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Diabetes Breaking Bad

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

Diabetes Breaking Bad

Scott Benner

I wrote about this the day after it happened a few months ago but haven't posted until now.

My story about last night begins one week prior... it is an epic opus that answers the age old question, "Will diabetes ever get easier".

My son Cole and I left for Virginia early last Friday morning to attend a four day baseball tournament. The ride took nearly six hours and the games began soon after we arrived. It was during that road trip that I first notice how different the weekend would be without Arden with me, you know, because when I got hungry and reached for a snack... I realized that I didn't pack any food for the trip. If Arden was with me – I would have had enough food to feed ten people.

The next thing I knew I was at a rest stop paying $400 for pretzels and an iced tea, it occurred to me as we checked out that this was the first time that I didn't experience any sort of separation anxiety about leaving Arden in another person's care. Don't get me wrong, my wife is an amazing D-Mom, but I still worry. You know what? It's not worry, it's more a feeling of shirking my responsibilities. This was the first time that I didn't feel like I was passing off my responsibility, it was the first time I didn't feel guilty. "Maybe", I thought, "maybe diabetes is getting easier?".

Kelly and I spoke once during the four day trip (Cole's team came in second place!) about diabetes, Kelly was handling things perfectly and really just needed help deciding if a high BG she was battling with was food or pump related. When she called, I felt like a consultant.

When we returned home Monday night it was almost eight in the evening, thirty minutes later Kelly and Arden arrived at the house from Arden's softball practice. Kelly promptly packed a suitcase and left for a three day business trip. We almost didn't see each other except to pass on the details of Arden's BGs. 

The next morning I was unprepared for reality and still pretty tired from all of the driving I did on Interstate 95 so I took the kids to a morning movie. We sat down with a little popcorn, ready to enjoy the show. Then things broke bad...

Arden's insulin pump experienced an error and shut down about half way through delivering her popcorn bolus. I took a deeeeeep breath and said, "No big deal, just eat a little less popcorn and I'll keep an eye on you BG with the DexCom receiver". I remember thinking that we could stay for the movie and Arden could snack a little. I didn't want to drag everyone out of the theater and back home. Arden looked disappointed to begin with (and hungry) and she had brought a friend with her. Lots to consider. I reached into her bag for the DexCom receiver, and it never ceases to amaze me when this happens but, it also was having trouble operating.

I'm not going to lie, I recited a string of extremely offensive curse words to myself as I looked down at those tiny, glowing and useless screen.

Arden looked mortified and asked, "We have to leave, right?". I replied, "No way! I want to see the dragon movie, we are staying... just eat the popcorn really slow – like one piece at a time. I know that sucks but its better than leaving, we can go home after and take care of all this".

And that's what we did. Then we went straight home put on a new pump, changed the pesky CGM sensor and bolused like there was no tomorrow. Arden's BG was back to normal again in a couple of hours. 

The next few days haven't gone much better. We have a couple of overused sites that need a break, sensors haven't been giving the best feedback and when I finish writing I have to call Insulet because Arden's PDM is causing her Pods to error every time I change the batteries. But none of those annoyances can hold a candle to last night.

Last night was one of the longest diabetes nights that I have ever lived through. Unexpectedly high numbers led to blousing that didn't accomplish much. Those boluses led to an injection, that led to a pod change and more bolusing... I didn't close my eyes at 6:30 am. It was the first time that I was glad that I missed 'Breaking Bad' when it was first on television because no show makes you not care how exhausted you are quite like 'Breaking Bad'.

Kelly is still away for work so the last I did before watching the sun come up was to send my son a text that read,

"Cole. Arden's BG was tough last night. I didn't go to sleep until after 6:30am. Please watch her CGM and wake me if you need to. Don't let me sleep past 11:30. Thanks!"

These last few days have been as unpredictable and taxing as I can recall and I'm fine. I didn't make myself nuts when I left Arden last week, I didn't overreact when shit went wrong, never felt scared at the theater or when I woke up this morning. It's just another day at the office but not because diabetes gets easier, it never gets easier – you just get much better at it (which is kind of the same thing but, you know, different).