Too Many Variables…Swimming in Mustard

I have my cocky days. My days when I believe that if I can just be smart and prepared enough in managing Liam’s T1D everything will be fine. My “T1D is a manageable hassle” days. Then, I get blindsided by blood sugars that don’t make sense and keep not making sense for days. We had a string of those days on a recent trip to the Midwest. Liam’s blood sugar kept spiking, and it made no sense whatsoever. We ran through the usual culprits.

  1. Is it a bad pump site? We changed his site 5 times over 5 days.
  2. Did the insulin get too cold when we went for a walk in the frigid temperatures? We tried a vial of insulin that had not been exposed to the cold.
  3. Is he sick? He had no symptoms except the general crappy feeling of having high blood sugars. He was also negative for ketones.
  4. Is it the weird food he’s eating? (How many grams of carbohydrate are in a cheese curd?) He had a huge spike after a Greek yogurt, which is the same brand and flavor he eats at home without incident.
  5. Is he growing/having a hormone surge/whatever else happens to an 11-year-old boy? We just had to throw our hands in the air in response to this question.

When Liam was diagnosed, a very wise diabetes educator warned me that sometimes the numbers just wouldn’t make sense. I do research for a living. I thought that I could approach it methodically and force it to make sense.  Our recent trip was a reminder of how humbling this condition can be. For now, I’m very happy to be back to confidence restoring blood sugars and nights that aren’t interrupted by the constant buzzing of the continuous glucose monitor.


Written by Susan Ramsey