Friday, May 04, 2012

Mr. Hypo is (not) Your Friend: A D-Myth, Debunked

If you were dx'd back in the 60's or 70's, you may have had this charming little book entitled "Mr. Hypo is my Friend." It was meant for kids, to get them comfortable with the idea of having very large non-disposable needles inserted into their skin (on a daily basis). Back then, it was no small ordeal (especially for a child). Those needles were called "hypodermic syringes" (hence the title of the book). Unfortuently, I couldn't find any images of said book. (they still might be out there though)Back then, lows were generally referred to as "reactions" (and not so much hypos)...and warm & fuzzy word associations with the idea of a "hypo(dermic) device" were better tolerated. (I don't know of anyone who "loves" having a low blood sugar)
I'm here to tell you that Mr. Hypo, in 2012, is no longer your friend. Hasn't been, for a long time. Mr. Hypo (these days) associates with juice boxes, glucose tabs, hastily scarfed Skittles in the middle of a Target check-out lane, little red glucagon kits, ambulance rides, IV bags of D50, and horrendous hospital bills. And sometimes Mr. Hypo flat-out kills you. It's very sad but it happens, repeatedly, all over the country and the world (sometimes despite every precaution you take to prevent it). It will continue to happen, unless there's a cure for this disease. Yesterday afternoon was my first endocrinologist appt. since December. Going into it, I didn't expect anything great from my a1c...babies have a way of turning diabetes into an afterthought. Regardless, I was just going to bite the bullet & attempt to get back on track. (I also haven't changed my basal rate in two months) I got checked in, weighed/blood pressured/pulsed/bg/a1c'd (with the assistant) as usual, and then a new nurse showed u & confiscated my PDM for download. (this is a new thing...I've always brought in paper logs or if I needed in-depth anylization had to go upstairs to the CDE's office) Interesting. My Endo strongly dislikes the Omnipod reports though so I still brought my handwritten paper logs in (to provide clarification on some points). In marches my Endo,exchange of pleasantries,& we talk about the birth (etc.) and she tells me my a1c (8.1). Expressionless, I deadpan "Oh, yay." (unfortuently, she has no sense of humor & I have to explain that I'm being sarcastic. I'm not really glad that my a1c has gone up so much,but not surprised.) I think she was a bit surprised that my baby wasn't 10 lbs, that his weight was normal. She said I'd know (more) what to expect for the next time & that rather sent strong shivers up my spine.(if there is a next time, its not going to be for several years, if I have anything to do with it) And that's true...I had no control over when the baby was born, but I'd have tried harder (those last few weeks especially) to keep a tighter bg range and B. keep them in till 40 weeks. (if possible) Because my baby could have used that extra week, to get regulating his body temp. down better. Anyway, she made a few tweeks to my basal rate & we talked about starting fenugreek to up my milk production. Fenugreek has some lovely side effects(makes you smell like maple syrup (slap a pancake on me & I'd be appealing enough to eat) and can cause hypoglycemia)but at this point,I've got to do something drastic before it dissapears for good.I want to do the best for my child,and though I know formula feeding isn't the end of the world, breast milk is superior. (no doubt about that) As for it causing hypos, it's like anything else...YMMV. I've been on things in the past that did the same thing (Symlin, Alpha Lipoic Acid) Just gotta monitor frequently. (and put my Dexcom back on...the more safeguards I have, the better) Mr. Hypo is not anyone's friend, but if I'm going to have a better a1c I'm going to have to be getting more of them.


Scott S said...

The book "Mr. Hypo Is Your Friend" was not about hypoglycemia, but about a hypodermic needle. I've archived the booklet's contents at if you want to have a look. Still, the point of confusion about what "Hypo" refers to is well taken! For a kid, these can easily be confused.

Colleen said...

You have time. Just keep enjoying being a mom, while you take care of yourself.