From time to time, I am asked this question. Sometimes folks mean well, and they just don’t know what to say; but they want to express their concern. Other times, people simply don’t understand how this disease works.
The Answers to the Question
The super short answer is, No. My short answer for those who just want to make conversation or those who don’t understand and really would rather not talk about details is, “The doctor says she’s doing well.”
The long answer is that there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Not yet. When Katie has setbacks, there is such a thing as “getting better” in that we can help the bad symptoms to go away or lessen. But that’s pretty much as far as it goes for now.
What Getting Better Looks Like for Us
The positive thing here is that, after having dealt with her condition for over a year, we are “getting better” at troubleshooting. We know if her numbers are high that drinking water and physical exercise can help bring them down, in addition to insulin. We know that if her numbers are high because of excitement, then we just need to wait it out for a little bit.
We know when Katie has a crazy drop (like yesterday when she had 53 with double down arrows) that we can’t panic and do a truckload of carbs. Take small measures, pray and monitor. So in that case, she had a pack of fruit snacks.
When her Dex updated after 5 minutes she still had double down and 51. She chugged a juice bag. By this stage she’s weak and not very coherent to listen to reason, and her body is screaming at her that she needs food. If left on her own, she’d have cleared the fridge. You T1D mamas know how that is. I told her we needed to do a finger poke (which is real-time numbers and the most accurate…the Dex has a 10-minute lag on it and the readings can sometimes be squirrely). She was 69. We waited another 5 minutes. 78.
After another Dex check, she was 103 with a slanting up arrow, so I let her have a “free” snack (which in this case was hard boiled eggs). We don’t want to do that before her number indicates that she’s rallying because protein and/or fat can slow down carb absorption and we really wanted those fruit snacks and juice to kick in.
Toward evening, Katie’s numbers were still wanting to drop, but it was a slow drop. So I treated multiple times before bed with a few Ritz cheese crackers and a little Fairlife milk, and then finally with one Gogurt. Her numbers were great the rest of the night and she woke up with a very nice 98. These forms of protein with carbs help her number to rise without spiking.
We get better at strategizing. We get better at being patient. We get better at discipline. We get better at leaning hard.
Child of My love, lean hard,
And let Me feel the pressure of your care;
I know your burden, child, I shaped it;
Balanced it in My own hand; made no proportion
In its weight to your unaided strength,
For even as I laid it on, I said,
“I will be near, and while she leans on Me,
This burden will be Mine, not hers;
So will I keep My child within the circling arms
Of My own love.” Here lay it down, nor fear
To impose it on a shoulder that upholds
The government of worlds. Yet closer come:
You are not near enough. I would embrace your care;
So I might feel My child reclining on My breast.
You love Me, I know. So then do not doubt;
But, loving Me, lean hard. ~May Prentiss Smith