Today’s D Blog Topic is “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”. Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes. Have more than one thing you wish people knew? Go ahead and tell us everything.
When I saw this topic the first thing I thought was....WOW! I could write for days on this one. There is so much that people don’t know about Type 1 Diabetes.
Let’s face it- I used to be “one of those people” too!
My brother in law has Type 1 Diabetes. For years I didn’t understand why if he was supposed to watch his sugar intake-I would sometimes see him shoving down candy bars or drinking a glass of orange juice like it was a shot in a bar!
I always knew he had to give himself a shot after a meal- but I had no idea that each time he took a shot he had to calculate the amount of insulin he was taking according to the amount of food he ate and his blood sugar reading before the meal.
This could be the part of diabetes that fascinates me the most. All the math involved- All the thinking, and counting and weighing. All the adding, and subtracting and dividing. There is a post I wrote a year ago that is the perfect post for today’s topic. Click on the following link to see the post I wrote back on February 9th, 2011
If for some reason, the link does not work, you can read the post below.....
Wake up and check Kaci's sugar at 6 a.m. Her meter reads 108. Perfect...no correction! A great morning reading is between 80 and 130. She wants a smoothie for breakfast. Weigh the banana on the carb scale....it is 23 carbs. Add 1/2 cup of milk...that is 5 carbs. Add a yogurt cup .....that is 13 carbs. Put 3 strawberries in...they are 4 carbs. Add that all up and the total is 45 carbs. Breakfast insulin coverage is 1 unit for every 8 carbs, so I divide 45 by 8 and that is 5.625- Round up and that is 6 units of insulin.
She is taking her lunch today, so I have to write all the carbs down for the school nurse. I am making her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Each piece of bread is 10 carbs, a tablespoon of peanut butter is 7 carbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar free jelly is 5 carbs. She wants to have pringles...they are 12 carbs. A pickle pack is 0 carbs. She is having water with sugar free add in and one cookie for dessert...it is 15 carbs. So add all those together....59 carbs. Her insulin coverage for lunch is 1 unit for every 12 carbs. So divide 59 by 12 and you get 4.916. She checks her sugar for lunch at about 11:37 (** When the nurse checks her sugar at lunch it is 188. So to figure her correction you have to take her current blood sugar and subtract 130, then divide by 40) So 188 - 130= 58.....divide 58 by 40 and you get 1.45 for correction. Add that to her meal coverage of 4.916 and you get 6.366... Since her sugar was a litte high at lunch I will round that up to 6.5 units of insulin.
Now I have to pack her snack. To avoid having to get a shot at school for snack, Kaci usually takes a FREE snack. This means a food that contains no carbs: pickles, cheese, pepperoni, ham, or sugar free jello. Today I pack pickles. When she takes her blood sugar at 9:55, if it is above 129 she must eat her FREE snack. If it is above 130- she can eat her carb snack and her FREE snack. Today I will pack 3 carbs of crackers...Much more than that will require a shot. For 6 carbs she gets to have 3 Ritz crackers. When she checks her blood sugar today at snack it was 201. She eats the FREE snack.
When she comes home from school she is hungry. We check her blood sugar at 3:00 and it is 110- We pop a bag of popcorn and add a few M&M's for fun! The popcorn is 17 carbs and the M&M's are about 7 ....Add those together and her total carbs for snack are 24. At snack her insulin to carb ratio is 1 unit for every 15 carbs. Her blood sugar was 110, so there is no correction. I divide 24 by 15 and get 1.6. I will round that to 2 units for snack.
I start cooking dinner and Kaci comes to me and says her legs feel shaky. This usally means that her sugar is below 70 and she needs sugar to raise her to a safer level.We check her sugar and it is 64. Guess I should have rounded down the insulin at snack. OOPS! She is excited to get to drink a juice box to raise her sugar to a safer level. It is 7 carbs and should do the trick. We wait 15 minutes and recheck with another finger poke. Her blood sugar went up to 164. That did the trick!
Dinner is ready in the next 20 minutes- so we don't take her sugar again. We just use the last reading. For dinner we are having fettuccine, peas and butter bread. I boil her noodles separate because the box gives me the carbs for 56 grams of uncooked pasta. I weigh them on the food scale and they are 42 carbs. Add the sauce- and I make my best guess and say it is about 8 carbs. Bread with butter is 10 carbs. Peas are about 6 carbs. Add this all together and this meal is 60 carbs. Dinner ratio is 1 unit of insulin for every 10 carbs. So this one is easy....no correction since she was low before dinner, so I divide 60 by 10 and she gets 6 units of insulin. We usually do her shot as soon as she is done eating (just to make sure she eats everything or doesn't want more...since that will change her carbs up or down) but pasta and pizza take longer to digest. So, we wait about 30 or 40 minutes after she finishes to give her the shot.
Getting close to bed and her sugar must be above 120. We check it at 8:00 and it is 110. She needs some carbs to raise her sugar. She has a sugar free ice cream bar that is 13 carbs and 1/2 a cup of milk that is 5. We don't give her a shot for this snack, because we are trying to raise her sugar- but we still have to give her her night shot. It is called Lantus and it is her long lasting shot. It lasts for 24 hours along with her meal coverage shots. She takes 18 units. We check her sugar again at 9, just to make sure it has raised above 120 and discover that even after eating 18 carbs her blood sugar has only raised to 111. Sure that the food will continue to cause a rise in her blood sugar we send her to bed and set the alarm to check her at 2 a.m.
2 a.m. rolls around and the alarm goes off. I check her and she is 88. We have now poked her finger 10 times and she has taken5 shots .With 4 and 1/2 hours more of sleep- I fear if I don't have her eat or drink something she will continue to drop and go below 70 (this is when she needs fast acting sugar) So, I decide to wake her and have her eat 3 vanilla wafers, they are 2 carbs a piece and a 1/2 cup of milk....it is 5 carbs. That is a total of 11 carbs....again with no shot....as I am trying to raise her sugar.
When the alarm goes off at 6 a.m. I rush to her room to wake her for the day - and of course, check her blood sugar. The meter beeps and it is 112......
And the day begins again.....
So, what would I tell people about diabetes that they may not know? Well, I would tell them that you have to have sharp math skills.. I would tell them having a food scale at home is essential. I would tell them I don’t know how people got along without the FREE restaurant App on their phone so that when they go out to eat and be able to look up the number of carbs in a taco at Taco Bell or a bread stick at Olive Garden. (It is always much more than you would guess!)
I would tell them to not take for granted simply pouring their child a bowl of goldfish without having to count out a single serving of 31. –
I would tell them not to take for granted that they can unwrap a banana and hand it to their child without having to put in on a scale and entering the banana code 365 to see how many carbs it has in it.
I would tell them to enjoy every bite without the “numbers” creeping in to take out some of the joy!