Our D-history:

My daughter, *Rosie, was five years old when she was diagnosed on September 19, 2008, with Type I Diabetes. We started out on MDI, but in October 2010 we switched to a pump. We also added a Dexcom CGM in May of 2011. In February 2014 we changed to the Medtronic Enlite system- a pump and CGM all in one.

*Rosie is not her real name... I let her pick her own pseudonym for the blog!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

D-algebra: sick days + pizza party = ??

Algebra in high school was like a foreign language to me.  A code that I simply couldn't crack, no matter how many times my mom and patient friends tried to help me through it.  I swore they plucked those numbers out of thin air, with no rhyme or reason.  Fast forward a few years, and I found myself doing a whole new form of "algebra" each day as I calculate Rosie's insulin doses.  At least d-algebra has a few factors that make sense to me.

Rosie and I have both been sick this weekend- some kind of sore throat/ sinus-y thing.  Her numbers have been high.... cruising in between 250 and 350 for about two days despite all the normal tricks (temp basals, site change, etc.) to bring them down.  Sick days- you know the drill.

Last night, she was feeling better.  Her blood sugar around midnight was down to 141, and I was thrilled.  She spiked back up around 204 later, but still, much better than she had been.  Our experience has been that the highs usually hang around a little longer than the symptoms when ill.

Based on that, and that fact that she feels "fine", we'll be joining her softball team at the local pizza place for their end-of-season party today.   Here's where it gets tricky:   
  • Local pizza place means no carb counts available, so I'll be guesstimating pizza carbs.  We've eaten there several times before, so I have an idea of what to expect.  I'll be roughly comparing it to the crust of a similar place that's in the Calorie King book... except this place serves their pizza in squares, and the similar crust in the book is served in slices.  Argh.   
  • Pizza itself often leads to highs, as we have yet to figure out that dual wave bolus thing.   (That's another post for another time!)
  • A party with her friends usually leads to highs, just from excitement.  
  • We still could be seeing wonky numbers from the illness.
  • And, of course, nobody knows if the coach is going to do something crazy nice, like bring a cake. 
So... set a higher temp basal before the party?  If she goes low, it will be easy to fix, with pizza and candy in abundance there.  But... if she goes low enough to feel bad, it will spoil the party for her.  Leave her at her normal rates and correct the highs later?  Over-bolus on the carbs a little and hope that balances things out?

THIS is the kind of algebra problem they simply don't teach you in school!


  1. Great new blog, Amy! Thanks for sharing the story here, and love the shark theme! (Fish are friends, no carbs...)

    Pizza is something that I always struggle with. Usually, I dual-bolus it over the course of about five hours - taking about 60 percent now and the rest over that period. That seems to work the best for me. Obviously, YDMV. But yes, a cake from the coach would certainly add to the mix... Anyhow, thanks for sharing here and good luck with all that D-Algebra!!

  2. Hi Amy -
    I'm Kelly, nice to *meet* you!
    Yes, Diabetes Math is always interesting, frustrating & has been known to cause splitting headaches from the calculations!
    Here's hoping that you can reach some sort of happy diabetes math medium & that a fantastical time is had by all!
    Kelly K

  3. Hi Amy! Welcome to the wonderful blogging world of the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) :)
    Math wasn't my best subject, but I'm so glad I at least 'got' algebra because some of those formulas have sure come in handy now that D is a part of our lives!!

  4. I was always better at Geometry... Algebra, notsomuch.

    Glad you decided to dive into the worls od D blogging :)


Next to the doctor's office, I think some of the best diabetes tips I've ever gotten have come from discussions in the comment sections of diabetes blogs. :)