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The Perfect Storm of Stupid.

Perfect storm of stupid.  And balls. I didn't check my pump before I left for work yesterday morning.  Not a big deal - I live close to work and I have back-up supplies at my office anyway, so there wasn't much I couldn't pinch hit for.  When the day started, I had about 20 units left in my pump to get me through to 5:30 pm.

No problem.  I'm using about 16 throughout the course of a day at the moment, so I wasn't worried about running out.  I went to work and did my thing.

But I forgot about our editorial dinner plans after work, taking place at my coworker's house, located about 40 minutes away.

And I also completely blanked when I went home for lunch because I was so hungry and so distracted by what I was working to finish before deadline at work that I neglected to refill my pump reservoir.

And I also was so elated by a freelance opportunity that came in late afternoon that I ended up racing out of the office, en route to dinner, without grabbing the insulin pen from my desk drawer.   

So I'm in the car.  Driving up to dinner.  With six units of insulin in my pump. 

"We're having apple crumb cake for dessert!" said my coworker's excited email.

I am Kerri's perfect storm of stupid.   

A few things were working in my favor:  the Dexcom had me flatlining, for over three hours, at 98 mg/dl.  I also had enough insulin in my pump reservoir to draw out a unit or two with the syringe I keep in my insulin case.  So there were options.

I didn't panic.  I just thought I'd lay low, eat conservatively, and ride it out until I got home and could change my pump.

Throughout dinner, I kept a close eye on the Dexcom and tested every 30 minutes or so to confirm.  But after a dinner of vegetables, chicken, and delicious rice, I saw the graph starting to spike a little bit.  Not crazy, but edging towards 150 mg/dl for the first time that day.  I avoided the crumb cake.  And knowing I had very little insulin left after dinner (only 0.3 retrievable units), I started to get a little anxious.

So I reached into my kit for that syringe.  

Which wasn't there.  

I am a maelstrom in Kerri's perfect storm of stupid.

In an idiotic move, I waited.  And then, about an hour later, went into the bathroom, removed the insulin cartridge from my pump, and stuck my pinky finger into the end of it to press more insulin into the tubing.  I've done this a few times when desperate, and knowing I had about an hour before I'd get home, even if I left right then, made me willing to take the foolish risk.

Another 30 minutes went by.  My numbers hit 177 mg/dl and stalled there, which made me think it was going to be okay.  I left my coworker's house and drove back home.  Once I got home, I switched out my pump immediately and then relaxed for a little bit.  Numbers were steady-ish, but nothing that made me jumpy.  

"Oh, starting to dip a bit."  The Dexcom said I was 101 and falling, and my meter confirmed with an 81 mgm/dl.  "I'm going to down a swig of juice and a kiwi before bed."

Chris:  "Why are you talking to yourself?"

Me:  "Because ... I don't know.  It's expository for the blog post, I suppose."

Chris:  "Okay."

Right before bed, I was 111 mg/dl, steady Dexcom, and feeling okay. So I went to sleep.

What makes this perfect storm of stupid particularly ... stupid is that my move in the bathroom with the unmeasured bolus was a disaster.  I had no idea how much insulin I'd taken, and I only knew some made it into my skin because of the little pinch I felt.  I could have taken one unit, four units ... or who knows how many.  But I'm obsessively stalking these highs and I was willing to take the risk.  Which wasn't smart at all.

Because at 2:51 am, I woke up completely drenched in sweat, my tongue a deflated balloon in my mouth, and panic buried underneath my exhaustion.  A full glass of juice, a concerned husband, a messy Kerri, and a prowling, yowling Abby.  A blood sugar of 38 mg/dl a few minutes after downing the grape juice. 

A perfect storm of stupid.

Preparation can't be overemphasized.  When your pancreas doesn't make it's own insulin and you're relying upon external sources, and when every food excursion depends on your careful calculation, winging it can cause problems on either side of the scale.  And all the lectures and blog posts and well-intentioned moments can't replace good, old fashioned stupid human behavior.

I am Kerri's hairdryer, running at 3 am because the sweat from the low was so copious and nasty.  I am Kerri's low blood sugar walk of shame.  I am speaking in third person because I'm so beat down tired today.

