Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tips from my T1 home to yours...

THE TIP:
It's a wise idea to always carry 2 or 3 needles in your child's "pack" in case of a site/pump malfunction.

THE STORY:
With Cheeto on the way--and the unpredictability of my pregnancies--Loren and I have been worried about the possibility of Cheeto coming early and interfering with my procrastination of Christmas shopping. In my home, procrastinating Christmas shopping IS an annual tradition after all. HOWEVER, starting this early is hard because I have no idea what my girls want. Loren and I had the idea to drive about an hour north of here to a toy store. We would let the girls wander the store and take notes of the things they seemed interested in. (Sidenote: this idea is genius. We got some great ideas!)

After the toy store we would go to the mall, have a soft pretzel, look at some maternity and baby clothes. Then we would go have some dinner after which we would visit my step dad whose been quite sick with a terrible infection in his spine. After all that, we would drive the hour home. It was a great plan--except for the Type 1 Diabetes waiting in the background to try and put a damper on our day.

Just as we pulled into the town Syd checked her blood sugar. She was 347. Both Loren and I looked at each other with "that look" of what on earth? A couple hours earlier she was 109 for lunch. We checked her bolus history to make sure she received her lunch insulin...which she had. Then we proceeded to correct her high with a bolus. 1 1/2 hours later we checked her sugar again. 363. Obviously something was wrong with her site because she hadn't even begun to come down from the high and by this point she should have.

This is where the problem was...we didn't have an extra infusion set. They can be a bit clunky to pack around especially for a little trip an hour away. We had just finished the toy store and the mall. We still needed to go to Sams Club for more juice boxes, have a fun dinner, and visit my step dad. Our day wasn't close to being complete but we needed to remedy this "high." We couldn't have dinner with a bad site...her sugars would be way out of control and it wouldn't be responsible on our part NOR would it help Syd to feel better. Highs are not fun. So do we head home early? Nope! We always carry a solution to that particular problem since we don't carry extra infusion sets with us because they are bulky.

We always carry a handful of needles for situations just like these. I can't speak for anything but the Minimed pump, although I would assume the Animas and the Pod are both similar and can do this as well. We use the needle to pull insulin from her reservoir and we give her an old fashioned injection. Then we rewind and re-prime the reservoir (DON'T FORGET THE RE-PRIMING!) and she is good to go. AND it works. We did one big injection for dinner and her high and by the time we got home she was a beautiful 124. We gave baths and changed the bad site and all was well. (Sidenote: The site was filled with blood so I'm assuming that's why the insulin wasn't working properly.)

Below is the process in picture format because if you read my novel, it was a lot to read. :-)

~This is Sydney's pack. Her lifeline. We take it EVERYWHERE. Literally. Church. School. Grocery Shopping. Friend's homes. Parties. The Mall. Restaurants. EVERYWHERE. In her pack we have her glucometer w/ an extra battery for it and her pump. 2 juice boxes. Glucose tablets. Smarties. Extra test strips. Her immunization records. Medical ID w/ emergency numbers. Insta-Glucose and a handful of needles.
~Get your needle and unhook your reservoir.
~Use the reservoir like a vial of insulin. Inject a couple units of air and pull out the insulin you need. THEN RE-PRIME the pump!
~Give the injection and it should work beautifully for you! If you are worried about your child fighting the shot (which can happen when they are used to the pump and if they are high it just exasperates the attitudes.) Just give them 5 or 10 minutes to get used to the idea. Esp if your T1 kid is younger. Warn them, "Your sugar is high and your site is bad. I need to give you and injection in 10 minutes. Everything will be ok."

I want to add one more thing, even if you carry an extra infusion set, it is still beneficial to carry a few needles too. Maybe next time it won't be a bad site. Maybe it will be a malfunction with the pump. Or a battery issue. It is just a wise idea to have a few needles. Your doctor can give you a rx for them. Even if your insurance doesn't cover them--which is should--the needles are cheap. You can get a big box for around $25. Keep them around. You never know when you will need one.

That's my tip for everyone today! If YOU have had an experience that could benefit others in this Type 1 life...do your own blog post called, "Tips from my T1 home to yours..." We could all use reminders to help us along this path.

**Make sure you do a blog post with your tip...then let me know. In a couple weeks I am going to gather the tips we've shared and make 1 blog post with all the wonderful experiences and link it on the side of my blog for easy access. So, for a shout-out and some publicity on my blog, and to help make someone's life with T1 a teeny bit easier, make sure to get your tip on your blog in the next week or so! Share this blog with your T1 friends who may not be readers of my blog and make sure to get the word around...the more tips the better!

7 comments:

Misty said...

Excellent tip Shamae! We just had a similar situation, but I did not even think about drawing up insulin out of the pump reservoir. LOVE my D-blogging Mommas!!

Megan said...

Shamae, it amazes me how much more you have to think about on an everyday basis because of T1. You seem to be a pro. Syd is lucky to have you as a mom. Stay strong and carry on. :) Love, Megan

Casey said...

Great tip! I have infusion sets everywhere (car, work, random suitcases/purses) but always forget to bring the quickserter for the infusions sets I use. I am too scared to insert those sets without the quickserter.... syringes are the back up plan of choice! :) I forget what the bolus is called when you give basals/correction/food coverage in one (super bolus?). Great way to manage the high! Hope Syd wasn't feeling too bad.

Wendy said...

Awesome! We also carry syringes with us for the very same reason :)

My tip is to carry extra tubing too...We had one snap in half once after Addy stretched it too far.

Site was good. Insulin was good. But we couldn't get it from the pump to her -- extra tubing fixed the problem and all was well again :)

Reyna said...

DITTO BABY!!! We carry extra syringes and I am able to slap in an extra Animas set too. "Woodchuck #2" looks like he is the "male version" of your cute pink camo-pack (I LOVE THOSE BAGS!).

Thanks for sharing GIRL!!! xoxo

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much for this post!! Not only have I been thinking lately that I need to re-think Courtney's "diabetic bag" that we take everywhere, but I was really thinking that I need to carry more stuff with us. I never thought to carry her immunization records & her medical ID w/ emergency numbers. I am going to get this all taken care of this weekend!! Thanks again. Jen

The Herrigs said...

Love your tip:)