Woman, Independent Parent, Artist, Advocate, Artifical Pancreas.... and EVERYTHING in between.

I am blessed to be parenting two beautiful girls, ages eight and eleven. My youngest nearly lost her life at age six (August 2010) to diabetic ketoacidosis: an often fatal consequences of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. This is OUR journey: raw and sometimes, uncensored.

Thank you for visiting wishing good health and a cooperative pancreas to you and yours.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Ultimate Science Experiment!

Project Rowan:

(the cutest darned science experiment I ever did have the privilege of participating!)

Purpose: The purpose of Project Rowan is to manage her type one diabetes by containing her blood glucose levels within safe range, ideally somewhere between 6-12 mmol/l. There are many variables to take in consideration: insulin dosages, dietary intake, physical exertion, emotions, stress or illness.

Materials Required:

  • Rowan (preferably willing)
  • glucometer
  • lancer and lancets
  • test strips
  • syringes
  • long acting insulin
  • fast acting insulin
  • log book for test results
  • extended health benefits
  • one fully trained parent
  • one hopefully knowledgeable teacher
  • easy access to education aide for assistance
  • one very helpful big sister
  • patience, tolerance and understanding (on all parts)

The hypothesis for this adventure, will be attempting to predict first thing in the morning, what the world holds for Rowan that day. Is it a gym day at school? How much of her breakfast did she actually eat? Is there the paper route after school? Will she eat her school lunch?

A letter grade will be deducted for consulting psychics or magic eight balls.

The current hypothesized dosage for an elementary school day, is 18 units of long lasting insulin, two units of fast acting insulin. Sliding scale dosing as required for dinner.

  • Rowan takes blood glucose readings using a finger poke at scheduled intervals throughout the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime. Additional testing likely necessary.
  • The hypothesis that is breakfast insulin dosage is determined.
  • insulin injection administered, breakfast consumed.
  • insulin injection administered at dinnertime if necessary.
  • meals and snacks will be scheduled for eternity to ensure nutritional needs consistently met. Mother will be shackled to the kitchen, or a box of juice boxes and granola bars until the end of time.
Note: throughout the day, if blood levels are excessive, additional insulin and further hypothesis required. Urinalysis to test for ketones only adds to the excitement of the science experiment vibe!

Note: if blood levels are low, corrective action is taken immediately: juice box, and fifteen grams of carbohydrates. Follow up testing necessary.


The fluctuating variables affecting Rowan's blood glucose are as follows:insulin dosage
  • injection site (tummy absorbs fastest, legs and bum slowest)
  • meal plan versus what child will actually consume
  • physical exertion
  • emotions or illness
  • whatever whimsy type diabetes is feeling that day (it has a twisted sense of humor)
  • do not underestimate the impact of Rowan's willingness to participate in said experiment.

Project Rowan is analyzed once every three months by her overseeing endocrinologist. Data is reviewed accordingly, variables examined, hypotheses scrutinized.

Conclusion: a willing Rowan makes all the difference!

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