Monday, May 16, 2011

He's only thirteen, he's only thirteen...

He's only thirteen.
He's only thirteen.
He's only thirteen.

That is the mantra I was saying to myself on my drive to deliver insulin to my son at school first thing this morning. After recently bragging about his A1c, after talking to other parents about what was working to get my kid to take care of himself and be responsible, I am now back to the point of knowing why animals eat their young.

Today's drama began last night.  At 4am, I stumbled into my young son's room to test him. He was high.  I checked his pump.  He had 10 units of insulin left and was supposed to have changed his site earlier that day.  Gee, I guess I knew why he was high!  I grumbled and left the cartridge for him to fill up when he had his breakfast in the morning.

Breakfast arrived with its usual chaos.  I was cooking bread dough (toutons).  It is not the healthiest breakfast on the planet but a treat loved by our household. As I cooked, there were also dogs to be fed and my son's lunch to be made for the next day. When my own tea and toutons were done, long after my child had left for school, I remembered, "He didn't bolus his breakfast!"

Larry asked how I could know that.  I told him that with that breakfast he would have had to verify the carb count with me and he didn't.  I texted him and asked if he bolused.  No answer.  I called him.  This time I did hear from him. Nope, he had forgotten.  Ugh! I gave him a quick total and told him to bolus NOW!

A few minutes later I got a text from my son.  "I only have 2 units of insulin"
(Insert a lot of cussing under my breath) "I guess you didn't change your cartridge this morning before you went to school."
"I forgot"

(More swearing to myself as I headed to the shower).  What would he do if I were not able to just hop in the shower and run him up a full cartridge of insulin? He had two units and his breakfast required close to 12!! For petes sake! You would think after a day of alarms he would notice something like this! (insert a lot more cursing to myself and then add in the fighting back tears of frustration) When will he learn? Will he ever learn? Larry had said that I will still be asking him if he bolused when he is 35. I agreed and now wondered if he would still be forgetting everything like he does now?  We have been at this for over 11 years! When does it sink in?

And so the internal conversation continued as I got ready and drove to my child's school.  The closer I got to the school, the more I began saying "he is only 13.  He is only 13."  It was interupted by the "when will he ever learn? I brag about how much he has changed and how great he is doing and then this? He constantly forgets site changes and now no insulin despite repeated alarms??...He is only 13.  He is only 13. The mantra continued.

By the time I met him at the school I was a lot calmer than I had been but he was still very skiddish. I was waiting for him in the foyer. I could tell that he wanted to take the insulin and run.  No such luck! I sat him down and asked for his pump.  We were doing a site change right then and there as well as putting in the new cartridge and correcting.  He could not get away fast enough when I was done!

This evening when I picked him up after ball hockey, he immediately told me that he was "getting better at this diabetes stuff." 
How do you figure that one?
"Well last year I forgot insulin a lot of times, but its only been twice this year!"
And that makes things better how? You had 12 hours of alarms that you missed!

He continued to quietly stay in the backseat for fear that I may yet choose to eat my young.
Ah the joys of life with a teen with diabetes!


  1. You make me smile and cringe with anticipation all at once with these posts Barb. He sounds fantastic btw.

  2. First off, he is very lucky to have you. I know it can be upsetting, but he will learn. He will one day thank you for being there for him and helping him with his care. I wish I had someone there to remind me to bolus and I'm 22. :) We all need help and it sounds like you are doing a great job!