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guess again

If I’m lucky, Madeline’s insulin program works effectively for about eight days, nine days tops. About three weeks ago, her BG was in the stratosphere, day in, day out. 356. Correction. 325. Correction. 298. Correction. 313. Correction, infusion set change. 246. Correction. Overnight, it was a horror show, starring Bleary-Eyed-Mommy, Who Tries to Make a Reasonable Decision About How to Dose Insulin on Sleep Gained in 1.5 Hour Increments.

Will she go high? Will she go low?

It went on and on. Correction. Correction. Correction. I studied the data incessantly, seeking a pattern, trying to understand the numbers. I made tweaks to the insulin program. Sweeping changes, even, at times.

Finally, a break came. A streak of several days of reasonable BG readings were had. Several nights of reasonably good sleep (read: up testing only twice in the night) were enjoyed. We even had what I call a One Hit Wonder: one day—occurring as frequently as pigs fly—during which all of Madeline’s BG readings were within the target range.

Do not get the impression here that I somehow discovered “what was wrong.” That I somehow figured out “the reason why her numbers were so high.” This is decidedly not the case. No. Instead, it was all the product of guesswork.

We artificial pancreas-types become exceptionally skilled at guessing. Oh sure, there are variables that are considered when trying to figure out what is going on and what to do about it. What kind of carbs did she eat? How much fat did her meal contain? How much activity has she put forth? Is hell freezing over? Was she stressed out when the dog ran off for a two-hour joy-run in the woods? How much water has she had? Is she growing? Is she getting sick? Am I going crazy? But make no mistake: as much as I try to analyze the variables, the bottom line is that my decisions about how to intervene are nothing more than guesses.

And the luck of my recent guesses has worn off, for here we are, in the trenches again. 236. 193. 381. 377. 399. 374. 205. 155. 190. 302.  Back to the drawing board.


About Heather Garcia Queen

I am… a mother of 3 spectacular children. A wife of an architect extraordinaire. An MSW. A psychologist in an elementary school. A (wishful) writer. A protector of family and spirit. A worshipper of the natural world. A seeker of knowledge. A lover of the arts. An introvert. A silver-lining kind of girl.


4 thoughts on “guess again

  1. UGH…feel.your.pain. as another “artificial pancreas”. xo

    Posted by Reyna Maher | 06/04/2012, 8:19 pm
  2. She is growing and needs more basal. You increased; it worked. Same thing is happening. Up the basal and watch carefully. She could go low; then decrease. After a while at doing this, you will become more confident and aggressive. If trending high, you won’t wait more than three days and maybe, like us,no more than two without making the change. I know it is nerve-wracking adjusting so often. It does not sound like you are getting any sleep at all anyway. Lows we decrease immediately. Realize that you are not guessing at all; you are making a conscious decision based on the numbers you are observing and your assessments are correct. You are doing a great job; don’t be afraid to adjust based on what the numbers dictate. Either up or down.

    Posted by Julia | 06/05/2012, 2:56 am
  3. I’m with you! The same thing is happening here but we call a One Hit Wonder a No Hitter. Seriously. This stinks! I know Reyna is right. Someone posted that the insulin seems like WATER when they’re in the middle a growth spurt.

    Posted by Katy | 06/05/2012, 3:33 am
  4. (And I don’t think we’ve seen a No Hitter since…? It was pages ago.)

    Posted by Katy | 06/05/2012, 3:35 am

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This work by Heather Garcia Queen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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