Monday, March 22, 2010

The Ol' Switch-A-Roo

We have three.

Three boys who have Type 1 Diabetes.

Three pumps that deliver insulin.

Three of each.

Each boy has their own color pump. J’s is blue, B’s is purple and L’s is…well Zebra. We got all the boys stickers that go onto their pump to keep ourselves from mixing them up. J and B ripped theirs off within a month…L kept his zebra stripes, and is still very proud of them. Needless to say, we never mix up L’s pump with anyone else. L is the Zebra…my other boys wouldn’t be caught dead with zebra stripes.

But the blue and the purple…well, they are not as simple.

It’s a dark purple. For sure not blue, but not obviously bright or anything, and when you are doing set changes in the middle of the night, they look almost identical.

(You already know where I am going with this…right?)

So the other night it happened. Ryan set up the pumps, refilled with insulin and put them on the respective boys. And when I went to calibrate J’s new CGM with his pump, I was horrified to find that it wasn’t working. There was nothing there that indicated that the CGM was communicating with the pump. Even worse, when I went into J’s system to “find sensor” it didn’t show that the sensor feature was even on! What happened? Do we have to redo all of the settings every time we change a set?? It was like the twilight zone! A bad dream, that was real! Ryan and I puzzled for awhile. I was gobsmacked! How in the freakin’ world could this have happened??

It took awhile for us to figure out that Ryan had put B’s pump on J. Too long if you ask me. In hindsight I feel like what my hubby and I call a DOPUS. It’s kinda a mix of Dope and ignoramus. It was a real wake- up call because A) J gets twice the insulin B does (Hello scary, B’s blood sugar would have dropped like a brick in no time!!) and B) B get’s half the insulin of J. (Hello scary, J would have had so little insulin, his numbers would have been THROUGH THE ROOF in the morning!!)

No, it’s not the first time it’s happened. After bath and showers, they have put the wrong ones on themselves. It’s not completely problematic because it happens very rarely.

But it only takes ONCE to make a mess of things.


I think that is one of the greatest arguments of why diabetes sucks so much. There isn’t leverage for forgetfulness. You can’t afford to “forget” to bolus after a meal. You can’t afford to “forget” to check blood sugars. You can’t afford to “forget” to correct a high blood sugar. You can’t “forget” that J wears the blue pump and B wears the purple one!

No forgetting allowed!


That is why our brains are running a mile a minute, all the time, 24/7.
And that is why when we don’t have a diabetic child with you, your brain jumps into some kind of tailspin of emotions wondering where all the thinking has gone. Guilt for not thinking about it. Confusion as to why you stopped thinking about it.

Our brain gets tripped up going from 100 miles an hour to 0 miles an hour.

Hard to relax when you don’t HAVE to think about diabetes. But really, when do we NOT get to think about it?? Even when the boys are at school, they are calling me with their numbers and carb amounts, alerting me to any extra exercise and such. When they are not with me, I am worrying…I am THINKING ABOUT IT!!!

The only time my brain really gets a break, and no it isn’t at night when normal people sleep…HECK NO! It is when I go out on a date with my hubby, and my sister in law babysits.

She knows what to do. I TRUST her. I can honestly throw the kids out of the car and know they are safe and their diabetes is handled.

It is a gift. The gift to forget.

My husband and I didn’t get to go out this weekend. Trust me, my brain feels it. When you run at a 100 miles an hour for such a long stretch, your brain runs out of fluid, and it still continues to run even though smoke is coming out of your ears and the cogs are screeching so loud you just might think you are going to explode.

Sometimes I wish I could pull the ol’ switch-a-roo with someone else’s brain.
“OPPS! I accidentally grabbed your brain by mistake; I’ll give it back to you on Wednesday…”

Because the thing is, I am more than a pancreas. I am human, and I have normal everyday human things to worry about too. As parents of diabetics, we can just as easily overload on diabetes, as we can on every other aspect of life. And when the two or more of your cogs overload at the same time…well…I guess you get a blog post that ends abruptly and looks a lot like this one.


