Embracing Life & the Child with the Disease

Better than a Rainbow


Last night I made a decision.  I was going to check when I went to bed around 10-10:30ish and if Ryan’s sugar was good, I was going to skip the midnight check and just wait until 3a.  I have gotten into a habit of checking at 10, 12a , 3a and so often it is completely unnecessary.  So last night, when I checked at 10ish, he was 171.  Hm.  A little high, but we’d had white rice for dinner.  I gave a tweeked bolus correction, tweeked because he already had an extended bolus still working for a bit and set my clock for 3a.  His numbers have been so good.  I was at total peace about waiting almost 5 hours until the next check, after all, our endo even says to check only once at 3a. 

Alarm goes off and I stumble out of bed, eyes half-open, and kneel down on the floor next to Ryan (who is sleeping next to Aaron on the floor of my room, having a little slumber party).  I wiped this finger, put a strip in the meter, clicked the poker, fired, let the freestyle strip suck up the necessary blood, wiped his finger clean and “beep, beep, beep . . . 350.” 

What in the world!?!? 

I took it again, a little more alert this time.  348.  I grabbed the little silver flashlight next to my bed and squinted to focus inside that little window.  YEEP!  (I did not misspell, that’s exactly what I meant!)  The cannula was just resting ON TOP of Ryan’s sweet skin. 

Now, wide awake, I hopped to.  We need to check his ketones.  Ryan is always so amazing.  I whispered in his ear, “Buddy, your sugar’s really high, I need to check your ketones”  Darn it!  I remember I keep saying I’m going to get a blood ketone meter and never got it done!  He got up wobbly, I’m sure like I did when the 3a alarm went off.  Pee’d on the stick and immediately, MODERATE ketones.  Now, moving a little faster, I grabbed a pod, Unisolve, a new Humalog vial out of the fridge, an alcohol swab and sat back down on the floor, Ryan now lying on the loveseat and began the process.  My wonderful hubby had gotten up sometime in all the movement and gotten Ryan a water bottle out of the garage fridge.  By the time I filled and attached the new pod awaiting him to press “start” for the needle to insert the cannula, Ryan had already downed a bottle of water. 

I pinched up a little and pressed down on the pod and told him I was ready for him to click start (his job, he likes the control of knowing when the needle is going to insert), I hear the sweetest voice ask, “Mom, do you hate changing my pod?”  After a few moments of silence while I said to myself, “don’t cry, don’t cry”, I replied, “Absolutely not ’cause it’s for you.  Do you hate changing your pod?”  He replied, “Just for a second waiting for it to pop” [he’s referring to the click of the self-inserted needle].  I heard the beep of the start button, three soft clicks, then one loud CLICK.  He flinched this time.  Every once in a while, it stings right at first.  And of course, the 3:20a pod change stung!  Yeesh.  Give the kid a break!

I quickly made the necessary correction bolus for the 350 and then covered him up, and leaned over his body and began kissing him softly all over the right side of his face (he was lying on his left since he was on his belly with a newly inserted, stinging pod on his back).  I kissed around his eye, his cheek, his nose, his forehead – kissed maybe 10 times and then pulled back to look at him thinking surely he was getting annoyed.  When my eyes focused on his face, his eyes were closed . . . and he was smiling . . . so big he was almost laughing.  So I leaned over and began kissing softly again.  I could feel him inhale really big and exhale long.  I rested my cheek on his, thanked God for his sweet spirit and worked my arms under his body and hugged him tight making that momma “um-umm” sound. I closed my eyes for a moment, absorbing the sweetness.  Then I got up and tucked him in like a mummy all around his body.  He giggled!  In the middle of a yucky 3a pod change with moderate ketones, Ryan and I had a moment.  And it was wonderful. 

I told him we could lie here for a few minutes, then at 30 minutes after the first ketone check, we needed to check again just to see the direction we were headed in. 

