My new unpleasant word that drives me crazy is occlusion. Now, this word has several meanings but in my case it has to do with a blockage in my dear darling son’s insulin pump. Just a quick overview for those of who who have no clue what in the world I’m talking about. For people who are insulin dependent because of diabetes, namely Type 1, they may have the option to use a pump rather than shots. This has good and bad points but I feel the good outweighs the bad, at least in our case. Basically there is a pump with a cartridge of insulin connected by a hollow tubing to an infusion site with a small opening called a cannula under the skin. Normally you replace the cartridge, tubing and infusion site at the same time. A cartridge will last, on average, about 3 days. But dear darling son being a teenager and life being what it is, we had replaced his infusion site because it had become disconnected during the night the night before. I came home from work and my son handed me his pump and said “The cartridge is empty” Now, he knows how to refill the cartridge but if I’m around then I get called on to take care of it. Just like when he’s hungry, he knows how to make a sandwich or such but will ask me to do it instead. Yeah, he’s spoiled but that’s how it goes sometimes. So I decide to just refill the cartridge and change the rest later. Wrong! When you refill the cartridge, you have to prime the tubing. After changing out the cartridge the pump automatically prompts you to prime. I hit the button, wait for it to start and BAM! the alarm goes off. Display indicates occlusion. This can be from a bubble where the tubing meets the cartridge, a kink in the tubing or sometimes a problem with the cannula. The last thing I wanted was more frustration from this infuriating disease, but I disconnected the tubing, got a new one and restarted the priming. At this point I told my son we might as well change the infusion site. He resisted and I can’t blame him so I relented and said ok we’ll leave it. The priming finished and I handed the pump back to him. After he reconnected the tubing to the infusion site, you can just guess what happened—–BEEP alarm—-OCCLUSION! Yep, so that is my new unfavorite word! Diabetes is a close second.
Tag Archives: diabetes
Been absent for awhile but it couldn’t be helped! We have been on what seems like a long strange trip but in actuality it’s only been a week! Let me explain. We decided last year to put our dear darling son on an insulin pump for his Type 1 diabetes. Everyone says it’s the greatest thing and it makes life some much better. Well, I call Bullshit! What they don’t tell you, what would be considered the “rest of the story” is that in the beginning it can be pure hell and an absolutely roller coaster of a ride. Our son was well managed with the shots we have been doing for the past three years! I’m wondering now if we should have stuck with that method! I am having to get up at midnight and 3 am to check his blood sugar overnight. I never had to do that before! Needless to say with a full time job and the stress of this new experience, my nerves have been frazzled!! Thank goodness for classic rock played a high volume on my drive home!! 😉 so this is going to serve as a couple of Blog Share entries,! Hope you enjoy!
What I really want to scream out loud is…….if you are going to offer advice on diabetes care, KNOW THE DAMN DIFFERENCE!
There are two types of diabetes, Type 1, which used to be call juvenile diabetes, and Type 2 which used to be referred to as Adult Onset. The major difference is Type 1 comes from the pancreas shutting down and not producing insulin. Type 2 however is the bodies inability to use insulin properly. The pancreas still works but the body does not use or absorb the insulin correctly. That is why Type 2 can sometimes be controlled with diet and exercise. Type 1 however CANNOT be controlled. Insulin has to be given, either through a shot or a pump, into the body. You cannot reverse Type 1 and it cannot be controlled by diet. It doesn’t matter what you eat, your pancreas still is not producing the insulin your body needs to use the food correctly.
Let me go back and explain where this journey started. My dear darling son was diagnosed 3 years ago with Type 1 diabetes. We had no idea what was going on and this came completely out of left field. He was a normal, active 8 year old when he started drinking water constantly, wetting the bed on occasion and loosing weight. At first we didn’t realize anything was wrong. He was growing, he was almost 5 foot tall at the time and we at first thought he was just thinning out because he was getting taller. When dark rings started showing below his eyes, it was time to do something.
My hubby took him to his pediatrician since I was at work. I had taken him in a few months prior and he weighed around 100 lbs. They thought something was wrong with the scale when he got on. They re-calibrated it and even had him get on another scale. He was 86 lbs!!! (Wish I could loose weight that fast!) The doc took a urine sample and told hubby that he thought they were looking at diabetes. He sent them to one of our local hospitals so he could get a blood test and get results immediately. They had to drive past my work so they stopped in, told me what was going on and said they would stop by when they got done. It was close to lunchtime and it was Friday payday so we were going to go grab something when they got done.
When they returned to my job, hubby had already gotten a call from the doctor’s office instructing us to go to USF Diabetes Center in Tampa. We live about 2 hours from Tampa and with this being Friday afternoon, we asked if there was anyway we could call and schedule next week. We were told no, we need to go NOW, they were expecting us and realized it would be later that afternoon. I left work telling my boss I’d call him later.
By the time we got to Tampa, needless to say we were baffled and confused. Neither of us had had any dealings with diabetes and we had no idea what was going on!! We learned very quickly we had a sick little boy on our hands and we were probably within days of him becoming violently ill and rushed to the emergency room. That is where 80% of children are diagnosed!!! We were told if his blood sugar had gotten any higher (it was 647) he could have gone into a diabetic coma!!!! I had no idea what normal blood sugar readings were supposed to be and when they told my between 100-125, I nearly fell off my chair!!!
It has been an interesting trip these past couple of years, but thanks to the wonderful care he has received, he is doing wonderful! He handled all this like a trooper and I think he handled the news and all the instructions better than hubby and I did!!! When the nurse asked him if he understood what was going on and what we were all talking about, his response warmed my heart! He said, “Yep this is serious and we’ll just have to deal with it and do the best we can!”
So, back to the beginning of my rant. If you don’t know the difference, don’t offer advice from something you heard on the radio or saw on the internet!!!! There are so many bogus claims out there with claims of eliminating diabetes or reverse the dependence on insulin. Some of these snake oil, home remedy, voo-doo potions might work for Type 2 (but I wouldn’t count on it) but they absolutely will not work for Type 1. Untill they come up with a cure or can develop an artificial pancreas (both of which they are working hard on) insulin treatment is the only thing that is going to help someone who has bee diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic.
This has been my submission for “Finish the Sentence Friday! And I actually got it posted on Friday!!!! Yay me!!! I’ve been working on another Twisted Mix Tape but my video cable for the interweb got wrapped around my yardarm and I’m having a devil of a time putting videos in my post!!!
Enjoy your weekend and I hope everyone has smooth sailing, warm breezes and grand adventures!