Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I know I don't usually post here on Writing Wednesday, but last night was pretty rough.

Penny had a persistent low at school and was complaining of a stomachache, so Matt brought her home early. The persistent low continued to persist, and Matt was feeling a bit under the weather as well, so instead of the planned dinner, I just made a couple of frozen pizzas. Penny ate three slices, I calculated the insulin, and we went on with the evening...

Right up until I sat down to read to Penny at bedtime. I got through exactly one sentence and then she jumped up, ran into the bathroom, and proceeded to puke her little guts up.

Here's a fun quiz: when you give someone insulin, but then they throw up all the food in their stomach before it can be digested, what happens? That's right! Low blood sugar! Whoo!

(In fact, I'm thinking that might have been the cause of that persistent low of the afternoon -- if the stomach bug was already beginning, it probably drastically slowed the rate of digestion, which meant her lunch insulin was going through her much faster than her food was.)

She was well within her range at bedtime, so Matt and I went about our evening routine, but alas, she thew up again around 9, and when Matt checked her blood sugar at 10, she was under 40 -- so low that she was groggy and unable to sit up on her own when Matt woke her up to treat it. So we skipped the candy remedies (that would probably only upset her stomach anyway) and went straight for a big old spoonful of honey. Half of it smeared on her face, but she opened her mouth for me to spoon it in, so we got a good teaspoon in her and waited.

Fifteen minutes later, she was up a bit but still in the 40s, so we woke her up again. This time, at least, she came alert relatively quickly and sat up on her own to eat another spoonful of honey, and washed it down with half a bottle of Gatorade, and then she remained upright until I'd gotten a washcloth to clean her face.

Another fifteen minutes or so, and she was up over 80, so we relaxed a bit. Matt and I stayed up another half hour or so and checked her again (over 100) before we went to bed.

This morning, her blood sugar was over 300, but rather than the usual frustration that causes me, I was relieved. (And unlike the "where the hell did that come from? highs, I knew exactly where this one came from: two spoonfuls of honey and half a bottle of Gatorade, duh!) The dangers of high blood sugar are slight but cumulative; low blood sugars are much more immediately terrifying. I hate it when she's so low she has trouble waking up. We have not yet ever had to break out the emergency Glucagon injection, and I do not ever want to. I probably don't even have to tell you what the Mutant Worrybrain was whispering when I first woke up this morning, do I?

She was feeling somewhat better on the stomach front, too -- she said her stomach didn't hurt any more, but she was Not Hungry. She ate a little cup of yogurt and drank some low-carb juice (I thought she should avoid milk) and I gave her a shot to bring her back down into range. She's staying home with Matt today, so here's hoping they're both feeling better by this evening.

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