So we checked again . . . ketones were now LARGE, the darker LARGE on the color chart.  Ryan asked for another water.  I went and got one with a big lump in my throat and thought, “this is my fault . . . ” (I’ll get to that in a minute).   He began drinking chugging the water.  He knows what ketones mean.  He knows he doesn’t like them.  He knows fluids help to flush them out.  That and now he was getting insulin from a cannula that was resting BELOW his skin. 

He finished that bottle with an “ahhhh,” screwed the lid on and said, “I’m tired.”  So I let him go to sleep knowing I would check again in 30.  His sugar was still 323 at this point. 😦

I crawled into bed with Jason and curled up to him and started to cry.  About an hour before bed, I saw Ryan grab his belly (where he was wearing his pod) and I asked him if his pod had come off or pulled.  He looked down at it and just said it was okay.  And I took his word for it.  I forgot to check later.  His bedtime number was 149.  No red flags there.  So like I said earlier, I went to bed without checking at midnight.  OR checking the cannula when he grabbed at his belly.  I could have saved him from the ketones and saved us both some sleep.  <insert frustration scream here> Hard lesson learned.  I won’t get up every night at midnight, but I will be more diligent about checking his cannula. 

The rest of the night went 4:00a, LARGE (but the color not as dark) and another 1/2 bottle of water, 4:30 somewhere between SMALL and MODERATE and by 5ish they were trace.  It took until 8a to show NEGATIVE.  And it took until 8:30 for the sugar to be close to in-range at 156.  Ryan got up at 8:00 and wanted to go to school, so I had him there by 9:00.  He’s fine now.  Just a little tired. 

Although I HATE nighttime ketones and pod changes.  The moment that I had with Ryan and the kisses was priceless . . . forever etched in my memory, his expression, his soft cheeks . . . in the chaos of the moment, he was completely content.  It was better than the rainbow after the yucky storm.

Oh, and P.S. . . .

What’s your guess?  Will I get up and check at midnight tonight or just check his cannula when he goes to bed or both?  😉


Comments on: "Better than a Rainbow" (9)

  1. I have an extra ketone meter you can have, and I’ll even start you off with a box of strips if you need them. Will you be in my area any time soon?

    • Probably not before the weekend but I think that would be a great excuse for us to grab a coffee or lunch or something, on me, of course. You are the bomb, Joanne. Made me cry! (((hugs)))

      • My pleasure… Let me know what works for you and we’ll go from there. Not sure if you have my email or phone #, but you can get them from my husband through FB if it makes it easy for you!

  2. So sweet. Love those moments!!
    We’ve never had a cannula issue so I don’t ever think to check them…will start when Bean’s numbers don’t make sense!
    Bean hates the ‘click, click, click, POP.’ She squeezes my hand, takes deep breaths, and still lets out a scream…unless we’re not a home, then it’s more of a whimper. She wouldn’t trade it for shots again, but that POP always gets her!
    Here’s to a better night tonight!
    Oh, my guess is both… 🙂

  3. Those precious moments are the best!!! I’m dreading the day my kids are too big and too old for me to shower them with kisses.

    I’m guessing you’ll check him at midnight. 😉

  4. We had a similar situation with Liam last week. We don’t often see the cannula just pull plain out, but he came out of the pool and said he’d bumped it after swimming lessons, and I was more focused on how pale he looked. He ended up being low, and I never did check the pod… fast forward to later that night… 450-what! I felt so bad that I never thought to look at it after that, but we got through it. So glad you and Ryan had a special moment in the middle of all that yucky stuff. Says a lot about your family and you character. 🙂

  5. That moment…made me tear up. I could feel it. Joe and I have those quite a bit and I am so familiar with the holding back on the tears in situations like that. I felt your pain and gratitude and love…xoxo

    Happy Easter w/e.

  6. Sweet Mama Amy . . you brought tears to my ears and memories to the forefront of my brain of how I love to kiss my babies’ faces when they are hurting or ill. Sweet little pecks that have a punch of love in each one.

    This really spoke to my heart, this morning. Thank you for posting.

  7. First… I’m guessing both :/

    It breaks my heart that you cried, but what a blessing it was for you to have that moment. They are so rare around my house… Justin is TEN and all 🙂

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