April 14, 2005

In which I prove yet again my difficulties with the physical world

As my friend Scott notes, one of the beauties and perils of the pump is that it obeys its human, to which I would add another: once a person is used to operating it, it's easy. Really, really easy. And things that are easy to do are easy, for a head-in-the-clouds person like me, to forget to do.

Yesterday I hummed along as usual through my morning breakfast-making routine. Tea, check. Toast, check. Peanut butter, check. Oatmeal and milk, check. BG test, check. Carry all to the computer without dropping anything, check. (Is anyone really surprised that I eat at the computer? Didn't think so.) Munch, munch, munch. Happy Violet with her 48 grams of carbs. Just another morning.

Two hours later I did the follow-up BG test: 340.

For many of us, 340 is not an earth-shaking event. It happens for all kinds of reasons: stress, wrong food, certain kinds of exercise, eating too much when you go low and feel like you're gonna die if you don't have cereal NOW. But as a somewhat recently diagnosed type 1, I'm still in the honeymoon period, meaning that my pancreas still makes some insulin. That helps quite a bit with my BG control. I see numbers in the 200s with some regularity, but I don't get higher than that unless something's really out of whack.

So for me, 340 is a freak out, do backup tests on 2 different meters, talk to myself in worried tones kinda number. My first thought was that something had gone wrong with my infusion set. Had Charlotte given me an alarm that I hadn't noticed? No, no alarm. Well, let's try a correction and see what happens. I'll just check to see how much insulin Charlotte says is still in my system from breakfast--

Oh. Charlotte says there is no insulin in my system from breakfast. Well, that's just not possible. I took 8 units 2 hours ago, so there should be at least--

Oh. Charlotte says I didn't take 8 units 2 hours ago. She says I didn't take ANY units 2 hours ago.

She says, in fact, that I haven't taken any insulin (except my usual ongoing trickle) since last night.


I forgot my breakfast insulin.

Hello? Earth to Violet? How do you FORGET a life-sustaining drug?

Well, if it's in the form of a shot it's a lot harder. One tends to notice the whole stabbing-one's-abdomen thing, or the absence thereof. But with Charlotte all I have to do is push a few buttons. And in yesterday's oatmeal-induced bliss, I just never pushed em.

340, by the way, turned out to mean a day of nausea and sleepiness. Plus, not surprisingly, a rebound low when I overdid the correction...


  1. Don't kid yourself, Violet: I forget shots, too. Especially when the Disney videos are blaring, the water is running along with feet stomping REALLY LOUD upstairs, and I'm yelling: "No sitting in the garbage!!" Motherhood is harder to forget :)

    - Amy

  2. I've been pumping for almost two years, and I forget boluses once in a while.

    Of course, it doesnt' help that during the episode you can't see and you feel like a bitch.

  3. Thanks, guys. You know, almost every diabetic I've discussed this with has said they've forgotten at one time or another. Makes me feel blissfully normal.

  4. If your a shot taker you might just leave to go to work and realize that you forgot your insulin pen, and that your backup pen is not at work because last time you forgot you actually brought it home or you used it all up and forgot to replace. Thus begins a painfully sickening day of not eating, going to the bathroom every 10 minutes and the nauseating thought that you are doing some serious damage to your kidneys. I think you will find that even with a life long condition, things get in the way and you will fall out of routine without knowing it (actually the fact that you are so used to your routine, you will actually doubt that you even wavered from it in the first place).

  5. I've forgotten to bolus my son after he's eaten. It's usually when the kids are extra noisy and "active". The nice thing about the pump is that it's so convenient to give the dose you need when you've forgotten no matter where you are. Everytime I take my son to see the endo, she asks me how often I forget to dose. She forgets too...she's type 1 and on the pump. It happens to the best of them.