Category Archives: growing up with diabetes

That’s a lot of insulin!

“Twenty-nine units! Wow! That’s a lot of insulin.”

“Its what your body needs for what you ate.  If you are worried that its too much, you will find out when you test in a few hours.”

This was our conversation after breakfast the other morning. My son had had his usual stack of pancakes. His carb to insulin ratio in the early morning hours is something like one unit of insulin for every 5 grams of carbohydrates, so 100 grams of pancakes equals a LOT of insulin.

I never heard any complaints when he came home later that day suggesting that there was an error or he was low.  I think he just realized that he uses way more insulin than he once did. He also eats WAY more food than he once did!

He is a teen. He began this journey when he was a toddler.  Way back in time, he would not use 29 units of insulin in a day.  When we first began pumping, I would fill his pump to about 150 units and still throw out insulin after a week. 

I remember when his basal rates moved from .1 unit per hour to .5 and then 1.0 units.  I was terrified. I had to keep reminding myself that this is what his body needs. If he had an internal pancreas, it would be pumping out gallons of insulin as well, its just that I would not have the visual to go with it.

As he grew, his carb to insulin ratios were no longer 1:40 or even 1:20.  He now sees ratios of 1:5 to 1:15.  Insulin sensitivity is not even a consideration any more but thankfully insulin resistance has not become as much of a problem as it could have been either.

When my son first began to see major changes in his insulin needs, I spoke up to friends and said I was concerned.  A wonderful woman who lives with diabetes laughed at me and reminded me that my son was no longer two.  He was becoming a man and that journey would be filled with many more empty insulin vials before we were through!