Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Groundhog Day

Well after all the ups and downs of the last few weeks R had his stay in UCLH but by the time he was admitted to both our local hospital and UCLH his constant low blood sugar levels had come back up into a more normal range - typical!
After we finally came home from UCLH R's blood levels began to rise....and rise...and rise. It didn't seem to matter how much extra insulin we gave him, nothing shifted those levels from really high down to a more normal level. Until of course, just like before, he crashed and we've been battling low blood sugar levels (hypos) for the past three days and nights. The day time hypos are just about bearable - R can eat loads of high carb food like jelly beans, lucozade, cola, white bread - all of those are rapid acting - they get into the blood stream very quickly and are ideal for diabetics who are having a hypo. Things like chocolate - which used to be recommended for treating hypos are not the best thing to give because the fat content in the chocolate inhibits the absorption of the sugar and slows up the whole process which you really don't want if you're going lower.

So why was all of this happening to R?

Well he's probably still in the 'honeymoon' period with his diabetes - often after diagnosis when the pancreas has had a chance to recover from the overload a little bit it begins to work again for a short while but it tends to be short-lived and sometimes it can be more trouble than it's worth! That could be causing the hypos - R is injecting insulin and his own pancreas is producing some too - don't ever forget just how dangerous a drug insulin can be - that's why we've been up for the past three nights running trying to feed him with sugar to keep his blood levels out of the dangerous lows. How dangerous? Well... prolonged low blood sugar levels can cause seizures, brain damage and ultimately death. Yep, scary disease this one and there is no cure - insulin injections or an insulin infusion pump are just treatments.
What about those highs? The biggest culprit is growth hormone - he's almost 13 and on the verge of puberty, he hasn't started a growth spurt yet and boys, being boys, tend to grow until well into their late teens or even early twenties. So that means we could be battling highs for the next seven years.

Excuse me while I go and laugh hysterically. Lack of sleep, worry and sheer desperation living in this horrible twilight world of Type 1 adolescent diabetes turns parents grey and slightly unhinged.

The thing that angers me most of all - and I know I've said this before, so apologies - is that nothing we have done has caused this. Type 1 Diabetes is rather like the evil fairy who turns up at the christening and curses you all for no good reason. If I believed in karma I'd have to conclude that in a previous life I must have been one of Genghis Khan's henchmen.

And of course I had to cancel a class I was teaching this afternoon as I sit by the telephone waiting to hear from R's consultant about what to do next. I hate how this has come into our lives. The only upside is that we've met some wonderful people along the way....every cloud.

No comments:

Post a Comment