Crisis! (Averted)


That text arrived around 11:30 the other morning.

Having a 16 year old girl, lots of possibilities came to mind. Forgotten clarinet on a band day, wardrobe malfunction, unexpected test? Turns out it was a diabetes crisis.

'I bolused 10.8 for lunch then 2 more for muffins so then I looked at Dexi and I was skyrocketing and then I looked at history to see if I had bolused and I only saw the 2 units so then I bolused 8.8 more ahhhhh'

So, I confirmed with her via text, she had bolused 8.8 units of insulin with no matching food? She had forgotten that she had bolused for the main part of her lunch, panicked at the rapidly rising blood sugar, and therefore given insulin for it twice?


While she freaked out, knowing that an overdose of insulin had the potential to be catastrophic, I trusted that her friends would take care of her mental health while I focused on how to fix the problem.

'What's the current insulin to carb ratio?'


If 1 unit of insulin covers 8 carbs, I reasoned, then 8 units covers 64 carbs, 9 units covers 72 carbs- essentially reverse-engineering of the math to figure out a game plan. She would need to consume some serious carbs to balance out the equation.

'I'm currently eating a tootsie roll pop which is 15 carbs.' (There's a teacher who sells these, essentially at cost, in his classroom...a little mysterious but very helpful at that particular moment.)
'And then I need how many more? Math for me.'

I'll spare you some details, but because to it turned out she was, indeed, skyrocketing we decided that the tootsie pop, one juice box and the pretzels which were to be her snack after school before play rehearsal would be a sufficient start as long as she kept a close eye on the Dexcom. It was a total of about 50 carbs.

It worked out pretty well. At the two hour mark from the error, she was about 150 and continued a slow downward trajectory during play rehearsal but was over 100 when she got home- hungry because she'd eaten her afternoon snack at 11:30 a.m.

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