Emily Brown and the Elephant Emergency, written by Cressida Cowel, has been one of Cass’ favourite stories since she was two years old. This morning I was told that it’s okay to sometimes be like Matilda’s Mummy. We’ve been testing and tweaking her basal rates over the last week, which has lulled me into the peace and tranquillity of straight lines. Then she picked up a cold again and her glucose level started to look like the ocean battered by wind – restless and unsettled. Type 1 Diabetes often feels like steering a ship – in calm waters there’s little to be done but for the occasional course correction, but in stormy weather it’s a full-time job. Night time highs follow night time lows as a tiny bit of sugar acts like rocket fuel.
I woke up tired with a fuzzy brain this morning, having the same cold myself, stumbled into the kitchen and pulled out the Yogurt, forgetting that the normal choice had been substituted for a fat free version earlier this week. Some fruit and yogurt is usually a great breakfast choice, but not today. Today blood glucose hovering in the 5’s hit 14 in 40 minutes. I worried. Cass was chilled out. ‘I think it’s just breakfast’, she said, ‘I think fruit has a lot of sugar really and with nothing to slow it down, it went straight from my stomach to my blood stream and the insulin hasn’t caught up with it yet.’
I agreed, yes, only a food spike. Hopefully it’ll be a rollercoaster with a rapid return to the 5s following the rapid rise. Half an hour after breakfast, she decided that maybe it wasn’t a food spike, maybe it was a pump issue. We ran through Medtronic’s pump check-list and having ruled out any visible problems, she contemplated the situation again. ‘Definitely breakfast’, was the conclusion.
She was dropped off at school with a glucose level of 13.2 and texted me ‘one arrow down’ on her Dad’s phone. I could hear the ‘don’t worry’ she hadn’t added. It made me realise that there is still so much about Type 1 Diabetes we don’t know. I can’t recommend John Walsh’ Pumping Insulin highly enough – but theory isn’t everything. I still don’t really know how well (or badly) we’re doing. I don’t know if the goals set are realistic and achievable. It all seems a very fuzzy ‘do the best you can by doing as little as you can and don’t worry too much’.
Diabetes management has become an integral part of our lives. It hasn’t gotten easy yet, but it’s nice to know that the security blanket of technology is here also. Technology helps tremendously on a day-to-day basis, but more than that, knowing that it’s developing at a rapid pace with new and better technology always around the corner, makes us all sleep better at night. We’ve always had a keen interest in bleeding edge tech, but now we seem to also have a more personal stake in it. We can’t wait for the next gen of tablets, phones, consoles and other cool things, but more than ever, we can’t wait for the next gen of pumps and CGMs that are bound to change how Cass lives life.
There’s good days and bad days, days swallowed up by diabetes and days where we almost forget it’s there. I’m hoping as the weeks go by we’ll learn when to act and when to wait, when to worry and when to chill out, when to think about Diabetes and when to just let it fade into the background. It certainly is a great balancing act.