And then there was the bad news

A few hours after my son got home from his time away, I asked to see his meter. I knew there was going to be a problem when the excuses began.  

“Well you see, you won’t find all of my readings on that meter. I used another meter in my shed.”

I asked where the other meter was.  Of course he had left it behind at his father’s.  That was convenient! He said that he had done a lot of testing on the meter he brought home in the last few days so it would give me some idea of what had been going on.  

As I scrolled through the meter I found readings that were between 20-30mmol (360mgdl+).  I tried to breathe.  I asked him what was going on. 

“Well, I was high this morning because I didn’t want to go low last night and interrupt the little bit of sleep I was going to get.  You see how I was low at 11pm? I had a juice and a granola bar to cover it.” 

“A little bit of overkill don’t you think? You were just low (3.7/65), a juice would have done it.  If you weren’t going up that quickly after 15 minutes then you could have added more without sending your readings through the stratosphere.” 

I continued to scroll through the meter and note the results.  I continued to work to breathing.  All of the readings were high and higher! What was going on? 

“I think my site was going bad.  See, my readings dropped once I changed the site.”

“Dropped? When? Where? How long was this site in? You were running over 20 (360) for days!”

He replied that his site was a little old. He had probably gone over by a day or so.  Perhaps his site was as much as seven days old I asked?  He just shrugged his shoulders. I wanted to scream but instead I asked him about a cut on his hand. 

“When did you do that?”


“What do you think it will look like in seven days?”

“I hope it will pretty well be gone.”

“So when you lance a small hole in your body for your cannula, how much healing do you think has gone on around it in seven days? When the tissue around it heals, it can’t absorb insulin any more.” 

He replied that he thought he could go 5-7 days before a site change.  I know that some people will with no problem but he has insurance, he is young, and I really didn’t want to go down that alley with him so I replied that ideally sites are changed every 2-3 days. 

“Oh, well you see all of these highs have meant that I learned a lot this trip. I should probably do this more often. I never realized this stuff before. Now I know it. Wasn’t this a good thing?”

I had to laugh because otherwise I would have strangled him.  None of this information was new. It was all stuff he knew before.  I told him that continuing to run that high would result in serious complications. He told me that he had been told that was hogwash.  I replied that maybe one or two highs would not kill him but doing this forever would quickly result in problems. To help him understand all of this, he was now definitely going to the Friends for Life Conference in Vancouver.  He needed some more training.

Once again he shrugged that teenage shrug and went back to enjoy being home.  I just sat and shook my head.  Maybe he would learn because of this.  Maybe one day everything I tell him about his diabetes care will have some meaning. In the meantime, I will continue to pray, to hate summer vacations and extended periods of insane bg levels. 

Two or Three?

Last night was one of those nights…you know the ones that you wake up but debate if it really is time to test or not? I have written about the debate many times. Last night was not a lot different.

I woke up at two.  Should I test? My bed was really warm. Maybe I could wait until three. My son had gone to bed a bit early and had tested earlier than normal.  He was perfectly in range which could spell disaster later. I decided that I had to get up.

Instincts were sadly right. He was low–not a lot low but low enough to need some glucose.  I dug through his drawers looking for some tablets. I know I have said how much he hates waking up to a glucose tablet hangover but tablets it was going to be. After grabbing three or four empty tubes of tablets, I finally scrounged up enough glucose to treat the low. I fed him as he slept and then stumbled to find my book and a place on the couch.

This process continued until 3am.  Despite the low being caught at 3.7(around 65), it took a lot of glucose to bring it over 4.1 (75ish). As I sat on the couch reading, I looked outside and noticed the snow that had fallen. The weather people had forecast a storm of snow, after an hour to treat my son’s low, a snow day would be a welcomed treat. I headed back to bed hoping that the weather would worsen and realizing that while I wondered if I should test at two or at three, Diabetes had decided that I would test from two UNTIL three. UGH!

Diabetes Hangover

My son has complained of a “glucose tab” hangover after I treat him for a nighttime low.  This morning I realized that diabetes gives me my own kind of hangover.

Last night something happened that I never expected. I should have remembered that we are dealing with diabetes and it is never predictable but I was complacent.

I woke up at 1:30am ready to test until I realized that it was a bit too early. I rolled over to sleep for another hour.  The hour became an hour and a half but my son was still fine(8 or 136).  I felt confident that basal rates were working. He had been low the night before and I had made adjustments.  Life was good and I headed back to a peaceful sleep for a few more hours…or so I thought.

At 5am Larry woke me up.  He said that my son was up using the washroom. He never does that during the night unless there is a problem so Larry knew I should be getting up. I did and asked my son if he had tested. He had and was 17 (289).  What the??? His bg level had more than doubled in just two hours!!  Something was seriously wrong! I told my son to change his site.  This was way to fast of a spike. He told me it was fine , corrected and rolled over to go to sleep.

I went back to bed second guessing myself.  Did I miss a low at 1:30?  Was he alive thanks to a rebound? If he rebounded there would be hell to pay the next day with highs and fears of another low.  Was the site bad? Was the new pump failing already? I eventually managed to fall back to sleep, but not for long.

An hour later I awoke to the sound of vomit hitting the toilet bowl.  This was so not good! I had been right.  My son was not getting insulin.  The site must be kinked. Again, I got up and waited.  My son looked terribly pale.  I told him we needed a new site.  He had one in his hand.  

“I can’t believe I would be throwing up at 17.” he said.

I told him that he had probably gone up in the past hour.  We tested and he was now over 19 (+323). We chanced a correction on his pump and both went back to sleep for a few minutes.  At 7am I tested him again. He had dropped down to 14 (238) and said he felt a lot better. He was no longer a ghostly white so we decided he was okay to go to school.

I still am not positive as to what happened. His site looked fine when we took it out.  Despite a trip back to bed after my son was ready for school, I still felt out of sorts. The night continued to haunt me.  Questions plagued me.  Where had I gone wrong? As things ran through my head, I realized that like my son’s glucose hangover, diabetes gives me its own hangover.  It messes with my emotions and my physical being the next day and then some. Sadly there is only one fix for my hangover and that’s a cure for diabetes.