Diabetes, dude, you are The Suck.    

Comments

Whoa. And I complained about a 59 the morning of my bday? I'll take it.

Yes, being prepared is important but life happens. Don't be too hard on yourself.

And seriously, you are not stupid.

Oh Kerri. That is just too close for comfort. So glad you're ok. No more pinky boluses, ok? Sorry... It's the Mommy in me.((HUGS))

Sometimes, though, you just get so desperate that you overreact. This is a perfect example.

Another perfect example? Me suspending my pump at 1:00 the other morning after fighting lows for 2 hours. I didn't even remember doing it, but woke up at 7:00 at 270.

Whoopsie.

oh kerri, if that is enough to be that hard on yourself... i'm toast... the other day i was at the mall looking for a firewire cable (man those things are expensive!) and my pod empty reservoir alarm went off, the only way to turn it off is with the pdm thinggy (omnipod) i had to pull it off and throw it away, i bet the trash can is still screaming. for the half an hour without the pod hooked up my blood sugar went sky high... i was unprepared for sure, but i never was a good boy scout... you are not stupid, you are not. you did the most innovative thing that was possible. a good connecticut yankee (ingenuity). just didn't work as expected... glad you are alright...

I feel like this experience completely proves what you spoke about in your last vlog - that diabetes may be invisible, but it's hard, stressful and needs massive amounts of our mental attention. It's hard to sit in a social situation, try to enjoy yourself, all the while wondering how your BS's are going to fare because you forgot A,B, or C. It is THE SUCK!

I went out last night, and thought I took a whole bottle of test strips - only to find out it was completely empty! I went out to celebrate buying a house, and instead had to do mental guesses of where my BSs were all night - not cool.

I've been running about 180 mg/dl all through the night recently and have slowly been raising my nighttime basal. And of course I forgot that it is this time of the months hormones doing it...which made me last night a steady 50 mg/dl...Sensor wailing at me constantly. I miraculously didn't over treat, but for some reason spiked to 265, then back down to 120 by morning. Horrible headache...

Diabetes, dude, you are The Suck.

It happens to the best of us, unfortunatly. Better luck next time. :)
I hope you're feeling better this morning.

o my goodness, Kerri! you make us all feel "normal" :) amd yes, Diabetes, dude, you are The Suck.

I can't tell you the number of times I've kicked myself and thought, "how much time would it have taken to throw an extra juice in my bag, make sure I had enough test strips," etc., etc., etc. I'm constantly struggling between being too hard on myself and cutting myself some slack for my lack of preparation. I hate that you had to go through that, but it makes me feel a little better knowing that we're all trying to be responsible but sometimes slip up. We're only human. Here's to the weekend!!!

Glad you made it through that ok-- bad lows suck....middle of the night bad lows suck even more. I was up with you last night- treating Jada's low of 62. Diabetes. Blech.

Very MacGyver of you!

This is why, at some point, I figured it would be better to simply duct tape a bottle of insulin, a syringe, strips, extra batteries, and glucose tabs to my forehead. A new sort of accessory. Perhaps I can change the color of the tape.

Because even with backups to my backups, it's so difficult to be a good Diabetes scout--always prepared.

There are strips and infusion sets and lancets and glucose tablets in a) my closet b) my car c) at least one desk drawer at work d) my suitcase--I seldom raid it for supplies and forget to replace 'em, which so often happens in to my other stashes--and e) my husband's disaster preparedness kit in the basement.

Unfortunately, having more emergency supplies stashed than a squirrel facing winter means that one must also keep up with expiration dates.

BIG SUCK. I was 33 at 1 a.m. Glad you are feeling better!

Hi Kerri, Sorry you are having such difficulties with your diabetes! I have Type II and also struggle a bit with guilt for not "doing everything at all times". I have, however, had great success in lowering my blood sugars and A1C using Dr. Gabriel Cousens protocol, explained in his book titled "There Is A Cure for Diabetes". He has achieved amazing results with both his Type I and Type II patients.

May God bless you, heal you and give you peace.

