A Diabetes Blog to Stay Connected with Us

I'm going to use this blog to keep family, friends, and the occasional visitor up to date on how we are doing managing Grace's new diabetes diagnosis.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This is Diabetes

Last week we went in for our routine visit with our doctor. We see him every three months. It just so happened that we were at CHOP 3 weeks in a row. One for the visit and the previous two weeks we were there for the sensor placement and reading. When we walked down the hall it kind of felt like something out of Cheers. We ran into no less than 5 nurses/doctors who recognized us immediately. While I love that about our practice, it was also a little reminder that we have spent way too much time there lately.

The doctor went over the data from the sensor to make sure I understood everything. He was speaking slowly and quietly pointing to numbers. He was definitely using his "now it's time to listen carefully" voice. He concurred with everything everyone else had said. He reiterated the sensor caught some very dangerous low sugars in the wee hours of the morning and what changes we were making to fix those. He asked if I was ok. I'm sure my face was grey. I asked him if he thought I was overreacting. He said no but then quickly followed with, "this is diabetes." He continued to talk but I don't think I really heard him. His words kept rattling around in my head. He emphasized these things happen and there was nothing unusual about it. We just haven't experienced it yet. In short, we're still learning.

We shifted gears and came up with a plan to overhaul Grace's pump settings. Since the settings were changed, Grace's blood sugar has basically sucked. She keeps spiking high overnight so that means waking every night at 2am to check to make sure I didn't give too much insulin to fix the high. We're monitoring her sugar closely and I'm petty sure I've exchanged emails or have spoken to Grace's doctor almost every day for the past 2 weeks.

Speaking of monitoring, the doctor wants Grace on a continuous glucose monitor for at least one week a month. It's similar to the sensor she wore but it's much, much smaller and Grace has to carry a receiver with her. Dr. G had brought one in for us to see and hold. Grace didn't like it because it was big but she agreed to give it a try "because she hates the feeling when she's low." A CGM alarms when sugar is low and when it's high. It takes a reading every 5 minutes and can let you know if you're trending low or tending high. So if Grace's sugar is 88, is it actually heading low? Then we can cut that low off at the pass. I can look at the receiver in the morning and see if we're having problems with overnight lows. I started the paperwork last week. My biggest priority is to keep Grace safe and this device holds a lot of hope for doing just that.

I didn't even know it was close, but the latest version of the "Dexcom" was just released yesterday. It's a huge improvement over the older model. It's small, colorful (if you pick pink or blue) and has all kinds of fancy alarms. Grace and I watched the video and we're both super excited with the improvement. The bummer is it's one more thing for Grace to keep track of. She has to take it with her wherever she goes but the nice thing is it helps to eliminate the big uncertainty of monitoring your child's blood sugar. I've heard CGMs can be frustrating until you get the hang of them but I spoke to our nurse educator today and she was extremely positive that a lot of kinks had been worked out in this latest version Here is the link to the site if you want to check it out: www.dexcom.com So for now, we're actively problem solving, consuming ridiculous amounts of coffee, and thankful the new dexcom cleared the FDA just in time for us to give it a whirl.