Monday, January 6, 2014

Learn from my mistakes.

I’m sure I’ve written this post before…or the spitting image of this post before.  I suppose if you write long enough it is bound to happen.  But in an effort to help others, including myself, I will continue.

Learn from me.   And hopefully I’ll learn the lesson for myself once and for all.

Stephan King once said, “There is no harm hoping for the best, as long as you are prepared for the worst.”

Whoa.  Wise words.  If you can get over the fact that Stephan King said them, yes…very wise words.

We were only traveling 45 minutes from home.  It’s not like we were taking a vacation or anything.  I even made sure all the boys’ reservoirs were full of insulin. 

I packed extra low supplies in my purse, and I made sure there were ample strips to boot.   It wasn’t a big performance or anything.  Just random double checks before we ran out the door.

The story is about B by the way.  The kid is growing in height faster than his hair grows.  He’s 12 and is officially taller than me now.  As a consequence, he’s been sleeping late this Winter Break.  Like until 10.  For a kid that is usually up by 8, this was very unsettling for me at first.  There were many moments in the morning, standing by the door, checking his chest for the rise and fall of life.  But I digress…

This morning we were heading to Emeryville, B slept until 10:30am.  I even had to wake him up because we were planning to leave at 11am.  His blood sugar was 129.  He didn’t eat breakfast, he didn’t have time, when I offered him a banana he said he wasn’t hungry anyway.

When we got to the restaurant at 11:45am B said he wasn’t feeling too well.  I thought, sure…he hadn’t eaten breakfast.  He’ll feel better after he eats.

Sure enough, he ate his entire plate, and then some.  Since we were at a restaurant, and restaurants like to pepper their food with magic carbohydrate seasonings, I had him enter in 110g of carbohydrate.

After lunch we went to Ikea and shared a piece of Chocolate cake.  Another 40g of carbs entered in.  Everyone was smiling.  Everyone was happy.

And then as we were waiting in line to check out, B says he didn’t feel well.

By this time I’m convinced he has the flu.  I have him sit on a bench, and as soon as I pay I check his sugar.


Crap on a cracker.

We checked all the usual suspects, and found he did bolus as he was supposed to.  There were only two options:  He was ill, or his set kinked.  Oops, forgot to tell you his set was changed the night before.  But he woke up 129, right?

After a correction, 10 minutes later another check yielded HIGH.

His stomach hurt so bad I had him pull the set and sure enough, it was kinked in half.

Now with traffic, we were a good 50 minutes from home.

Here is where the lesson comes in:

I had no syringes left in the car.

I had a new set to insert, but no serter to insert it with.  I considered just slapping it in, but B became defiant at the prospect.  And even if I did convince him, would I slap it in without kinking it??

I pulled over and got him a giant bottle of water, and white knuckled it through the traffic home.

We changed his set and checked blood ketones.  They were only at 2.1.  Maybe that cannula wiggled out that morning somehow?  I do not know.

I can guess all the live-long day, but I can’t tell you how long he was without insulin. Although I can definitively say, long enough.

So, please.  Go into your car now.  Make sure you have extra syringes.  Make sure you have extras of everything you can have extras of.  Make sure.

Don’t be me.

I know many families carry a bag everywhere they go with everything they need all the time.  I'm not one of those families.  They are obviously way smarter and way more organized than me.

Learn from me.

I once had everything I needed in my car, and more, but we used those things.  They need to be checked periodically. 

You might only be planning to be away for a few hours, but look at Gilligan…

I rest my case.


  1. This is why it should be legal to buy syringes without a prescription at any drug store.

  2. I did the exact same thing last week. We were only 20 minutes from home but couldn't find a syringe anywhere.

  3. I'm guilty of not being prepared with a carry all case, and you know why? Because we never travel more than a few miles from home. Because we are always a quick trip from a drug store.....because......apparently I don't learn until its the hard way! Yikes!

  4. I think I need to have more adventures. I never get far enough for this to be a problem!

  5. It is the "we used them" part that gets me. I remember clearly being prepared and putting extras in there… but then I remember clearly using those extras…

  6. There are lots of things that can't be kept in a car's glove compartment for fear of baking/freezing. Syringes and infusion sets are not among them... and I have one of each sitting in my car, just in case. Hopefully, now, you will too.

  7. Our experience a couple of weeks ago of not having any pen needles with us (our son recently went off his OmniPod) when we were 45 minutes from home and his numbers were climbing reminded us we have to check supplies before we leave the house. Nothing like feeling like a stellar parent! Glad to know we are not alone is this forgetfulness!

  8. Thanks for sharing your story, being a parent is a feat in itself now add trying to being a pancreas. Unfortunately there are times where we drop the ball but not because we're neglectful but because diabetes management is just hard! We're going to make mistakes and we're going to forget sometimes but like you said they're mistakes that we learn from and never make again. My son was recently at a party at school, somethings I had no idea what the carbs were, I made a educated guess and a hour later, he was low! I beat myself up about it all day but it was a mistake and learning experience. He's 4 so I'm sure we'll have many more.


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