Blog Entries With Tag: holidays

Posted: Feb 16, 2014

I wrote this back on the 13th of February (no - not a Friday ) - my 2nd day of a 3 week holiday in the French Antilles (sailing for 2 weeks - 1 week on dry land).  Have a laugh NOT - especially if you've done a similar thing - but in my case - this was my FIRST time in all my years as a T1 diabetic (I was diagnosed in 1967).  Live and learn - right?  You'll find a link to Zouk music further down - which I found I quite liked.

It’s just after 22h00 and I was all set to go to bed after my basal shot of Levemir.  I’ve done something I’ve never ever done in my life as a diabetic.  I’ve read about it in forums.  I’ve helped people through their fear of what they’ve done - many of us have stayed up late in the night to help them thru' it.  Sadly, due to where I am in Le Marin, Martinique ... I’m stuck without access to high speed Wi-Fi – so unable to get onto FB to post in the appropriate groups – to have someone help me feel more at ease as I play this waiting game. 

I'm feeling very alone right now without my DOC (diabetic online community) and D-friends nearby to talk me through my fears.

What have I done you are wondering?

I’ve just injected my rapid insulin used for meals and corrections to my blood sugar aka bolus  – but it should have been my slow insulin injection aka basal.  Crikey – panic set into me at that point very quickly.   Why it did not dawn on me at the time I did this – as the needle seemed dull (it had been used all day to inject into the I-port for my bolus shots and was bent out shape) – is beyond my comprehension.  Double crikey!!!

Alot has to do with STRESS (you will see this word ALOT in this post) - being on holidays - different routine – which seems to be a thing for me as I become older (plucking my grey nostril hairs out).  Not like when I was younger – when travel was so exciting – and I didn’t seem to worry about diabetes the way I do now.

What stresses you are all saying?  .... "You’re on holidays - we aren't - quit complaining!!!!"   Well, one of them was getting in some of the provisions for the catamaran we are chartering  with some friends over the next few weeks in the French Antilles (the shopping market was so packed, itt was like people were preparing for a tropical storm).  Of course, it was a Friday, and people preparing for “les weekend”.  STRESSSSS – did I tell you that I’m not a big lover of crowds?   In my little brain I was playing Zouk music - to stay sane with getting around the cramped store with shelves fast emptying out.

Along with getting the car back to the rental agency before noon when they close (and sometimes they close before – things you learn about places you visit).   STRESS – if only we could have had a full 3 days rental (it was a total of 140 Euros – which to most North Americans – is ALOT of money – but then taxi fare from Fort du France for 30 km distance to Le Marin – is 60-90 Euros – so win-win situation for a car rental despite the return time). So, trying to get all we had to do before it was to be returned ... STRESS.

Top it with with trying to find a restaurant in Le Marin that night which realistically in the North America wouldn’t require 2 billion days advance for a reservation -  STRESS!! Yes, life in a foreign country can be fun sometimes that often differs from what we’re used to at home – but  ....

NOT as fun as when a diabetic injects with the frigging wrong kind of insulin!!! 


Alright – it’s only 4 units of insulin that I’ve injected – for some of you it doesn’t sound like alot – but I’m very insulin sensitive.  On average – I take about 25 units a day of insulin I use (when on the pump).   With the MDI method that I’m using while on holidays – I use less insulin – and average about a total of 5 units of rapid insulin for meals/corrections – with the rest being taken care of by a basal insulin of about 12-18 units a day depending on my activity, etc.    In my case, 1 unit of rapid insulin – takes me down 3.5 mmol/l or 63 mg/dl – and my reading of my blood sugar (BG) just before I decided to go to sleep was 7.4 / 133.  Except I still have 2 units of rapid insulin on board (IOB) – due to a pizza and a few sinful cookies that had high fat (yes - a no reservations place near our boat - thumbs up to Pizz'amis Martinique!!).  So who knows what will be in store for me over the next few hours.

Yes, I am staying fully awake – and I’m composing this #dblog for posting when I get back home in 3 weeks.  I’m Fing freaked out by this error.  Have not even fathomed if I should take my Levemir shot or not (as my DH was saying before headed off to bed – with an insulin pump this would never have happened – one insulin – no mix up with injecting with the incorrect insulin).  I now finally after almost 50 years of diabetes – know what some of you – who have done the same thing – feel like.  PANIC!!!

I’ve already consumed the breakfast guava juice (it’s about 30 grams of carbohydrates) – inhaled a few Dex 4’s  – I am playing a waiting game of making sure I don’t go into la la land – but hoping I eventually can get some sleep – since we have to move our bodies out of the quaint little hotel we’ve been at here in Le Marin.  Walk down the hill to the marina in the AM – with all the foods we aren’t having delivered to the boat (yuppers – found a good deal for someone to get some of the bulky stuff in for us instead of us heave hoeing it). 

So, if I can post this on without access to Facebook – this is what I’ll be doing.  If not – you’ll be reading this later on – when I have Wi-Fi access again – that is of better speed – and nodding your heads in agreement .... Been there done that ...

I hope to never EVER do this again – and will faithfully check the pen needle BEFORE proceeding with the dart board practise on my behind with my basal insulin.


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Tags: stress (2) NovoRapid (1) Levemir (1) pump (1) holidays (1) insulin (1) MDI (1) Dex4 (1) Martinique (1)
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Posted: Aug 31, 2013

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 (excerpt from my diary)

I’ve been on holidays, so not keeping record of my daily diabetes regime (what works / what doesn’t – the roller coaster ride of diabetes … right?).  I’m back home now – heading off on last bit of holidays for 1 more week after 2 weeks of sailing in the 1,000 Islands.  My next part of holidays – road trip (e.g. The Antidote in Northampton, MA – bit of a coastal break in a B&B). 

