Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I Gave My Daughter Too Much Insulin

Madison, my type 1 diabetic daughter who has lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 19 months now, woke up this morning so tired. We both thought it was because she stayed up so late last night. We had a mommy and daughter fast pitch softball game and then went out for a TCBY ice cream to celebrate. We had a blast! But when she checked her blood sugar this morning, both of our faces turned pale. It was 388. I felt like I failed her. She needs me to help her control and manage her blood sugar so she stays healthy. And last night, it was almost impossible for me to do it.

Our night started off normal. Before our game, Madison checked her blood sugar. It was perfect-156. Knowing her blood sugar was going to drop after playing, I lowered her basal. (just in case you don't know what basal is, it's the insulin she gets from her insulin pump to keep her blood sugar under control at all times)

Madison receiving tropy from her coach
After the game, the girls wanted to go to TCBY. It was 7:45 pm. I never feed Madison carbs after 5:30 pm during a school night, unless she needs it to bring up a low blood sugar. It's just too hard for me to manage her blood sugar if she has insulin still in her body when she goes to bed. But it was such a special night and I could see it in her eyes how much she wanted to go with her team, so I said, "Let's go get you an ice cream!" She gave me the most warm-loving hug, which brought the biggest smile to my face.

We got home around 9:00 pm and checked her blood sugar. It was 160. I was so proud of myself that I was able to keep her blood sugar at such a great number. But then I remembered, she had just eaten an ice cream, which meant she still had insulin in her body. We checked her meter to see how much insulin was still on board. It read 2.98. I was speechless. I wanted to cry, because I had given her way too much insulin for the amount of ice cream she ate and now I had to feed her disease to make sure she didn't crash. Madison gets 1.0 unit of insulin for every 15 carbs. So basically, with 2.98 units of insulin still in her body, she needed to eat about 45 carbs to ensure her blood sugar didn't go too low while she slept. Taking precautionary measures, I gave her a juice and five crackers, and also lowered her basal to where she was almost getting no insulin from her insulin pump for an hour and a half. Then I sent her to bed.

At 10:00 pm, I checked her blood sugar and it read 89. Too low to let her continue sleeping, so I woke her up and gave her a couple sugar tablets and a few more peanut butter crackers. I then checked her an hour later and her blood sugar was 130. Perfect! And now I could go to sleep. Around 3:45 am, Madison woke up to use the bathroom. She does that often, even if her blood sugar isn't high, so I didn't think much of it.

My alarm went off at 5:45 am. I tried waking Madison up, but she was giving me a hard time. I nudged her a few times and slowly she opened her eyes. I could tell she was exhausted. Never did I think her blood sugar was off the charts high. I just assumed she was tired from staying up so late and having me wake her up. She got ready and we headed down the stairs.

As soon as we got into the kitchen, she sat at her normal spot at the kitchen table and checked her blood. She turned slowly, looked at me with this pale expression and said, "My blood sugar is 388." I had her check it one more time and it read the same. All those awful feelings shot through my body and mind. I wanted to swear. I wanted it hit something. I wanted to cry. But instead, I said half-smiling, "That's okay, I'll just make you a non-carb breakfast. How does bacon and eggs sound." She smiled and said, "Great!"

I HATE THIS STUPID DISEASE! All I want to do is keep her healthy and the poor kid can't even have an ice cream and run around after 7:00 pm at night without a crazy night of blood sugar highs and lows. Too many highs is so unhealthy for her. And too many lows is again, unhealthy for her. This disease really never gives you a break. But I'm a fighter. And this disease is not going to win the war!


  1. My mother was a insulin dependent diabetic. I have struggled with being hypoglycemic since I was very young. Diabetes can be really hard to deal with, even if you do everything right. My mother was always very careful, but every once in a while her sugars would get very high. It sounds like you are a great mother and doing everything that you can to keep your child healthy. I hope the rest of your week is a little more predictable and that your daughters sugars stay stable. Hang in there :)

  2. Thank you Ann for sharing your story. Last night was a much better night. Blessings to you and your family too!

  3. So sorry your daughter (and you) had to go through this. It isn't something I've dealt with, but the more I hear about it (from folks who have it), the more I realize how much of a struggle it is. I'm sure things will get easier as the years go by; you'll figure out the ins and outs, and your daughter will understand it so she can make her own healthy decisions.
    Good luck with your fighting! It sounds like you are staying positive!

  4. I'm sorry you had that happen, but you did make a mistake. It sounds like you took care of her, and you are doing a good job of making sure she stays healthy.

    Heidi’s Wanderings