There have been many nicknames that I have lovingly called my son since he was born. Some that come to mind are sweet potato, baby, sweetheart, and lovey. One that I never thought would come to mind when thinking about my son is guinea pig, but that is exactly what I feel like he is when it comes to figuring out the proper care for his diabetes.
I have to make decisions regarding my son’s care many times a day and night. Some decisions are easy. If his number is out of range on the high side I know to give insulin. If his number is out of range on the low side I know to give him some sort of sugar. Oh if only all my decisions could be that cut and dry. The harder decisions are the ones that leave me guessing as to whether I made the right decision and and in turn have me treating my son like he is a guinea pig in his own personal clinical trial.
For every meal my son has what is called an insulin to carb ratio. That is the amount of insulin that he receives for the amount of carbs that he eats. For breakfast my son receives 1 unit of insulin for every 15 carbs that he eats. The way to test if this works is if his blood glucose comes back into range within the next 2 to 3 hours.
If at his next glucose test his number is on the high side I can speculate that the ratio may need to be made tighter (or bigger for my mathy friends), where I give more insulin for each carb, but that is just a speculation. Speculation because it could also be a bad site, too little basal, slowly digesting food, or too small of a correction factor. Herein lies why my son is like a guinea pig. I have to run trial after trial to figure out how to get that said number in range. It is then when my son has to endure extra blood glucose checks, like a guinea pig, to determine if the changes being made are heading him in the right direction.
The kicker is this happens multiple times a day. Every time that my son tests his sugar and it is out of range, either high or low, I have to then speculate where that number came from and how to fix it for the next time. This process can take weeks. No kidding. Weeks! With all the outside factors such as growth hormones, illness, food, basal rates, meal/snack ratios, and correction factors, it can take weeks before we actually figure out what is causing the pattern of high or low sugars.
It is a glorious moment in the life of a person with Type 1 diabetes when the decision you made to fix a pattern actually works quickly.
It’s the long drawn out trial and errors that make it really hard to not get angry at diabetes. It’s the time that my son has to waste of his little six year old life dealing with high glucose, low glucose and many many blood checks that really make you hate diabetes.
My son is a boy, not a guinea pig, and he should not have to endure one more second of the trials and errors of Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes has wasted enough of his time, and enough is enough.