Is it normal?

It’s been asked in different ways, “are his BGs supposed to go that high?”.  It’s always come from friends curious about what he goes through asking because they’re sincerely curious. This stupid disease doesn’t play by any rules. So my answer is usually something like,”we do everything we can to keep his numbers in range(100-200) but so many factors affect a type 1 diabetes BGs that we aren’t surprised when he is out of range.”

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Things he eats obviously can change his BG: sugar and carbs make his numbers go high fast, but fat, fiber and the time of day he eats those foods make difference in how he reacts to them also. Then there’s the weather and activity, when we played outside in the snow, his BG crashed and when he runs around the house he goes low too.

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Excitement or stress, growth spurts, and illness can cause his BG to go high or low too.

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We do our best to keep TJs numbers in range, but it’s not easy. Even with every carb counted exactly his numbers can go super high or crazy low. Pizza causes both! The fat keeps the carbs from hitting his blood stream until after most of the insulin has brought his BG down, causing first a low and the super high BGs. Luckily his insulin pump gives us tools to solve these problems (although, I have not yet mastered them).

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I don’t really know if his numbers are normal, but I know lots of other type 1 parents that try to keep their kids “in range” only to have to fight lows and highs on a daily basis.

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Sometimes I wonder if an adult with type 1 has an easier time staying in range, but they have all the same factors to deal with including the biggest one: D does not follow the rules!

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Or maybe people outside of a T1s intimate, daily life, just can’t know about the day to day, minute to minute struggles and decisions we make every day (multiple times a day) to try to keep BGs in range. TJ has “Dex”, a CGM, which is a huge help in answering some of those questions: 100 with two straight down arrows? Time for some sugar. But there are many times when his BG is low and headed down but if we just wait (instead of giving sugar) he comes back up into range. It’s a dangerous thing, to wait and see sometimes because he could go so low that he ends up in a coma (we don’t play the waiting game when he’s that low). But we also want to avoid prolonged high BGs because they damage nerves and organs.

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So, in answer to those questions: it is normal BUT we try to avoid it as much as possible. We try hard every minute of everyday to keep TJs numbers in range but a lot of that is reactionary. He’s going high: give insulin (and then we have to wait for it to being him down) or he’s going low: give sugar–but not too much or he’ll go high. We have had a few days here and there where he stayed in range all day, but don’t ask me what we did right, just luck I think. We have days like today where he’s up and down and just thank God he didn’t go too low and that we kept him in range most of the day.  🙂  And then we start again tomorrow.

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2 Comments

  1. So true! There a so many factors, it’s nearly impossible to stay in range ALL the time. We’re coming up on 2 years of this, and still don’t feel we fully understand. Especially when the nurse tells us things like “Oh, she probably went low overnight because she had a really active gym class in the morning”…Apparently exercise can affect her BG up to 24 hours LATER! So difficult to ever really know what’s causing what, and what to do about it…

    • Yes, and the first time someone asked me if it was normal for his numbers to go so high and so low, I was a little taken aback, wondering if I was doing something wrong. Thank God for the DOC! It lets me see how many others are facing these same issues.

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