Kim M.

Check the Time On the Pump!

Have you ever had one of those weeks when blood sugar numbers were just all over the place and you had no idea why? A few weeks ago, we did. We were actually on vacation visiting my sister, and Kaitlyn kept having persistent lows at night and then would be high all day. I couldn’t seem to figure it out! For days, I did the routine of giving juice throughout the night, doing temporary basal changes, and giving corrections all day long. I changed sites more often, even though I thought they were working effectively.

I blamed the wide variance of numbers on all kinds of things … fatty vacation food, extra excitement from being with the cousins, being in the sun and water all day at water parks, ending a growth spurt. All of those things could have been good reasons, and I figured that any day, she would just go back to normal. She didn’t go back to normal though. It wasn’t until we got home that I finally figured it out. Her pump was set to the wrong time—the a.m. got switched to p.m.! I don’t know how or why or when or whose fault it was, but somehow it got switched. No wonder we were having such a problem! Her insulin-to-carb ratios and basal rates are drastically different from night to day, so it made sense that her numbers were all over the place.

I corrected the time on the pump, and guess what? Yep, you guessed it: Everything went back to normal! Typical numbers persisted throughout the days, and she didn’t dip too low at night. Seriously, what a relief! With the blessing of 20/20 hindsight, I see that I probably should have noticed a pattern or some strong signals that something was amiss. I also probably should have called my healthcare provider or even the pump manufacturer to see if they had ideas about what was going wrong. I think that I must have been in “busy vacation mom” mode and was simply not paying close enough attention.

I really learned an important lesson though. So often, I rely on the pump for calculating everything. It’s a great tool, but I need to consistently remind myself that it is not a crutch or a substitute for good diabetes maintenance. Let’s take advantage of the amazing products available to us but at the same time keep an eye on the fundamentals of diabetes management!

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

Related topics:
People in the Know: Mysterious Meter Readings
Insulin Pump Tubing Is Not a Chew Toy
Mystery Highs and Lows

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