  1. Diddo, diddo, diddo! Thanks for helping me realize I'm not crazy today. Today I'm having the "I think to much about D brain meltdown" and its really taking its toll! ICK! And YAY for your sister in law!

  2. OK...once again, my friend, you HIT the nail on the head. I was laughing at the thought of borrowing someone elses brain until wednesday...can you even imagine what a break that would be?!

    Love the term DOPUS too...I may have to start using that one around the Maher household.

    xoxo...have a wonderful Monday!

  3. I have NO IDEA how you do it and your hubby are amazing!!

    I would not mind having your brain for a week, I would be able to kick D in the butt over here with that thing!!

  4. GREAT post Meri - you so spoke the truth sister! I LOVE the graphic too - that one is a keeper!

    Oh the pump situation! I cannot even imagine. You can't do everything, all the time. That's what my brain tells me again and again. It just cannot atom-split any more. How I would love to borrow someone's brain for a tad!

    You are lucky to have such a supper-sister-sitter (say that 3x real fast!) That gives some relief.

    Hope your week goes better than this. Slap some stickers on one of the pumps when they are not looking??? Oh I forgot, they are teenage boys, when are they ever NOT looking??? :0)

  5. I think I am on constant multi-cog overload! Love this post. You really nailed it.

    Happy to hear you have a sister-in-law, who will babysit and give you and Ryan a break every now and then. :)

  6. One more thing: I LOVE the graphic too!

  7. Oh Meri-

    You have no idea how bad i needed to hear this. D feels very consuming right now with us being so fresh in our journey. Being ON all the time is exhausting. I admire how you and your family handles it. It gives me hope and inspiration. We have had many dopus moments and know we will have many more. We have to be more forgiving to ourselves than D is. Thank you for your perspective and sense of humor. Switching brains would be great- Lately I would even settle for an off switch! Have a great day in the sunshine Meri!

  8. Now it is confirmed that I am not crazy Im just a person with d and a mom with the big d . I have also checked a child at night and found out i checked the wrong child . The clue was when my Manny hollered at me Ouch !! oops sorry honey thought you were your brother LOL !! so you are fine and yes we have all been there that thing called cog overload . Ugh err !!!

  9. Perfectly said, Meri... (or written, I guess). I am so worn out at the end of the day I can barely form a sentence. I hate that we have to be "on" all the time, but at least we're exercising our brain, I suppose! Does that make us smarter than everyone else?

  10. Did the cog replace my marbles?? Is that why I spin in circles like im on a never ending superloop ride?
    Good Hell ~ I can't even add anymore unless the number has a g(grams) or a u(unit) behind it.

    Does that make me a DOPUS?

  11. Meri, again I LOVE your post!
    You are not a DOPUS, I think you are wonderful! Thanks for making me feel a little bit more "normal"...well at least normal in a D-world sort of way.
    And double YAY!! for that sister-in-law of yours!!

  12. Great post, Meri - I love the part obout the "guilt for not thinking about it and confustion as to why you stopped thinking about it." That is what I experience when my hubby and I have our date night!
    But it IS a gift - the gift to forget, and THANK GOD for family members / friends who are able to help enough to give us that gift. Glad you guys caught the pump situation when you did - another reason to be grateful for CGM, I guess =)
    Happy Monday - hope the rest of your week goes well

  13. You have such a great writing style - so entertaining and so what I feel every day but can't quite express! I was just having that conversation with my husband. How even when I'm sleeping I can't relax because I'm worrying about what Emma's blood sugar is doing... So glad you caught the mistake before anything happened. The good Lord takes care of us, doesn't he?

  14. You know we don't have pumps to deal with, but mine are on different ratios. So, sometimes when I am tired or when it's hectic...Lord especially when it's hectic...doing the math is difficult. The don't ever eat the same either so the carbs are different and then the ratio is different so the division is different. If it's in the morning and everyone is running around barking out whatever I need to know at the last minute...forget about it. (that's when I ask if 7am is too early for a drink)

  15. See and this is why I am constantly amazed at how you do it all.

    I can barely deal with ONE - I can't even imagine THREE!

    I love reading your thoughts :)


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