WHEW! Now I don't feel so bad for sending Addy off to school with an empty pump...GEEZ, I thought I could be the ONLY person in the world who would **FORGET** about insulin when diabetes calls the shots around here so often!!!!!

Glad you're feeling better!!!!

Diabetes totally is the suck.

I meant to change my pump between work and event last night and it slipped my mind until I sat down for dinner out with friends. I looked at my pump and found out it had 0 left. That's one step for not enjoying dinner as much.

No, Kerri, you are not stupid. I have done things like that numerous times. I can not tell you how many times my mom and dad would utter the phrase "You would lose/forget your head if it weren't attached to you!" because of what I would forget at home. We all do it.
As for the pinky thing, I didn't know you could do it that way, but I have blown into the end of the tubing to get insulin into me when I was out. Sad thing was, I knew it'd take 18u to fill it, and I'd watch the line of insulin creep down to around 3/4 of the line to "bolus" what I would estimate as 5u for whatever. BAAAAD thing to do!

Diabetes is totally The Suck. I need to remember to carry TWO pods in my purse at all times, especially when the only one I had on me failed during priming (wtf, right?) an hour before my doctor's appointment. I did my walk of shame to the endo's office like, yes, I am totally podless right now.

I never heard about a pinky bolus, either.

Not that this is a glowing endorsement for that sort of thing.....

Glad you're on the mend.

the worst part (not)? you could have had the crumb cake after all!

My thoughts exactly about the crumb cake. The whole time I was low, I would dwell on the fact that I want that damn crumb cake and not this stupid juice box. Another thing that bugs me as that I never can share my juice boxes with my niece. I hate the fact that I never can share my snacks with people and don't you dare take a chip from my perfectly bolused bag of chips, ha!

You bolus in your pinky??? OMG, ow! that just sounds painful--and I'm still trying to picture it in my head. *scratch-scratch*

I'm sure we've all been through it... forgetting something important. Thinking we have what we need. It does suck. I've missed out on a few things in my day because of it. :P

Bethanne - :) I didn't bolus into my pinky, but instead used my pinky finger to push the bottom of the insulin reservoir up, pushing that last bit of insulin into the tubing. I could have used a pencil, or a crochet hook, but I didn't have one handy. But no, not bolusing into my finger! Ahhhhh! Sorry I wasn't clear on that.

I have a trick to get insulin out of pump.

I can't remember if I've ever used this trick.

but if you can't refill the pump. You can trick the pump into thinking that the syringe has some insulin in it. just pull back a little and fill with some air-you have to go through the motions of refilling pump-just this time its with air. and when you bolus off it you should be able to use all the insulin in line-at least 10 for us. just have to watch for bubbles. I think I've tried it once before doing a refill, just to see if it works.
Does this make sense?

Hey Kerri, it is me, God again. I read this post and wanted to pass on some information to you.

I hate waste. It stems from 2 things - 1) growing up with diabetes and seeing the financial burden on my parents, 2) situations exactly like this - you never know when you are going to need that last couple drops of insulin and 3) waste is just bad. With that said, I discovered that on my 722 pump that there are more than a couple extra units left even though it reads 0 units left or "--.-". In my years of being diabetical (to be confused with diabolical) I have rarely, if ever, changed my reservoir before it is 100% spent. I can't recommend this for one reason air bubbles tend to make up the last small part - i.e. you don't get your full basal - i.e. elevating BG's are not good. When you find yourself at 0.1 units left, disconnect, and bolus the rest out and see how much is left just in case of an emergency.

So if you find yourself in that same situation again, thinking you are "out" of insulin, just bolus.

On a final note, this is most likely a function of the medtronic pump and not some sort of innacuracy of it reading the reservoir. I bet if you were to try the other pumps, you would find an additional 10-20 units (depending on reservoir size) hidden for safety reasons.

BTW, I assume this has all been a fight club reference, if so, marvelous taste.

I am Jacks complete lack of conscience.

Oh man. Major suckage indeed.

You know, with all that life is throwing at us all the time, being prepared ALL the time is just so damn hard. SO hard. Ug.

OmniPod. It's saved my life more than once. No tubing, lots of warning bells and whistles. I don't know why anyone uses anything else. (I swear I don't work for them!)

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