Monday, June 12, 2017

Reenactment: Teenager Set Change

I don’t usually post about teenager stuff, but this post is written with permission by my 13 year old.

When you read it, you’ll see why.

Saturday morning I was woken up by said 13 year old. He had filled his reservoir and asked if I’d be willing to pop his set in. He’s not a big fan of the “popping it in” part, and insists it doesn’t hurt as much when I do it. When I’m not around, he does it…but it was Saturday, so…of course.

I was not quite awake, but I cleared my fuzzy brain best I could and popped it in whilst still lying down.

I could see the relief on his face. “Wow. That was a really good one!”

After this he went to eat breakfast.

The following is a transcript of what transpired next:

“Why the two arrows up on the Dex? Did you bolus for breakfast?”

“Yes, Mommm! I bolused!”

An hour later.

“Kid. Still two arrows up and now you’re in the high 300’s.”

“Do you want to check my history? I bolused! And I bolused BEFORE I ate.”

“Well, give yourself a couple extra units. Maybe you didn’t bolus enough.”

"I'll give myself four extra units. Chances are good I'll eat a granola bar soon."

An hour later his Dex said “High” with an arrow up.

"Did you eat a granola bar?"


"Did you eat anything other than breakfast this morning?"


“Did you bolus for breakfast before or after the set change.”


“When I popped your set in, you looked really happy. Did you even feel it?”

“No. It was amazing," he said whistfully.

“We’re going to have to put in a new set. This one must be kinked.” I began to get up off the couch when I felt him grab my hand.

With both his hands cradling mine, he looked hopefully into my eyes...

“Mom. Listen. That was the best set-change in three months. Please don’t take that away from me...”

“And that’s why it has to be changed. It probably isn’t good. You’re over 400.”

I don't look back but I feel the twang of a glare hitting me in the back of my head.

I insert another set and gently peel back the old one to see if it was bad.

It was perfect.


“NOOOOO! I can’t believe it. I knew it was good! Oh my gosh. Apology. I think this deserves an apology.”

“Not so fast. This still doesn’t explain why you’re going so high. Why did you change your set so early this morning? Was it low reservoir, or out of insulin?”

“It didn’t SAY ‘no insulin.’ You know, with words.”

“How many units did you have left?”


“It said ‘- - -‘ didn’t it.”

“Yes. It did.”

“Why didn’t you change your set when you got the low reservoir alarm?”

“Mom. It was Midnight! I was tired!  Besides, it said I had 2.9 units left.”

“Dude. Your basal rate would eat that up in an hour and a half.”

“12 units? Really??!”

“You said 2.9 and now you’re saying 12.”

“It’s all the same.”

“Do you know what your basal rates are? Do you even know what a basal rate is? Your pump gives insulin even when you don’t push buttons. If there is no insulin to give, you get ketones….OH MY GOSH. You probably have ketones! That explains it!”

“I know what basal is, and I don’t have ketones.” (eye roll)

“Oh. We’re checking!”

As I take out the Blood Ketone Monitor he says,” This is a waste of a ketone strip. It’s going to say I’m 0.2”

“Oh, we will see!”

We watch the monitor count down, and at the end of it? 0.2

“Crap! I mean, Awesome!”

“Apology. I want an apology!”

“DUDE. I want an apology! You didn’t change your set last night when it said Low Reservoir!”

“IT. Was. MIDNIGHT. I was really tired.”

“You know I’m going to blog this right. This is blogging gold.”

“Go ahead. I was tired. Is that a crime?”

“You can’t live without insulin, kid. Diabetes doesn’t get tucked in at midnight. It devours insulin 24/7. Diabetes doesn’t sleep!”

“I’ll apologize if you apologize. You took out the perfect set.”

“If you want me to apologize for being an awesome D Mom, then yes, I apologize.”

“It didn’t need to be changed! You need to apologize for changing it!”

“I did what I had to do. I was trying to keep you safe. I won’t apologize for it. You on the other hand…”

“I had 2.9 units! There was insulin in my pump when I went to sleep!”


He hands it over defiantly.

“Your basal rate right now is 1.65 from midnight to 4am, and 1.85 from 4am to 9am. Puberty demands a ton of insulin. Now lets do the math. 1.65 units for three hours is 4.95 units of insulin. Add that to the next five hours at 1.85 per hour and that is 14.2 units of insulin needed while you slept last night. Take away the 2.9 you said was left, that means there was 11.3 units that was not delivered that your body needed.”

There is a long thoughtful pause, and then he says with a far off look in his eyes, “Whoa. It’s official. I’m a teenager.”

He threw himself into my arms and gave me a long hug. "I'm sorry mom." 

I whispered into his ear. “I’m still blogging this.”

He whispers back. “I know.”


  1. I'm laughing and crying at the same time. So similar to what happens with my 12 year old. Except when she is really high, she dissolves into a whiny, upset, unreasonable emotional mess, which makes a rational discussion nearly impossible.
    So fun!

  2. What a great kid! I have a thirteen year old boy and this would have been our discussion exactly. Although I would have apologized for the perfect site-that sucked! Not a judgement on you at all, more about my holy reverence for a perfect, painless site change :-) You are a fabulous Mom, big D and otherwise. Hugs and prayers for all of us traversing teendom!

  3. Gotta love the mind of a 13 year old!!

  4. oh my... how many times we all live this.. our teenage boys have a light bulb moment about how much we work so they don't have to think about kid's pod was beeping that it was expiring last night.. he said he was changing it after dinner... got out of the shower this morning... it was still beeping.... All it took was the look? My favorite line to him.."I know it sucks so bad to have a mom that tries to keep you alive all of time" Thanks for the smile this morning...

  5. Was this my kid or yours?? lol also, how did he bolus for breakfast with no insulin?

  6. Wow!!! Thanks for sharing that story!! And thank ur son for giving u permission!!! U rock & u made me smile!!!

  7. It was SO MUCH easier in the 1970s (eye roll). No basal rates, just long term insulin. ;-)

  8. My 15 year old is so bad at checking his blood sugar...I have to get on him quite a bit. He has just finished his 4th year with Type 1 diabetes.

  9. As a teen with diabetes it is hard,I am on the deacon and omni pod,I recommend the deacon,and it's great to see your using it. I was on the Medtronic but with the new breakthroughs,we switched.I recommend the omni pod to kids who are a bit bigger,I have small arms and am not that big.Therefore I have insulin leaks and pod failures.


Moderation now enabled, so comments will not immediately be seen.