Thursday, November 8, 2012

#NHBPM Day 8: Dear Alex's Health

This is day 8 of Wego Health National Health Blog Post Month. Today's topic is to "write a letter to your health."

Dear Alex's Health:

Today I'm pretty ticked off at you. You caused me to miss Day 7 of the blog challenge. But that was really the least of my worries. You scared the F&*(#!ing crap out of me!

We have had a rough 5 days starting with a site change late last week. BG numbers started getting higher than "normal". As I mentioned previously, by Saturday night we got to see a 535 on the meter. In the past 5 days I've change infusion sites FOUR times. That really ticks me off for many reasons - those aren't cheap sets and Alex is NOT a happy camper right now. 

I thought we nipped this problem in the bud finally by Monday because sweet low 100 numbers returned. And then came yesterday morning. I had to change Alex's site - she had less than 10 units left in the cartridge and her site was getting worn because she has started wearing jeans and it happens to catch on the waist line. So I changed it before school...not something I normally do. 

At 10:30 I got the call from the health room. "Hi Mom, I'm 422." Having never experienced a site that COMPLETELY failed I calmly told her to correct, drink a glass of water, and come back to the health room in 1 hour to retest. 

11:30 Phone Call: "Hi Mom, now I'm 458 and I don't feel good."  So now I"m cursing under my breath and grabbing a completely brand new bottle of insulin and a complete new sealed box of infusion sets and the blood ketone meter. I get up to the school and go to the business of changing the site. I should have checked ketones first I guess but we'd been checking all weekend and it's been negative. So I changed the site. I did NOT rip up the old site...just distracted. Then, as we are putting everything away I ask her to test ketones. 0.7...I had to pull out the chart to see what 0.7 meant. Moderate Ketones. So much for going back to class...

By the time we got home, Alex is feeling like she wants to throw up and looking less perky. I go fumbling through my binder from PCH because even though I *know* the steps, my mind and heart are racing because all I can think about is Alex on 12-20-11 being so sick she is in the ICU and panic washes over remembering steps. I call PCH and stupidly call the wrong number (the non-urgent number) and leave a voicemail. Then I call my mother-in-law (an RN) and let her listen to me babble. I'm frustrated because I can't figure out WHY this is going on. She doesn't appear sick. I've changed that damn site 4 times. Why? Why? Why? 

1 hour passes and we retest. Her BG is 336 but ketones now 1.2. I go back through the binder and find the urgent care number and call it. The nurse is calm and we discuss everything. She wants to have me give Alex a shot in another hour and call them back if she starts throwing up repeatedly.  Follow sick day protocol. Follow sick day protocol. Follow sick day protocol. 

By 4 PM, Alex's BG is 172 and her ketones are 0.4. She is looking better and asking to go to her movie making class which was set to start that night and run for 6 weeks. I figure it's safe and we go. BY the time class is over she is 144 and 0 ketones. 

When we get home, I realize we never pulled up the site. So I pull it up and lo and behold the entire cannula is bent over - it NEVER went into her skin! It just folded over and laid on top of her skin. So she wasn't getting any insulin for about 5 hours. 5 hours! It took only 5 hours to be close to DKA. Holy crap! I mean I know this. I've heard this. But it's different when you're watching it happen. How does that LITTLE drip of insulin being missing for 5 hours cause near hospitalization and if not treated...death? This is crazy!

At least I know that yesterday she was in the 400s because the site was truly not inserted right. No clue about the other sites but I find it suspicious that the box of sites is missing 3 - the same 3 that I ended up pulling earlier than normal because they seemed not to be working. The one I inserted yesterday is from a new box. So far so good.

So Alex's health....get it together in there! This whole one minute I'm making plans for a scout training day on Saturday and the next minute I'm sticking my kid with needles, planning for a trip to the ER, and having panic attacks while trying to act normal so I don't scare the shit out of my 10 year old...that's for the birds. 



1 comment:

  1. Yikes, not a good day. Call up the pump company, Animas right? Tell them about the box of wonky sites, they'll ask for control or batch numbers off the side of the box. We had a problem with 4 or 5 sites in a row over the summer, and I called to report it, they ended up sending us a sample kit with 2 sites in it. Also last year I think there was a recall of sites, we never had any problems with the ones we used out of the recall, but they still sent us all new sites with a box to ship back the recalled ones. Anyways, it's worth it to call and report them, just in case someone else is having problems. Glad she is doing better today!