The good news is that after the insulin/ketone disaster of Thursday, both mother and son are still alive. It took close to twelve hours for my son to come back to himself. He spent the whole afternoon on the couch and slept for close to five hours. During the entire time I was testing, checking for ketones and administering more insulin. As he blood glucose levels began to drop but ketones stubbornly hung on, I was beginning to get a little nervous when I was giving him more insulin but thankfully Mom got it right.
By the time the evening arrived, my son was adamant that he did not want this to happen to him again. He swore that he would listen to alarms. He would never allow his cartridge volume to go down to zero again. I knew that those were all of the words that I wanted to hear but also knew that he was a young man with swiss cheese for a mind at the moment. I prayed that this time what had happened would truly break through and hit his grey matter. This time he really would learn from what had been a life-threatening situation.
Saturday he headed over to his father's once again. I had him check his cartridge before he went out the door. He had more than enough insulin to last him the weekend. I told him that when he came home he was to change it right away...or as soon as it alarmed.
Sunday came. He came home and after a few hours the low cartridge alarm sounded. I waited to see what he would do. Sadly I was not disappointed...he simply turned it off. I asked what the alarm was. He said it was a low cartridge but he was going to shower in a few minutes. He would then change his site and his cartridge at the same time. Again I waited. He showered. He headed off to do his homework. I reminded him of what had happened on Thursday. I was adamant. He was sitting down and dealing with this now before it was forgotten. He sat down and got the site changed and cartridge put in. I could breathe again for a few days.
Today I asked to see his pump. I wanted to know exactly how long he had been without insulin. How quickly did my child's condition escalate to DKA? I scrolled through the history and was surprised to find out that he had a low battery that day as well. He ignored the battery and the insulin cartridge alarms. By midnight Wednesday his pump shutdown and the household slept through the sirening of the pump. I was in shock. As the numbness set in, I realized that I should not be surprised. Both father and son can sleep through a fire alarm. Nothing wakes them up...not even a pump that is shutting off. This left me terrified.
He went eight hours with no insulin. No one noticed that the pump was completely shut off. No battery was changed. Nothing was done until he walked through the door at my house on Thursday morning....and was terribly sick.
My son looked at me and swore that he had learned his lesson. He repeated that he did not want to go through Thursday ever again. He said that he would pay attention to his alarms. I reminded him that on Sunday he had done just the opposite. He had turned off the alarm and quickly been sidetracked. He said that he was going to change. For his sake I am praying that he does. Mom is going to stay very, very on top of this for awhile yet though.