Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Pancreas I am Not.


I’ve had one of those days.  You know the kind of day where you are to be reminded of just how human you are?  The kind of day you wish you could grab diabetes by the throat and choke the living crap out of it?

Here’s how my morning played out:

A 9:30am appointment to get my hair cut and coloured meant I had time to get up, shower, get breakfast for the kids, load up on my morning caffeine quota and head out the door.

Cold cereal and fresh blueberries were on the menu.  I usually try to check Jenna’s blood sugar and bolus her at least five minutes before she actually tucks in -- my attempt at dodging a post-prandial spike.

We did a check and the number 10 appeared.  I dialed up a dose to cover the correction as well as the 32 grams of carbs she was about to consume.

“Did you feel the buzz, Jenna?” I asked.  It’s a routine question we have taken to asking Jenna to ensure the pump received the signal from the meter to bolus her.  The Animas One-Touch Ping vibrates three times just before the insulin dose is delivered.  Sometimes we can hear the vibration.  But more often we miss it.

“Mm-hmm” Jenna responded quickly then resumed her chat with her sister about what they were going to play after breakfast.

I weighed the cereal, washed the berries, poured the milk and breakfast was served.

Fast forward to my hair appointment.

I had been sitting in the salon chair for the better part of an hour.  The colour had been applied and I was thumbing through one of those Hello! magazines, reading some mindless, trivial crap about the rich and famous, enjoying a little me time while the colour proofed, or whatever it is that colour does after it’s been applied to one’s hair.

My phone rang.  It was J.

“Did you bolus Jenna for her breakfast this morning?”

“Uh, ya.  Why?”

“Well, she was acting funny -- not cooperating with getting dressed and tidying up -- so I decided to check her.  She’s 26!”

“Did she wash her hands?” I replied while my heart took up new residence in my throat.

“Yes.  After the first high reading I got her to wash her hands.  The second time it came back even higher!  I’ve just given her two units to correct.”

“What the... I’m sure I bolused her!  I remember asking her if she felt the buzz!” I started running through the sequence of pre-breakfast events in my head.  I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I realized I couldn’t actually remember pressing the Go button to deliver the dose.  “Check the bolus history.  I’ll stay on the phone.”

A minute later J reported to me that there was no entry for a breakfast bolus in the pump’s history.  The last bolus was sometime in the night to correct a reading just a few points above her target.  Her breakfast bolus was indeed missed.

I sat in the salon chair in a decidedly more somber mood than the one I was in only moments before.  I felt sick.  I felt sad.  But what’s worse, I felt guilt. 

It came crashing down on me like an anvil in one of those old Looney-Tunes cartoons.  I couldn’t believe I had missed pushing one little button.  One stupid little human mistake and now my little girl was enduring the discomfort of a lunar-bound blood sugar.  I sat there, looking at myself in the mirror with colour on my hair, judging myself.  I looked so ridiculous.  

I felt foolish thinking how only moments ago I was looking at pictures of Victoria Beckham walking with two of her three sons at an airport on her way to some fancy-pants famous people function, wondering how she could be so damn thin after having three babies.  All the while my baby was at home suffering the physical agony of hyperglycemia and it was my fault.

I know I’m human.  I know I can’t expect to be perfect.  But this silly little human mistake had such a huge impact on how Jenna felt, which is to say, like shit.  I had trouble not beating myself up about it.  Like most parents, where the well-being of my children is concerned, I strive to be as close to perfection as I can be.

I sat in that salon chair, holding back the tears, feeling very small and all too human.

An hour and a half later Jenna’s pre-lunch blood sugar was 4.8.  The two units of insulin had taken care of my mistake and she was her usual four-year-old, delightful self again.  The beast that is “D” had been beaten into submission once again and had retreated back to it’s dark cave.  All was right with our world once more.

But damn.  I sure do miss her pancreas.


Northerner said...

Sorry to hear what happened - I really felt for you sitting in that chair. I'm sure that she forgives you though, because you love each other, so try not to dwell on it - for her it will be long-forgotten, I'm sure!

Ann Onimous said...

Been there, done that. You are so not alone.

Stacy said...

I've been there before, too. It's so hard because there is a constant vigilance required and I feel like I can never make a mistake because it could be so dangerous. The constant pressure to be a pancreas...

Two nights ago, my husband randomly checked our daughter at 11:00 at night. She was a 37, which I believe converts to a 2 in your system, and we still can't figure out why. Waking up a 37 and getting carbs into her was horrible. And you have that panicky "sleepy? coma? sleeepy?? coma??" scream in your head.

Parenting a diabetic little one is hard.


Leighann of D-Mom Blog said...

I've done that. Recently in fact. I felt like such an ass for not doing something so simple.

And just yesterday I completely misjudged, miscalculated, and just plain messed up resulting in her meter saying HIGH.

Just think of all the times we get it right. You are batting close to a thousand :)

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

That period of time when you wait for the correction to take place is so so hard. Then a wave of relief covers you when it's back in range and things are back to normal.

All I can say is #blamediabetes and pooey!

Denise said...

Came across your post from D-mom blog...

Been there, done that! I think in our foggy d-mom brains, sometimes pressing that go button gets missed. Glad we can look back and see what has been given and make the correction.

nice to "meet" you!

Anonymous said...

I am currently sitting next to my 4 year old daughter Ellie who is apparently going to go low because I decided that although she was a little low before her little snack...the snack was still going to need a bit of bolus...I am now watching Dexter (CGM) as it goes lower and lower and lower...Ah! The long nights of miscalculation! Phhhhhh to the D!!!