The Unbolused Cookie

Embracing both the planned and the unplanned.

How Diabetes Can Make Even the Little Things More Exciting

Gabrielle Oldfield

How Diabetes Can Make Even the Little Things More Exciting
Thursday, June 09, 2016

There are some things you just have to have a sense of humor about.  Even though they have the potential to be really NOT funny.  Diabetes is one of those things for me.  


Injecting insulin is a daily necessity for me.  I've been doing it for one and a half years now so not long, but long enough to have a ritual that I follow to make sure I'm injecting the right amount, of the right insulin, at the right time.  (If you are not familiar with insulin use, the short story is that basal insulin works to accommodate a person's normal day to day living to keep blood sugar in line.  Rapid insulin is injected to cover meals.  For me, I take roughly 1 unit of rapid insulin for every 15-18 carbs I ingest.)  


As we all know, distraction is the mother of most misadventures.  So now we come to my story.


In April, I broke my foot and have been on crutches ever since.  Right after it happened, my husband had to leave on a missions trip to Haiti, so I had to coordinate rides to work and to church.  This type of situation, as you can imagine, put a kink in my fairly predictable morning ritual of testing my blood sugar, injecting basal insulin,  getting ready, and driving myself wherever I needed to go.  


This one particular Sunday morning,  I got up a little later than normal, but no problem, I had my clothes already picked out so that was a chunk of indecision I didn't have to worry about.  I tested my blood sugar, was pleased it looked great and proceeded to think about what I could have for breakfast as I loaded my basal insulin into a syringe and injected 18 units.  Except...once I had finished injecting and was discarding the syringe, I noticed I had both my basal insulin AND my rapid acting insulin bottles on the bathroom counter.


Hmmm.  Surely I didn't just inject 18 units of rapid insulin.  I started replaying it in my mind, did I remember seeing the red rim (rapid insulin bottle) or the silver rim (basal insulin bottle) as I loaded the needle?  A text from my ride buzzed through, "Leaving in 15 minutes."  Ok, deep breath.  I figured I would continue to get ready, but I would start testing my blood sugar every 15 minutes or so to see how this was going to play out.  By the second test my blood sugar was dropping like a rock.


I immediately started crunching glucose tabs, but quickly realized the futility of how many I would have to eat to counteract my mistake (18 units X 15 carbs = 270 carbs needed).  Couple that with the fact that my mouth was as dry as the Sahara and glucose tabs are like fruity chalk, I knew I was getting  nowhere that way.  Must get to the juice.  


My big stash of juice boxes is downstairs.  By that time I felt a little wobbly and was concerned going down the stairs on crutches would be perilous at best.  I decided to scoot down on my butt and pretty much rolled myself into the kitchen.  From there, I grabbed some juice boxes and started going to town.  About the third one in I was feeling a little nauseous from the sweetness.  I knew I had to keep it down, though, otherwise, I would have to start the carb fest all over again.  


About 20 minutes later, I sat alone on the kitchen floor, sweaty hair pasted to my forehead, booted foot laying off to the side, surrounded by discarded juice boxes.  


And just then a text buzzed in, "I'm here!"