Falling Down when Heating Up!
Never have I ever been so confused in the summertime heat. At the beginning of summer, when it first began getting warm, we were walking daily. I realized quickly that when I put Carter in the stroller and we walked for 20-30 minutes, his blood sugar would start quickly dropping. To combat this, I’d bolus less for the snack he’d typically eat before our walk. Problem solved… yeah right.
So we move to the week where it became 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) plus all week long. We were running here, there and everywhere, dropping siblings off at camp, going to karate, etc. I soon noticed that just stepping outside in the humidity for a few minutes, then getting into an only partially cooled-off car would make Carter’s sugar increase! I was dumbfounded. So I asked around… to no avail. Everyone is different, it seems, when it comes to extreme heat and the cold. Some kids’ sugar skyrockets, others drop. Some will escalate just standing around in the heat but will drop once activity begins. So the best answer I could come up with to the question of “what to expect from blood sugar in extreme temperatures” is just to wait and watch carefully. So off to the splash pad water park we went…
My sister and I took my three kids to the waterpark for the afternoon on a day where temps ran in the high 90’s. I think my car thermometer read 96 when we got there. Talk about hot! As we were getting out of the car, my Pebble Watch died, telling me it needed to be charged. This was wonderful news considering my new charger wouldn’t be here for 3 days. Determined not to panic since I still had a way of watching Carter’s Dexcom remotely, we sunscreened-up and headed for some much need aquatic relief!
Kids sunscreened, check! Sunhat for Carter, check! iPhone 6s Waterproof Case and Touch1Diabetic water resistent pul-fabric belt, check! Blood sugar at 314, doubling up from the snack on the car ride there, but I felt I was ready for anything. Again, yeah right. We played and played, ran and splashed and took photos of the kids having their fun. I remembered when I looked at my empty wrist that I didn’t have my watch, so I quickly took a break to check my phone for current sugar levels. Yeah… um… 198 doubling down. Well THAT escalated… or deescalated, depending on your point of view, quickly! Deep breath and I continued on, thinking it would slow down soon based on how hot it was out here. 20 minutes later, he’s 93 doubling down. So in a total of 45 minutes, Carter’s blood glucose levels went from 314 rising quickly (over 15 mg/dl every 5 minutes) to 93 doubling down. Quick break from the fun to treat Carter with some cotton candy and then a juice box from the concession stand and he was steady around 126 while he continued to play. What an experience.
So from all this, though, I came to realize that cotton candy is not a good low-treatment in the summertime. I bounced the concept off my sister, who agreed - who wants to have a ton of sugar stuffed down their throat when the temp is over 90?! It was sticky and gross outside and the last thing either of us felt like doing was eating. In fact, the thought of food alone made my stomach turn. I wanted water or ice coffee or at the most, ice cream. But certainly not real food or something super sugary like cotton candy. Not to mention, cotton candy melts, fast (that was our main point when we started using it! Our infant couldn’t choke on it because it dissolved on his tongue so quickly). So next grocery store trip or summer outing, I’m going to have to look for some super sugary juice boxes that would act as an adequate low-treatment. The concession stand at the park only had Honest Kids brand, which is great for my other 2 kids because they don’t have a lot of sugar (8g of carbs in most, I’ve found), but obviously that’s not what I’m looking for when treating Carter’s low blood sugar. But I need go-to juice drinks and/or snacks that I can keep in the car that won’t melt or expire too quickly.