Confession: I am a math nerd. I actually have daydreams of teaching algebra. I see life in a very mathematical way. In fact, sometimes I wish that type 1 diabetes was like doing algebra — you plug in what you know to find out what you don’t know. At times it can be tricky, but there’s always a right answer. That’s the way my brain works. I like to be able to figure out the “right” answer. When it comes to type 1 diabetes, there’s sometimes not a perfect explanation for why blood sugar levels respond a certain way. This drives my inner math teacher berserk.

Yesterday I sent Kaitlyn to school as usual, and I got a call from the nurse during their mid-morning snack. She had tested Kaitlyn’s blood sugar, and it was super high. Ten minutes later, she retested, and it was even higher. At that point, the nurse thought it would be better if I came to pick Kaitlyn up so that she could be monitored at home. When I arrived at school, the nurse asked what the cause might be, since recently she had had great numbers at snack time. I have to admit I was a little embarrassed that I just couldn’t figure out what was going on.

OK, time to do the mental checklist…

  1. Did she eat anything out of the ordinary that morning? No.
  2. Does she seem sick or have a fever? Nope.
  3. Has she eaten anything that she hasn’t been dosed for? Not that I know of.
  4. Is her insulin too old or not kept cool enough? No way.
  5. Is she going through a growth spurt? Who knows!

I guess I need to resign myself to the fact that with type 1 diabetes, some things are just not black and white, or solvable like an algebraic equation. While I may not always be able to get a definitive answer, what I can do is this: Monitor blood sugar levels, notice patterns of consistent highs or lows, make good food decisions and keep in close contact with Kaitlyn’s doctor.

Yup, that adds up! (Math nerd humor!)

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.

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