of the house dance, making follow up calls. Husband calls home again, tells her to wash her hands very well and check again. She does. She is still over 400. This was confirmed by Dexcom, which does not even read beyond 400 and only says HIGH. You can say that again. HIGH. Way too high, way too high to have after a meal that was properly bolused, and way too high almost 3 hrs post-meal. What is going on? Time to trouble shoot. Instruct V to bolus and wait another half hour. BG is not budging. At this point V realized that something is wrong with the cannula, it was no longer inserted properly and looked like it was coming out? It is hard to understand without seeing it but clearly something is not right. The pod got caught a little on something earlier, and then the kids were wrestling. These things happen. We decide that she needs to change the pod. Also my husband’s phone battery decides to die. I take over the phone calls, walking in and out of the house in the middle of the concert. V is not happy about changing the pod, she wants to wait for us to get home. I have to explain to her that no, she cannot wait, this needs to be done now, otherwise she will need to give herself a shot with a syringe. She agrees but is upset and is at the verge of tears. She calls back 10 minutes later, her brother has been bothering her, the pod is still not changed. I talk to him, we carry on. Another five to ten minutes later the pod is finally changed, and now she’s complaining that it was stinging because she did not let the alcohol dry completely on her skin. At least BG is looking a little better. It’s past 9 PM, way past her bedtime, we tell her to finally go to sleep.

We left shortly afterwards. The concert was almost over and by then we were way too stressed to be able to enjoy it anymore. It’s a shame because the musicians were really awesome. On the drive home we talked about the concert for about 30 seconds. Rest of the time was spend discussing what happened with V’s BG today, what could have been done differently, what needs to be done differently in the future. Can we please have a date do-over, without interference from stupid Diabetes? Please? Yeah, right…

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P.S. BG improving but still in 300s. It will take a few hours. And all fingers and toes are crossed that she does not crash in the middle of the night.

Happy 9th to our T1D!

We survived our first B-day celebration in T1D and gluten-free style as our girl turned 9!

Due to the kids’ activities schedule, we were not going to have a B-day dinner. Instead, V asked if I could make a special breakfast with pancakes. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve made pancakes at home. I usually do not have the time anyway, but we’d typically have a mix from Costco and once in a while I’d make a batch on a Sunday morning. But for T1D and GF pancakes are a double whammy. They are or so carby, and of course making the GF version can be tricky. I used GF flour from Trader Joe’s to make pancakes a couple of times, but even when I followed the recipe they turned into crapes instead. But this time I was determined to make it right. I’ve connected with the woman behind Sustainable Pantry¬†and bought her pancake mix. It was a hit! And they turned out like pancakes, not like crapes. Maybe next time I won’t even burn them ūüėČ

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Then we had V’s B-day party. There are so many times nowadays that we have to say no to her. No, you can’t eat that. It has gluten. It has too many carbs. Sometimes we can offer a substitute. Other times we can only offer a hug. I thought that for her party I’d love for her to be able to have anything and everything there. That is how I decided to go fully gluten free. We went with GF sandwiches (using Udi’s and Essential Baking Company breads), fruit and vegetable trays, and water. No juice. No chips. No candy. But yes, cake! Not cupcakes. There are excellent GF cupcakes out there, but it gets old when that is the only GF option you have available at parties. If you ever want to purchase a GF cake at a bakery, prepare to empty your wallet and spend about $70. Nope, can’t do.¬†Fortunately, Betty Crocker makes a really good GF cake mix for about $5 per box. I tried it when I made a cake for V for my son’s birthday back in November. It was good then, but this time it turned out even better. I think I pulled it out of the oven at just the right time. I used instant Jell-o chocolate pudding and heavy whipping cream to make chocolate mouse filling. I really wish there was a better option for instant pudding. I don’t have time or skill to make filling from scratch, and I like the instant pudding version because it is lower in carbs and sugar compared to some other filling and icing versions. Unfortunately, Jell-o ingredients are all artificial chemicals with preservatives and coloring. It makes me cringe. But once or twice a year I will suck it up and make my girl a “real” cake. Not just a real cake, a damn good tasting real cake. It was about 470g carbs for each cake. Cut up into 12 slices it was about 40g carbs per slice. Not too bad, especially considering that one GF cupcake is around 50g of carbs.

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I can’t say that all kids loved GF sandwiches but it is understandable and no one complained. I can say that everyone loved the cake. I almost wish I made three, to have some leftovers for us.

And then we had to deal with V’s pod. Mere 15 minutes into the party, it got caught on a slide and began to come off of the tape, while the tape itself was still firmly attached to her body and the cannula still in place. V really did not want to change the pod, nor did we want to waste the left over insulin in it. My friend saved the day – she had medical tape in her car’s First Aid kit. After quick McGyvering, V was ready to¬†get back to playing! And we learned a good lesson: don’t leave home without medical tape.

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Happy Birthday to our favorite 9-year-old! We don’t know what she wished for, but we hope that it was not related to T1D or Celiac, that she was unburdened from these conditions at least for that moment. We love you V, and we wish for a cure in your lifetime. Sooner than later, please.

Adventures in nighttime Diabetes management

V’s Dexcom CGM high alert is set to 300. We want to be aware when BG goes above 250 to be proactive in treating highs, troubleshoot, etc. Last night I wake up from the sound of the high alarm. I stay in bed for a few seconds, processing. Was it real? It sounded real. Whatever I was dreaming about was completely unrelated to T1D, or to V, or to anything else. So it had to be real… As I am getting out of bed, my husband stirs and asks me to check on V. He says he bloused her about 20 minutes prior, she was around 200. As I walk down the hallway I am worried – if she went from 200 to 300 in a matter of 20 minutes, it’s a sure sign of pump failure that would require a pod change and possibly a manual shot in the middle of the night. I get to V’s room and look at Dexcom. 189. No alarm went off. Which can only mean one thing: in the middle of my sleep, my brain inserted a random and very realistic sound of the CGM alarm that woke me up. T1D is pushing me to the new level of crazy. What’s next – outright hallucinations, perhaps?