Epic fail

So I had what I would consider an epic diabetes fail on Friday.  And I consider it an epic fail because it was 100% avoidable.   #mybad

My husband (D), and my son (A) went to a local zip line and ropes course on Friday to celebrate the last Friday the three of us could hang out before A goes back to school.  We were so excited about our adventure!

We get to the first obstacle, and apparently I had forgotten that I have diabetes.  Because that’s when I realized, after we’d walked all the way into the wooded area, that I had no CGM on (couldn’t have my phone, so I couldn’t have seen the numbers anyway) and I didn’t bring any glucose tablets with me.  #failnumberone So my hubby ran all the way back to the car to get my tablets – just in case.    At this point I decided I would suspend my pump periodically to avoid lows. We would be climbing and doing all kinds of physical activities for 3-4 hours so my thought process was I’d rather run a little on the high end instead of going low.

So we proceed on to the first obstacle.  I soon realize that the harness I’m wearing is pushing on my infusion site that was in my lower abdomen (poor planning on that placement, too. #failnumbertwo). But each time we were ready to zip line, which was the only time it actually pushed on the site, I readjusted the harness, even though I couldn’t see my site without pulling my shirt out.  I felt it periodically and it felt ok even though it was getting a little sore.  So I continued on.

About 3 hours into our fun, I started to feel really bad.  Light headed.  So thirsty.  Tired.  I kept chugging water at every pit stop we came upon.  (see where I’m going with this, don’t you?) Yet I still felt sluggish and just not right. I wasn’t sure if I was low (not likely, but could be) but chalked it up to being overheated. So I asked the instructor if I could throw in the towel and just walk alongside her as D and A finished up the course.  She said this was the one station that you can’t skip because even the instructors have to zip to the next obstacle – and the only way through it is to climb up the tree and finish this set of ropes courses, then zip to the next one… OR the other option was to walk around the park, around the lake, and meet them at the next station.  Something in my gut was telling me not to climb back up into the trees, even though the thought of walking that far was not appealing, either.

So I listened to my gut and gave her my harness and followed her directions to turn left here and there and go around the lake, take another left, etc.  That little jaunt ended up being close to 2 miles. Yikes.  Not pleasant because most of it was not shaded and it was H-O-T that day but I still believe it was a better option than climbing in the trees.  At this point I also had left my meter in the car because I didn’t have anywhere to carry it on me (#failnumberthree) so I felt lost as I was walking, having NO idea what my blood sugar was. Was I feeling this way because I was too low?  Had no idea at this point.  Opted not to pull out the glucose tablets in my pocket just yet.

I start walking and finally looked at my infusion site – and saw that it was no longer attached to me.  Oops.  I had no idea how long I had been unattached to my insulin supply now.  Was it an hour?  3 hours? I did not know.  (#failnumberfour)  Then I started to feel anxious about all these unknowns and feeling even worse.

Get almost all the way past the lake and feel a sudden urge to go potty – like one of those “I’m not gonna make it” urges.  And I look up ahead and lo and behold I see a bathroom. It must have been one of those moments like you see on TV when you’re in a desert and all of a sudden you see a pond of water.  I literally started running.   Made it to the bathroom just in time and then got back on my trail.   Found D and A and the instructor and stood below taking pictures and videos of them finishing the course.  They were doing great!

Part of me hated that I had to quit before I finished – I didn’t want to set a bad example for A. But I also knew I had to listen to my body.  And I’m so thankful I did.

They finish up, we go turn in the rest of our gear, drink some cold water, then make it to the car to finally check my blood sugar.   My meter read “HI”.  Oops.  That means I was over 500 but no idea how high or if I was still going higher.  I felt really bad by this point and told D we needed to hurry up and get home.  Got home, gave myself an injection old-school with a syringe and then felt sick to my stomach.  This is not going well at all at this point.  D had to leave to pick up our 2 kids in daycare so A kept checking on me (bless his heart!). All I could do was sit on the cold tile floor in front of the toilet.  I also finally checked my ketones and it was moderate.  *sigh*   While D was gone, I did end up throwing up – a lot.   Combined with the ketones I was sure I was headed into DKA.  And was so angry at myself – this was all.my.fault and could have so easily been avoided if I’d just been more responsible.  I know better!

By the time D got home with the boys, I was still sitting on the bathroom floor and hated that they saw me like that.   But they all gave me my space, I cleaned myself up, put my pump back on and then drank a crap ton of water.

I don’t know how- but my ketones started coming down, as did my blood sugar.  Within a couple of hours I was hungry and was able to eat dinner. And other than feeling like I’d been hit by a truck, I was perfectly “fine” again.  Other than my incredibly bruised ego.

So many lessons learned that day.   So many emotions that day.   I don’t want my family to see me as weak.   But I’ve talked with A and explained that mommy made some bad choices where my diabetes was concerned, and that’s why I got so sick. And let him know how proud I was of him for finishing the ENTIRE course.    And reassured him that I can do anything, even though I have diabetes, I just have to plan a little more/better.

What’s done is done, and all I can do at this point is look at it as a learning opportunity and as a lesson learned (ok many lessons.)   Knowing how badly this could have been, I’m incredibly thankful that I got past it without ending up in DKA, and that I was able to turn it around as quickly as I did.

But outside of diabetes being a jerk, we did have a great time challenging ourselves, and making memories with A! 🙂

Go Ape

About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 21 years; most recently on the Medtronic pump and Dexcom CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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2 Responses to Epic fail

  1. Karen says:

    Oh Shannon. None of this was your fault. It was all diabetes fault. None of what we have to do is natural. And you couldn’t have your supplies. And you had no way of knowing the harness would be where your site was and pulled it out. Not your fault at all.

  2. Rick Phillips says:

    I pulled my site once and had a very similar experience, not with the harness, but with a rather angry seat belt. I believe that angry belts, harnesses, and door knobs should be banned. In fact, as ruler of my world, I decree all such devices are hereby banned.

    Unforutnatley, I suspect much more are in training.

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