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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Trusted too much

Scott Benner

I fell into the trap...  I ignored what I was told, only for a few hours but that was enough.  


My brother is home for the holidays and last night we went out to dinner to celebrate his last night with us.  Arden ate, I bolused and felt great about it because there was no spike visible on her CGM.  We went about our evening talking and just enjoyed the time together - it was a great evening!


Now it’s important to say that the food she ate would normally have caused a spike and that more often then not it would have required a maintenance bolus about 90 minutes after she finished eating.  About ninety minutes after dinner I asked Arden what her Dex said and she was slightly elevated with a horizontal arrow and she hadn’t heard a beep in hours.  I remember thinking that I must be getting better at estimating restaurant carbs and then she left to play with her brother.


Before bed I looked at her Dex and she was 150ish, which I was okay with because she has been dropping around midnight these last few nights.  Then I tested her and the number hit me like a cold glass of water to the face - 413.


I re-test and it came up again 400+.  Now I can feel my stress level growing and I’m normally pretty hard to rattle.  How long has she been this high I wonder.  I mumble, “been high for five hours I bet”.  Kelly asks me what I’m muttering and I respond in an unpleasant tone.  I’m angry now.  Angry at diabetes, at DexCom, at myself for thinking that I could enjoy a few hours with my brother.  I’m just pissed off.  During this mess Arden says, “I think I bumped my Dex a little while ago”.  “Poor kid, can’t graze the doorjamb in the car”, I think to myself - and that makes me even angrier.  


I take a deep breath, change her Dex transmitter, apologize to my wife for snapping at her and bolus for the high BG.  


It’s only a few hours and this certainly isn’t a cause for alarm, Arden is fine.  No ketones, no sick stomach she never really knew - but I know.  I can’t really ever shake the notion that I just cost her time from the end of her life.  I know that I can’t or rather shouldn’t think about all of this in that light but I just can’t help it.  I don’t have the same life that other people have, my daughter doesn’t, my son doesn’t, my wife doesn’t, we just don’t.  


The real bitch about type I is that when other people make a mistake raising their kids they don’t really know that they’ve messed up.  Saying the wrong thing to your ten year old that causes him to seek a therapist when he’s thirty is probably par for the parenting course but there isn’t meter with a test strip that tells you every few hours that you’ve fucked up.  When your son tells you that he’s not as happy as he could be twenty years from now you can bury your head in the sand and blame his girlfriend (that you knew was no good for him) and pretend that you were a perfect parent.  We can’t do that.  If Arden ever experiences a decrease in her vision, a failed kidney or any of the other side effects that come from having the inside of your veins, arteries and organs sandblasted, well, I’ll know that it was me.  I forgot, was too tired, mis-calculated, whatever the slip up, I did it.  I know that I’m only human and that I’ll make mistakes but boy does diabetes give you a lot of opportunities to make those mistakes.  Then just when I’m about to really feel bad for myself I remember that I’m actually good at this and then I feel ten times worse for the people who really struggle.


So in the spirit of the pursuit of transparency about type I diabetes, I give you this post.  Our technology failed, I failed, Arden paid, my relationship with my wife took some shrapnel... in short, my family lives with diabetes.



The following are archived comments from this post. You can post new comments below.

I'm not sure this helps, but I beat myself up about my own management all the time, too. But the silver lining of that self-abuse? Much like your realization that you're pretty good at what you do, it's the reason my last 2 A1c results have been under 6. It's not pretty, granted, but the insane standards we have for ourselves do have *some* payoff. And when Arden's old enough to be managing her own diabetes, she'll know how hard you worked and will be grateful for it.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 10:41 AM
I can so relate to this post. My son was 150 last night before bedtime but felt like he was dropping. He's pretty good at knowing how he feels since he's had the D-beast for 8 yrs (now 13y/o). He ate a few pieces of candy to stave off a low. I gave him 1 unit fast acting with his long lasting insulin in case he overcompensated. Then at 4 in the morning, he woke to 415. Yup, we both screwed up. I'm getting better at not beating myself up too bad, but I have the same concerns as you. How much will those accumulated 4-5 hours affect him over 40/50 years? In the meantime, I'd like more sleep. Didn't really sleep again from 4-6:15 when the alarm went off. Keeping it real....But, reading the adult DOC posts has made me less concerned - knowing they've faced the same challenges and they've made it through 40/50 years of living with the D!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 10:57 AM
After living with diabetes for nearly 25 years, I'm just now coming to the realization that we aren't meant to be a vital organ. For ourselves or anyone else. Because of that, stuff is going to happen. Like the fact that I forgot to bolus for dinner last night and my CGMS was off becuase it threw a Cal Error, so I spent about 4 hours without insulin before I realized it. :/ It happens. Don't be too hard on yourself.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 11:07 AM
Thank for all of the feedback!  Please don't worry about me... I don't take it so hard that I can't function, it just is, what it is... I try to speak plainly here on the site and to give a complete look at what it's like to live with type I - both the parts that others can see and the parts that go on at an emotional level. I want it known that it isn't just insulin and carb counting, type I sends every part of our existence a bit askew.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 01:12 PM
Sometimes it just gets to me this life that was chosen for us, and we live with on a daily basis. If you ask me my definition of normal the answer would probably shock most people but yet it is the reality that diabetes is, we just have to accept that and move on with our lives. I hope this incident was just that an incident...
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 02:53 PM
Thanks to all for the great comments!
Friday, January 7, 2011 - 07:03 PM
I've just come across your blog and you echo just how I feel.  I have 2 kids with Type 1 and although like you I feel I'm pretty good at this, I do sometimes get it wrong.  I, like you beat myself up all the time, but I guess it does make you strive for the best results possible.   Diabetes never takes time off, but neither does the love for our kids and so we battle on.

Sunday, February 6, 2011 - 05:03 AM