Thursday, March 1, 2012

Real life with diabetes

{picture from whatisdiabetesmellitis.org}


I haven't said too much about my son Jared and his diabetes on this blog. The last time was here. If you have not read that post, it will explain why the JDRF link in my right sidebar is named "Helping diabetes go die in a hole."

Unfortunately, although there are great strides being made in Type 1 diabetes research, it hasn't died in a hole yet. In fact, it reared its ugly head last night. Or early this morning. 3:30am to be exact.

I woke up to Jared coming into my bedroom. He said, "Mom, I'm high (diabetes lingo for high blood sugar) and I realized that my pump ran out of insulin about two hours ago. My stomach HURTS!" Well, the adrenaline started going, but I calmly said, "Go get some insulin in your pump. Quickly."

This is scary business. In the graphic above, it shows how high blood sugar leads to a keto-acidic state, which basically poisons a diabetic. Having had no insulin for two hours (especially while sleeping) is serious, because it takes as little as 3 hours for a Type 1 diabetic to become extremely ill, and only a little longer than that before coma can set in.

Jared got his pump filled and then came back and said, "What blood sugar should I use?" This meant that not only was he using the lingo when he said he was "high," but he was literally "hi"--the result he gets on his blood sugar meter if it's higher than 500. Not good. I said, "Use 500," hoping that it wasn't much higher than that. And then I continued to pray that the insulin would work quickly.

The story has a happy ending. Once again, we're very blessed in the care of this disease. Jared tested himself again about 4:30am and his blood sugar had fallen to 355. This is a significant drop for less than an hour. He was feeling better and things were moving in the right direction so I sent him back to bed.

This morning as he was getting ready for school, I asked him if he felt better. He said he was. Much better. Then I said, "How did you run out of insulin?" He said, "Well, I knew I needed to change the {insulin} cartridge last night, and then I just forgot." He's normally very hyper-vigilant about this stuff, so I was surprised. I said, "You won't do that again, will you?" He said, "No way!"

I am so grateful for answers to prayer! I literally couldn't do this without it.

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