Friday, May 02, 2008

Getting on with Life

Today started out to be one of those days. You know the one.

It's one of those days where everything reminds you of diabetes and how stupid and horrible it is. One of those days where all you want to do is escape to some non-existent tropical island where diabetes does not exist.

It probably all started because Riley ran high pretty much all day yesterday and most of last night. He was 114 when he woke up yesterday. He was 112 at supper last night. The rest of the time he's been in the 200 and 300s.

His sugar when he woke up this morning: 255. I figure the highs are a result of 1 of 3 things.

#1) Holden was sick with some sort of stomach virus earlier in the week. Riley could be coming down with that, thus the high sugars.

#2) For several days last week Riley kept going low. I actually ran out of juice boxes and had to get some from my mom because he was going low so much. After a couple of days of this I decided a basal change was in order. I decreased his basals by 0.40 units. He went from getting 6.0 units of basal a day to getting 5.6 units a day. That's a pretty significant change for him.

But, it worked. He hasn't had any juice since then and only a couple of sugars in the 200s. He's been pretty much right were he should be since I changed his basals. That is until yesterday.

I blamed the lows on the seasonal changes. But, I'm thinking that maybe his body has adjusted to those changes now and his basals might need to be increased. The bad part of that is that I've got to let him run high for another day or two before I can come to that conclusion.

#3) This morning was a site change morning. When I changed his site on Tuesday I used the last of the insulin in the bottle. I've found that sometimes when we get down to the last little bit of the insulin in the bottle it's potency tends to taper off around day 3. But, that's just sometimes, not all the time.

Just like everything else with diabetes.

So, the highs got me down. And, not knowing what to do about them got me down.

Also, like I mentioned above, this morning was a site change morning. Most of the time when I change his site Michael is still at home. Riley always says, "Come talk to me, Dad."

Michael will sit and talk to him (usually about baseball, Halo, or Star Wars) while I insert his needle.

Michael left a little earlier this morning so he wasn't there to talk to Riley. So, the site change didn't start off well. Riley was upset that he didn't have anyone to talk to. (What am I you might ask. I'm just mom. I don't really count.)

First I had to examine his bottom and decide where I could put the site. He's too thin to put his sites anywhere but his bottom so they look a little worse for wear. I looked at his left butt cheek which was my target for the morning. It's pocked with a few scars. I can see where his last site was that I pulled out 3 days ago. I know I don't want to put it there. So, I look for a better area.

The rest of his prime area is mottled with bruises of all different hues. It pains me to know I have to stick him somewhere in or around those bruises.

I pick a spot and apply the IV prep. All the while I'm trying to hold a conversation with Riley. We talk about school as I prep the needle and push it against the least bruised part of his butt cheek.

He tenses up when the inserter touches his skin and I have to tell him to relax. As we're talking about PE at school I push the sides of the inserter to release the needle. As it pierces his skin he lets out a low howl. (He usually does pretty well. He does much worse when he's been running high for a while.)

I tell him "I'm sorry." He asks, "Why?" I say, "Because Mommy doesn't want to hurt you."

Next, I fill the cannula and decrease his basal. Then, I have to give him insulin for his breakfast. He starts to scream. "No, don't give me insulin! It burns! It burns!" But, I have no choice. I have to give him insulin.

When I was done and the tears were dried I picked him up and gave him a big hug. He wrapped his arms around my neck and squeezed. I blinked back the tears that were threatening to spill over onto my cheeks.

"You know mommy wishes she didn't have to stick you with needles, right?"

"Yeah, I know."

Then he was off to play xbox until it was time for school.

I watched him as he sat on his bed. He was sitting a little crooked. He wasn't sitting on his bottom but more on his right hip to keep from sitting on his site because it was still tender from being changed.

I'm not sure why some days I can fly through things without any problems and then there are days, like today, where every little thing makes me want to cry.

But, I'm trying to take my cue from Riley. He said what he had to say about the site change and the burning insulin and then he went right back to life without giving it a second thought.

As he stood in the hallway brushing his teeth this morning (he hardly ever stands in the bathroom to brush his teeth) I noticed how cute he looked. It's supposed to be warm here today so I sent him to school in shorts, cargo shorts to be exact.

And, noticing that he had on cargo shorts made me think of a joke done by Daniel Tosh. And, I just had to laugh. What is up with cargo shorts/pants anyway? Does anyone really need that many pockets?

And, so, I went on with life also.

I'll leave you with this clip of Daniel Tosh's cargo pants day. I hope it makes you smile.

Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...


Your post made me smile - I've had diabetes since the age of 4 (I'm now nearly 30) and it was such a good description of the frustration when things happen randomly, seemingly unconnected to whatever you do. Sometimes a site change hurts, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes you're high for no good reason, other times you assume you must no longer need insulin because you've got hardly any in your system but you're still chasing lows!

And then there's the days like today when my blood sugar was spot on, I did a site change this morning which went perfectly, no pain, it just worked. And then I got dressed and poked myself in the eye with my mascara brush resulting in very attractive eye watering and black streaks down my face! If its not one thing its another, how unfair is that?!


Beth said...


You can only hold in so much frustration until it all spills out. Then you pick yourself up until next time.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! We had the same EXACT day....running higher and then a scream of pain with the site change. I cried too. -HUGS-

Donna said...

Sorry you had one of those days. Hope tomorrow is better. Hang in there. :)

PS - I loved the Daniel Tosh cargo pants bit. It was hilarious!

Lisa said...

Oh Penny. You have done it again. You always seem to make me cry. I'm so sorry that you had a bad morning. I hope that the rest of your day was better.

I loved the cargo pants bit. it was too funny.

Anonymous said...

Your post made me cry. It really hit home for me just how much people with diabetes have to go through. You are a strong woman with a strong child. You are both an inspiration.

Naomi said...

I know exactly how you feel. Daniel has had some of those weird highs -- I guess it has to do with growing & hormones -- and there's nothing we can do! Even after he corrects, he's high. It's frustrating.

I don't know what's up with those cargo pants. Daniel loves 'em. More pockets to carry diabetes supplies, I suppose...

DeeDee said...

You are an amazing woman to have to deal with that on a daily basis. I commend you for your perserverance and strength. Hang in there!

By the way, I found your blog through DadGoneMad. I've posted a complete list of everyone who left their blog link in a post called Blog Rolling With My Homies over on my blog, so if you want to see it come on over and sit a spell. I don't bite..…that hard anyway!

k2 said...

Pen - Diabetes days are never the same, and damn those infusion set needles can hurt! Other days, you hardly feel them and blood sugar hits nirvana like proportions.