Monday, July 2, 2012

Real life with diabetes #2

On an evening hike to Delicate Arch.

Last week, Jared went on an adventure camp down by Moab (one our favorite places). Jeff was perfectly willing to go along with him, which I'm really thankful for because it makes it so I can worry less about Jared and all the "what ifs" of diabetes while he's gone.

A mountain bike ride in 100 degrees!
We've been really blessed the last 10+ years in managing the disease. Most of the time, the dreaded "what ifs" don't happen and Jared does fine, even on the scout camps and Pioneer trek where he cared for himself. This time was different.

{Isn't he cute?}

Anyway, as Jared packed for this camp, he expressed the desire not to take any insulin along other than what his pump holds, because it would require a cooler. Jared gets tired of having to haul around "extra" stuff that other kids don't, which is totally understandable. I'd get tired of it too!

Finally the morning of the day they were leaving, I told Jared I felt he should take along the insulin, including the special one we have to keep on hand in case his pump fails. He didn't want to and said "nothing ever happens Mom" but I said, "It doesn't hurt to be prepared." So he packed it up.

Fast forward a couple of days to Friday afternoon. I get a phone call in the afternoon from Jeff. Right away I know it can't be good. I say, "What's up? How are you?" and Jeff says, "Well, I'm okay (sigh) but Jared's pump died."

Right away, I can feel the fear start to grip me, because this is about the worst thing that can happen. The pump is literally a lifeline. But I fought it off and kept calm as Jeff said, "We need to know how much Lantus to give him." Lantus is the special, 24 hour insulin Jared needs if he can't use his pump. It provides the metabolic insulin that he needs to live, and mimics what the pump would do if it was working--provide a basal metabolic amount of insulin continually. I had to keep calm while I looked up the amount of basal insulin that the pump was delivering every 24 hours--luckily I began to keep this information on my smartphone this year. We couldn't have gotten the information off the pump because it was not responding.

The next hurdle was hoping that the Lantus wasn't too old to work. The problem with it is that because we have to keep a vial of it handy, but it rarely gets used (this is the first time since he started pump therapy that we've needed to use it) it's hard to remember to keep it updated. I had no idea what the date on the vial was, but I didn't ask because Jared was already upset enough as it was. No use feeding that fire. Jeff told me later that Jared had said, "I HATE this stupid disease!" Ditto, buddy.

Jeff and Jared managed to catch a ride home that evening with another boy who had to return early for baseball. It was a good thing, because that Lantus didn't work so well. I was up every couple of hours until 3am giving shots of Novolog (quick insulin used for when Jared eats or needs to bring down his blood sugar fast). I managed to get a fresh vial of Lantus from our pharmacist to give on Saturday, so we didn't have this problem again Saturday night. A blessing, cause I'd rather sleep than be up giving shots. :)

All in all, it certainly could have been worse. If Jared hadn't taken the Lantus and some syringes with him, he'd have been in big trouble. He's still on shot therapy now, until a loaner pump comes from the manufacturer Tuesday. He'll be on that one until insurance approves a new pump.

And there you have another "Real Life with Diabetes" story. And a good reason to follow the scout motto and always "Be Prepared."


  1. Glad you followed inspiration. Tough.

    1. So am I, Barbara! That's another thing I'm very grateful for.


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