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? 😉