We are learning that diabetes is just a big balancing act, and, like all other T1ers, we do a lot of it. We balance carbs & protein, insulin & carbs, simple carbs & complex carbs, rest & exercise, carbs & exercise, etc. And all the balancing is to find that safe blood glucose range between the highs and lows. To be honest, we mostly battle the highs. Ryan’s target range is between 80-150, going to bed with bg over 100. I went back through and counted . . . in our journey with lows, we only have 11 recorded lows. That’s 146 days; the recorded lows are mostly just taken at meals and bedtime; so that’s a total of 548 RECORDED blood sugar reads (I emphasis recorded because we will take sugars when he feels strange or acting strange and unless it’s very high or low, we don’t record it in the log). So we honestly haven’t had to deal with too many lows yet, and we are far from being pros at handling them. But we have been “trained” on how to handle them.
If he is low, we are to give him 15 quick acting sugar carbs. The diabetic educators recommended glucose tablets, which are a pharmaceutical square tablets that come in an assortment of flavors that are chewed to quickly raise blood sugar levels. They also recommended 4 oz of juice, half a can of regular soda or six lifesavers. Ryan’s “treatment” of choice is a Capri Sun, but I have to be careful with Capri Sun . . . the Roaring Waters flavors ar 9 carbs and the “Sport” flavors Thunder Punch and Berry Ice are 16 carbs. I have made the mistake of thinking that all Capri Suns are the same carb amounts . . . WRONG. The carb counts go all the way up to 32 carbs per pouch depending on the flavor. BE CAREFUL. We want the sugar to go up quickly, not shoot like a rocket into outer space; admittedly learned that the hard way!
There has only been one time that we have given juice and had to treat again to get the sugar up into a safe range. I know so many struggle with getting bgs up sometimes and I know that must be so scary. And we always have icing gel and a glucagon on hand for emergencies.
I asked Ryan about lows, how he feels about them. He said, “Well, at least I get to have a Capri Sun . . . but I don’t like how they make me feel.” He does often have a smile when I tell him it’s low and to get a Capri Sun out of the frige in the garage or pull it out of my purse (Yes, I do carry a Capri Sun in my purse, along with two snacks at all times). At the beginning, this concept really worked some crazy contradictions in my mind. Stay away from simple sugars and juices and regular soda, UNLESS he’s low and in trouble, then give it to him and have him drink it quickly. WHAT?!?! Keep it from him to keep him healthy, give it to him when he’s not. Ha! Ha! There’s no such thing as an absolute in diabetes, there is always the “what if” or “unless” factor! But I figure that in the midst of the hard and scary, at least I can give him something fun that tastes good to get him better. Can you imagine if bringing up blood glucose meant you had he to eat raw spinach out of the can or take a spoonful of Castor oil? Yes, we WILL be thankful for the little things in diabetes. 🙂