More numbers/glucose readings

Goal: 90-130

Current average: 176

In the past week, Nick’s had eight glucose readings between 200 and 300, and eight over 300. He’s also had six below 80. Out of 51 readings. That’s almost half his readings!

We’re, obviously, concerned. (Read: trying to not freak out.)

While low blood sugar is immediately scary – seizures, coma, death in extreme cases – regular high blood sugars impact a diabetic’s body over the course of years and can lead to kidney problems, nerve problems (diabetics have a high rate of foot and leg amputations) and blindness.

(Typing that was hard. When I write or read about what could happen, I try to maintain a distance between the hypothetical consequences and the reality of my sweet boy. But sometimes images come, unbidden, like an ice pick to the heart.)

After two 300-plus readings Thursday night, I begged off KSLG for Friday. I need to get a grip on this, I explained. Thankfully, people were understanding. What would I do if they weren’t? If I had a job that was simply come-in-or-be-fired? Not like I haven’t been there.

I spent the morning on the phone with doctors and filling out paperwork. Since health care is a privilege, not a right, maintaining our low-income status qualifies as life-or-death. Despite the assurances of my worker, taking the job at KSLG bumped me just over the Medi-Cal line. We’ve got about four more months before they kick us to Healthy Families, about which, thankfully, I’ve heard decent reviews. I hope so. I’m scared. In order to keep the transitional Medi-Cal and on a program through Children’s Services, I had to fill out several forms, list three months worth of income and gather my paycheck stubs as proof. Last time, I couldn’t find one of the Eye stubs, but since I had the one before and the one after, and they show the year-to-date, and I’m on salary, I thought the worker would approve the report despite the one missing stub. But, no. Cue frantic search and in-person delivery. Paying out of pocket for Nick’s needs would run us about $800/month just for supplies.

But back to the high blood sugars. Much of my week has been devoted to figuring out why high. Insulin losing its potency? Nick’s bit of a cough throwing his body chemistry off? Not enough exercise during these dark, wet days? Insulin needs increasing? What do kids do whose parents understand even less than I do? Whose parents can’t do algebra and have no resources? My stomach hurts from worry.

The doctor’s assistant will call back on Monday with a new endoscopy date, which will be coupled with another diabetes check up. Weeks like this make me wonder if I’m doing the right thing by working so much. If I devoted as much time to learning about diabetes and how to manage it, I’d be an expert. When Nick’s doing well, I can shift that to the proverbial back burner, take for granted his okayness. Weeks like this, though… Ah, what to do? I’m either taking care of my kids with time or money; no luck yet on how to have both simultaneously.

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