routines can be time bombs

I feel the need to write on a facebook status I have avoided since I wrote it a year ago. I avoid it because it scares the ever living love out of me and brings to reality one of my biggest fears…something I fight to avoid every day as Kinzie’s main care provider.  Type 1 diabetes can be deadly…in more than one way.  Insulin overdose is a huge reality, as even the smallest miscalculation can be detrimental.  I hate reading the following, but feel an overwhelming sense to do so.  It can happen to anyone, and in fact is quite common.  Slow down, take your time, calculate correctly, double check…and double check again.

For those of you who do not know, type 1 diabetics when doing MDI (multiple daily injections) instead of the pump, take 2 different types of insulin; a fast acting and slow acting insulin.  Slow acting insulin is a larger dose taken one time a day that acts like ‘basal’ rate in your body for 24 hours.  It helps keep your BG in target; it is in place of what your pancreas should be doing…releasing insulin throughout the day to keep BG in check.  Fast acting, acts fast, does fast corrections and is the insulin you use to cover carbohydrate consumption.  FAST acting being key! Insulin is a high alert drug because you dose in units (which is very small amounts) and even being the slightest off can mean so much.  In our case, Humalog was Kinzie’s fast acting insulin and Lantus was her slow acting insulin.

The following entry was on March 16th, 2011…A night I will never forget.  It was a night we were definitely being watched over…teaching moment for all.

“serious life or death mistake made tonight =(. In the hustle and bustle of the night i was changing chlo when kinz drew up her lantus. sure enough she injected it and before we knew it she plumeted~yeah…it was her fast acting she drew up.”

The following were comments under my status:

“Oh no! Is everything alright now?

wow, that is scary Jes! Hope she’s okay!!

ME: if she didnt feel herself dropping so fast this situation could have been deadly. I AM THANKING MY GOD TONIGHT FOR KEEPING MY DAUGHTER ALERT ENOUGH TO REALIZE SHE WAS SUPER LOW AND TO CHECK. We are reversing the humalog (countering it with carbs)…and learning a lesson to slow down and use this as a huge teaching moment. Oh my. We always double check~ but tonight we neglected to follow our routine. We are so very blessed. Counting my blessings twice tonight.

Oh…scary. I hope all is okay!

You are so amazing and you have taught and educated her well. Knowledge is power. So grateful HE is watching over us.

You are one strong mama!! Idk how u keep it together. I would be a blubbering idiot. Keep up the good work mama!!! And I hope kinzie is A-OKl!!!

And kudos to Kinzie!!!

Oh my goodness! So thankful you guys have educated yourselves. Awesome job Kins! And thank God for protection.

‎(((((Hugs))))))) to you all. How scary.

ME:  All is good…got her up and stable and she is amazing!!! Thanks everyone. I just keep thinking ‘what if she would have slept 1 more hour …’ I can’t go there because it was far too close to a reality. Hug your lovies tonight and may your heart soften for those who you are at an impass with… Night everyone, I am laying my head on a pillow–but not before I thank God, again, for blessing me with my life and my family’s lives. May we make every second count and not take for granted any moment we share whether it be a trial or a triumph.


Holy cow Jes!:( I am so. sorry! I am soooo glad everything’s ok. I love you guys so much. I’m thankful you and joey have worked so hard to teach Kinz and grateful she’s learned so much. She’s pretty amazing:) you all are!

How very scary! You have done a wonderful job at teaching her and preparing her to fight this battle along side you! Kenzie is an amazing lil girl to of handled this situation God has given her and conquering it day by day! BIG HUGS !”


Now many of you are probably thinking, oh well, easy fix.  No, we got lucky.  She went to bed, fell asleep (night time lows never wake her up) and I didn’t think twice about checking her.  I wouldn’t have checked her for 3 hours since her BG was in range and beautiful.  She woke up less than 40 minutes of falling asleep and was already in her 50’s….she had more than half fast acting insulin on board still…and it would be in her system for a total of 3 hours.  When she got up she was confused, emotional, shaky…it was because of how quickly her BG was nose diving. How she woke, I will never know…but I know I owe that night to my Heavenly Father…He was watching us, He was protecting us.