I experienced on the 2nd last day of my sailing adventures – something I’ve not had happen since I was in 12 or 13 years old (my memory of when this exactly is kind of not the greatest – I guess it’s one memory I like to forget about – as I’m not proud of it).  I had my 2nd DKA experience in my almost 50 years of having Type 1 diabetes.  The last time – it was a slow forming DKA – I kept on getting sick with “flu” – or so we all thought – remember – this was the days before BG meters and various insulin formulas better suited to each individual.  You had what you had back than (this is in the 70’s) – depending on your economic situation.  I also had been given the “golden key” by my parents at what some parents today would consider very young – to handle my diabetes on my own.  My parents “trusted” me that I took my insulin, tested my urine, was honest …. Hmmm – yeah sure.

So, all I know is, with that first DKA episode, I slammed myself into a coma. I have broken memories of being taken by car, whizzing along the highway, the lights blinking on/off (this was at night).  We all went, EVERYONE, to the ER.  After that, I don’t really remember too much, I was in/out of consciousness over the next few days – remembered the nurse trying to find a vein to hook me up to saline probably, and then there was the cute doctor.  How could a young teen not forget a cute doctor who was trying to figure out WTF this silly girl had done.  I’d actually been over almost a year – not been taking good care of my diabetes.  I wasn’t in denial – I’ll never really know what I was going thru’ –  I was just like any teen – just with a little health problem – that buggered things up. 

Now fast forward to 2013 … after a rather hectic sail in the “Forty Acres”  (we jibed – things got abit crazy in high winds, chopping waters, I was ready to divorce my sweet DH, yadda, yadda, yadda – it’s a normal thing I’ve been told amongst other women wives who sail with their bespoken).  We decided at that point – to tuck our tails in between our legs – and motor back to safe anchorage.  Let’s just say, I needed a stiff drink once we got settled off of Endymion Island.

Time to change infusion set just after dinner – and I was all set.   I’ve been using either the Inset II (preloaded plastic cannula unit – very easy to use) or during the silicone allergy I had with the Inset’s – the plain ol’ Contact Detach.   I chose the Inset II for a change of pace – and all went in well – until I tested just before bed time.  I was REALLY high – 18 mmol/l (324 mg/dl).   I’d not had anything unusual to eat, so wondered if perhaps stress from that day was causing it.  So, I did a correction bolus, and retested an hour later – and I was climbing up – I was now at 21 (378) – I felt around the area – it didn’t feel wet – which would have explained something was up.   Test for ketones – and of course – yuppers – beautiful deep purple!  My next step was to take a correction shot – with the fear of the previous correction bolus and the shot making me go low – into hypo fairy land.  I could see I was in for a long night.  Meanwhile, DH is snoring away at this point, oblivious to what I’m feeling (at that point – I was feeling abit sick, thirsty (drinking lots of water), just plain yucky).  Set alarm for 1 hour later to retest – tho’ of course – what diabetic can sleep when facing this?  Next BG test – reveals I’m creeping up to 25 (450).  At that point, I realise it’s got to be the infusion set, but before I can do anything – I started to have horrible cramps – so I rushed off to our head (very tiny little place – to do your business in – you can’t be too big living on a boat I’m telling you).  Then it’s woosh out the backside, and now I’m feeling REALLY bad, and memoires are starting to flood back from the 70’s.  Like WTF????  Then next second – I’m rapidly turning around in the head – knickers down at my knees (Knees up Mother Brown playing in my head).  

Praying to the Porcelain Goddess I was – and it really hit me hard at that point – that things were not good.   I started to call for my DH (not hard to do – the boat is only 30’ long by about 10’ wide).  Though at this point he point was waking up – knowing something wasn’t right.   Later on, he was telling me he was ready to call out Mayday – to get a port nearby us – prepared with an ambulance or helicopter to airlift me.  Now, is that movie material or what?

I can jest about it now, but as you can see in the picture below, the cannula NEVER entered the skin, it basically got trapped sideways into the adhesive tape.  What still gets to me this day – is why there was no occlusion alert from my pump – I would have thought it would have noticed a problem – and the other thing that still mystifies me – but not worth the bother anymore – why the areas wasn’t wet with insulin.

Check my blog at Blogger - where I'll have more detailed pictures - due to inability to make them any larger!

Many scenarios go thru’ a diabetics head when this happens – with high blood sugars – insulin gone bad – you name it.  There are a few scenarios that goes thru’ our head while we try to be calm and figure out what to do.  For some, you might have headed to ER, in my case, it was abit difficult.

Long story short – in went the Contact Detach – and slowly over about 48 hours – my BG came down – tho’ it took almost a full week to get fully “normal” again – my system was that screwed up by this f-up with the infusion mishap.

Last week when I got back home finally, I did call up Animas – to tell them of the experience – since I noticed when I decided to try the Inset again that there was a similar sound I remembered hearing when I was pulling back the Inset II that evening.  Part Two will reveal what this "sound" is - along with some tips from the Animas Technician – who is also on a pump like ourselves– and how to avoid this type of this type of ordeal – which hopefully will help others like yourselves if you’re ever in this situation.

I don't want any of you feeling this way the next day after a fun ... NOT  ... night of DKA ... 

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Tags: Animas (1) 1000 Islands (1) holidays (1) sailing (1) infusion (1) diabetic ketoacidosis (1) DKA (1)
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