Last October, when John was first diagnosed with congestive heart failure and also pronounced a newly diagnosed diabetic, we were managing all kinds of shit you can’t even imagine. Nothing was just “cut and dried”, simple. So many problems and so many issues. Feet and legs swelling, blood sugar levels, trouble breathing, coughing, constant running nose, sleep apnea, amazingly severe stomach aches, etc.
It was very touch and go for a good while there and finally it looked as if he was out of the woods and was definitely going to live.
He was in the hospital for a rock solid month. Of course I was too and the girls and my SIL were left with patching together a way to take care of Henrietta.
I suppose I should point out to any new readers that Henrietta was my MIL who lived with us and is now deceased. She was wheelchair bound and incontinent, and requiring of much care.
When John was admitted to the hospital and the diabetes was discovered, his blood sugar was 566. Normal is between 100 and 130ish. (At least that’s what we’re supposed to be shooting for.) So he was immediately shot with insulin. His blood sugar was taken 4 times a day and he was given insulin. Every. Single. Time.
I am watching all this and they show me how to do it and I know I will have no problems with it. I give my dogs all their shots, (except rabies which has to be given by the vet due to state regulations). Anyway, I am just not a squeamish person.
So I begin giving his his injections in the hospital when they brought them in and on it went from there.
Once we got home and settled into a routine I got John to give himself a few of them and he saw how easy it is. He just really would rather I did it. And still does.
Now he was out of work for 3 months and was a little bit of a nervous wreck about going back. I mean he was eager and all, just really worried about whether or not he could do it. He was way too thin and super weak compared to his old self. You would be surprised at the durability a grocery store manager has to have. So, by the time he convinced his doctors to release him to go back to work, we have been doing this insulin injection thing for a good long while.
Simple. Check it 3 times during the day and give meds, (Novolog), according to what the blood sugar level is.
Then take it at night and give the night time dose of the other kind of insulin that works when you are fasting. As in overnight. (Lantus)
We had it DOWN, baby
The Novolog, (remember-daytime) I only gave him 6 units, three times a day.
The Lantus, (overnight) he was supposed to always get 30 units.
Two very different medicines to do the same thing, yet requiring VERY different doses.
So the morning of John’s first day back at work dawns and I am up with him helping him get ready mostly because I know how nervous he is. It has been, after all, three months. He is given all kinds of love and support from the girls as well and we are all in close to the back door with him when we realize he hasn’t had his insulin yet! I run to the fridge and grab the correct insulin pen, dial it to the amount I am going to give him, poke it into his stomach and push the plunger.
Now as the plunger on an insulin pen depresses it clicks once for every unit being given. There is a vast lot of difference between 8 clicks or units and 30.
John’s head snapped up as my eyes became large and roundish. We stood staring at each other for a minute with me thinking something along the lines of, “How can I suck it back out?!”. I pulled the needle out and he said, “How many units did you just give me?”.
And I replied, “Thirty?”.
So immediately I am scrambling for Twinkies and ice cream cups, potato chips and even thought about offering him a beer.
Right… Before work.
It was not a pretty picture. He was fighting crashing all day. And I was at home crying all day. I felt SO awful.
He texted me about noon saying that he was doing OK and had consumed his weight in carbs trying to stay upright.
That day, his first day to go back to work, was the only time I have messed up with the insulin and honestly, his diabetes is such a non-issue now that he only gets insulin about once every couple of months.
Do you think he’d ever let me forget that though? 😉
Comment by Kristina P. on August 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm
Never. But it is an easy mistake!
Comment by Kathy on August 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm
It was lucky you realized it!
My dad has been diabetic for 20+ years and has been on insulin for a few years now. He’s had it under control (And takes the insulin from a little bottle, not like the ones you have) but for some reason in May/June the insulin became too much. We woke up at 6 in the morning with my mom yelling that he was not responsive. It looked like he had had a stroke (which is what his mom and sister died of). We called 911 and the paramedics thought the same thing. Luckily one of them figured out to ask if he was diabetic. His blood sugar was 44!
Unfortunately his doctor did a crap ass job and the next day we had to call again and again his BS was 55 (or so). AGAIN his doctor failed and a week or two later we had to call 911 AGAIN and his BS was in the 40’s. They couldn’t believe that he wasn’t in a coma at that point.
Now he’s fine after cutting his insulin in half (or more!).
Anyway, good luck!
Comment by Jean M. on August 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm
This sounds so familiar with my hubs as in almost killing him but not with insulin.
He was choking on a bite of steak literally and I tried doing the Heimlich and it was a no go as he was much larger. I kept asking him what he wanted me to do (which is kind of hard when a person is choking and can’t speak) he finally got enough breath to tell me to call 911. At this point I’m downstairs, he’s upstairs and the 911 dispatcher is asking me if he’s still conscious, yes I admit to yelling upstairs “are you still conscious?” at that point he was able to dislodge it and lived to tell the tale. …yeah he NEVER lets me forget that one.
Comment by DeNae on August 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm
OMG, Krissa!! I would have gone to work with him; I’m not even kidding. I’d have been a complete wreck – and a total hag to anyone who made any demands on him until the crisis passed!
Comment by Jenna @ Newlyweds on August 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm
So glad it turned out ok, very scary. My FIL has diabetes and it’s easy to mess it up. So glad he is doing so much better.
Comment by noe noe girl on August 25, 2010 at 6:51 am
Holy Crap! I know I would have died!
Comment by Red Hamster on August 27, 2010 at 7:02 am
Holy Hamsters! On John’s first day back at work??!! John is really a super husband to not have Killed you for that. 😀
Maybe the thought of you giving him more insulin injections scared John enough to keep his blood sugar straight from now on, so he rarely needs injections. Really, I’m glad John is doing well…and I’m sure he’s glad too.
Comment by big hair envy on August 27, 2010 at 10:38 am
Poor thing! (Both of you!!) Well, all I can say now is that John looks MAH-velous!!! I’m still “squeeing” over meeting you guys!!!
Comment by Roger on August 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm
Wow! That must have been nerve-wracking to think that you just got him out of the hospital and all, only to almost send him back! Glad that everything worked out okay though and I’m sure John will forgive you, eventually. 😉
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