50 is a low blood glucose…and her BG was dropping even further.  Many people have seizures from BG in 40s and 30s and then death.  We were not far from that point.  Another reason why we NEED a diabetic alert dog…another reason why I cannot WAIT to have on with us, watching over her at night.  Another reason I am a God loving, not fearing woman.

Another thing I am thankful for is my training….I knew what needed to be done once the mistake was caught…and it had to be done quickly…her life was depending on it.  Her BG was dropping faster than she could eat.  I knew I could calculate the humalog she took to her carb:insulin ratio and get her to have enough carbs in her system to counter act the insulin.  It wasn’t easy, but we did it.  I have had to do the exact same thing in homes of many of my patients…thank goodness I had experienced this before.  Thank goodness I had a clear mind, thank goodness is all I can say.

I still cry thinking of that night, because even though death is a reality to all of us every day, it is especially a reality having to fight Type 1 diabetes…that night was magnified by 1,000.  Death was knocking on our door.  We could have been next in line.  The smallest of things can make the biggest difference.  We got too comfortable in our routine, I was busy and trusted that Kinzie could do what she did on her own…I usually hovered but knew she had done it 100 times before.  The problem with this is with routine often times you get a robotic action…you do what you do without thinking.  YOU NEED TO THINK.  YOU NEED TO BE VIGILANT.  Do not let routines cloud your judgment.  Learn from our mistake.

Teach yourself…know what to do ‘in case of’…continually seek new information.  Continually educate yourself ever single day.  Be better, get better, know better.

I think this lesson can be applied to every day life.  When you know better, you do better.  Do not think that knowing ‘enough’ or doing the minimum is good, because it isn’t.  Don’t think that someone will just come up and enlighten you when the time is right or when you need to be enlightened…that is your job.  Do not be afraid to take the initiative and ask questions and seek those answers.  You will never know enough, you will never know too much.


5 thoughts on “routines can be time bombs

  1. Wow! this is a very great post. Very touching. It’s definitely a reality that it can happen any day/any time. But our bodies were made to be able to recognize when we feel low. We can all make it through it 🙂

    • Thanks for reading. Shoot opens my eyes too, and I think it is a good thing to be aware of. By devine design bodies are made to wake up, the flaw with type 1 especially, is not waking up even when you are low. We have caught her in the 60s-30s several times in the night with her fast asleep. She is always a lot harder to wake up when she gets that low and way more incoherent when we do wake her. (I will never chance it, my job is to keep her safe, so I do what I can)…just the beauty of this disease. Same with hypoglycemia unawareness, nasty. It is a tricky tricky disease ever changing without reason or rhyme, as a parent, some sacrifices I am willing to make in order to keep her safe as possible and healthy as possible.

      • Have you ever thought about a CGM with your daughter? I’m just starting to learn about them, but I’m VERY interested in the idea. (continuous glucose monitoring)

      • We actually have, something I have wanted from the begenning. We are currently raising money to get her a diabetic alert dog, which, oddly enough has been proven more effecient than CGM and they catch the rise and falls sooner. Our next endo appointment a CGM is on our ‘to do’ list. As up until now, my daughter didn’t want another needle in her body, but I totally understand that; it’s her body and I try to respect that as much as possible. She is saying she may be open to try the CGM, so dexcom…here we come in June. It is hard to give a little control where it can safely be given. She does well though, she is a rock star. Manages everything on her own with me just hovering, knows the ins and outs of her pump, her range, how to do temp increase, decreases, her dosages, learning to spot trends with me and she can load her own cartridge (still has a hard time placing the infusion set on her own, as it is awkward for her to handle)…i couldn’t ask for a better ‘patient’…so I remind myself to give her a choice/say when I can. She is beyond excited for her dog, and has wanted one the past year…big milestones happening here (and i am so glad to get one during puberty…i hate hormones and what they do to BG!!!)

      • Awesome for her! It sounds like you guys have everything handled 🙂 Couldn’t be more happier for her. And as far as the dog goes, great! It sounds like an adventure. I never knew these existed until I first encountered it on your blog – so thanks for that .

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