Newby with a lot to learn

My 24 yr old son walked into a walk in clinic last Saturday with a blood sugar level of 1202 and H1C (?) at 14.2. That is not a misprint. After 3 days in the hospital he went home with a new hobby and very little info from his resident DR. He is doing the 24 hour shot right now but doesn’t want to be handcuffed to a needle so we are going to check out a pump. By the looks of the “where are the pumpers” blog an overwhelming majority love to pump. He is very active, 1/2 marathons, exercising, backpacking, etc. we think the pump would fit his lifestyle better. Don’t know how much bcbs insurance will cover yet, but when it comes right down to it we’ll make it work. Do you have to keep the insulin cold all the time? That could be a problem on a 4 day backpacking trip. The pharmacist said that after he dispenses it keeping it cold isn’t an issue. He has to set up classes tomorrow (i hope) and I’m sure he will learn alot. He did work in a medically fragile home for 16 months and had a client with diabetes so this isn’t totally foreign to him. He is taking this very well considering it all, at least that is how it appears. He lives 300 miles away going to school which makes it hard but i did spend the first week with him, brought him home for the weekend and my wife took him back for his endo appointment. But as of tomorrow he’s on his own for a while, except for his girlfriend who was instrumental in getting the kid to go to the doctor in the first place, which is what he wants. Kind of hard on overprotective parents. So I’m glad I found this sight and I’m sure I’ll learn alot right here. Thanks for listening.

I am so glad you are here… Thank God he was willing to go to the doctor.

Making sure that he starts seeing an endocrinologist right away as well as being consistent with the diabetes education and following through with any treatment is of the essence.

I am the least expert here (maybe not the least, but I only have had diabetes for five years and been pumping since 2005), so I will defer to all the other members, specially because I’ve never personally had to deal with blood sugars at those levels.

In reply to your earlier question, H1C (actually it’s Hemoglobin A1C) is an indirect measure of the levels of blood sugar in the past three months (here is the Wikipedia definition). Normal levels are in the 5-7 range.

Let me finish by saying: welcome and bless you!

Welcome! Send him to us! I am new too, diagnosed a year ago at age 28. Anyone here would give him a phone number or answer his questions anytime - they have solved a lot of mysteries for me already.

Sorry to hear about your son’s diagnosis. My son, Riley, was diagnosed when he was 3. He is 5 now. He started on a pump 5 months after he was diagnosed and we love it.

To answer you question about insulin, insulin is supposed to be good for one month at room temperature from the time that it is open. I keep my son’s in the fridge all the time. Of course, being on a pump, it doesn’t matter, the insulin is with you all the time in it. You change your pump needle and insulin every three days.

But, while he’s still on shots if he goes hiking I’d recommend getting a bag such as a frio to keep his insulin cool. While insulin is good at room temp, it doesn’t like the heat very much and will break down and be less effective.

I’d also like to invite you to join the parents of kids with type 1 group (just click on groups above). Even though your son is older, I’m sure he’s still your baby.

I would suggest you urge him to join tudiabetes himself. It is a great resource for anyone newbie or not.

I’m so sorry your son had to go through this.

It is REALLY important that he do some studying about diabetes and blood sugar control. A pump is only helpful if you understand what it is you are trying to do with it. There are people with pumps who have wonderful blood sugar control and people with pumps who have terrible blood sugar control.

Knowledge about how our bodies work and what raises and lowers our blood sugar, which does take study and time is the tool that prepares us to live truly normal, complication free lives. If your son can take some time out of his busy life to learn how to carefully count the carbs in his food, and to learn how his own body responds to insulin and to various foods, he will have many more years to pursue all his interests.

There is no 'quick and easy way" though. And I know people who use shots who have better control than many people with pumps. It’s knowing what you are trying to do that makes the difference, not the tools you use.

Wishing him well!

After 3 days in the hospital he went home with a new hobby

I am sorry, I had to laugh at this. Sometimes I forget this is a disease and feel more like I am part of a strange club with weird hobbies. We’ve got our own gadgets, lingo, abbreviations. (BTW, I just got one of those Frios and they are cool, both figuratively and literally.)

Best of luck to your son. I know it must be hard for him to be so far away from you and dealing with this. Just remember, that this is his diabetes. I am so glad that my parents stepped back and let me take over the reins early (I was diagnosed at 11, and am 24 now) because when it came time for me to leave the nest, it wasn’t as big of a deal.

My opinion about folks with type 1diabetes is that, despite some basic truths, there are many ways that these folks (and their medical professionals) handle these disease. It can get confusing quickly. Manny’s words (“Making sure that he starts seeing an endocrinologist right away as well as being consistent with the diabetes education and following through with any treatment is of the essence.”) sound pretty good to me. They would allow someone to get up & running in some sensible manner.

I’m not sure what the right thing to say is, but you’ve found the right people. There are plenty of people on this site who can offer up information about life with diabetes. I’ve been a type 1 diabetic for over twenty years, diagnosed when I was six years old. I did injections for 17 years and have been pumping for the last 3 and a half years, so if there is anything I can help you guys out with, please let me know.

As far as sports go, I just came back from a white-water rafting trip and I am a bit of a workout freak, and my fiance is a personal trainer, so if there are specific questions your son has about working out with diabetes, I’d love to help. Also, if you are in the New England area, the Joslin Clinic in Boston is where I have been a patient for decades and they are terrific about pairing up doctors with patients. Check out their website at if you are looking for more info.

I’ve been blogging about diabetes, including plenty of stuff about sports and exercise, college life with diabetes, and other “real twenty somethings” stuff, over at If your son has a chance, I’d love to have him visit my blog.

Best of luck and I’m glad you’ve found these sites. The community here is wonderful and will really help you learn the ropes.

– Kerri.

And it is his diabetes.

I keep thinking about the time during a blizzard, a neighbor asked to give insulin to her diabetic dog. She would normally take the dog to the vet almost daily. I gave the dog its shot. I had given myself shots for years at that time. It was odd, because I couldn’t tell if I hurt the dog with shot. Maybe sometimes people who care for diabetes worry in ways like that.

The Frios are cool. I used one for while. I read as much as I could about the soldier in the US Army who was diagnosed with Type 1 while serving. After a lot of convincing of his superiors stateside that he could handle it and not be a liability, he went to Iraq to serve (as he wanted to do). One of his tools in that 120 deg environment was a Frio.

Hey Pat,
Welcome to the community! If you have anymore questions don’t be afraid to ask. I’ve dealt with this now for 34 years (took it at 10) and my oldest daughter has it too so I can kinda relate to you and yes I’m a very protecive mom. Sounds like you his mom and girlfriend are all looking out for him. Good Luck!

I hope things have been going well and hes been getting in the habit of good management the last few weeks.

1202, wow… I didn’t know they could measure that high! :-X

Welcome Pat!
You’re right:) You will find lots of support here. I don’t know much about pumping; but
others will be along to answer your questions. It sounds like he has great parents and
a neat girlfriend too. Hang in there and we’ll learn together.

I am 30 and found out I had Diabetes about 2 years ago. I went to the hospital having a miscariage because my sugar was 494. Its been 2 years and I sense had a baby girl. I have been told I was type 1, then Type 2 and now Type 1 again. Shots, pills, shots again. Last week They tested again and my h1c was 13.3. It sounds bad but I was relieved to hear about some one a bad as myself. It sounds like hes very active. I always wonder what the heck am I doing wrong. I hope the get everything under control quickly.

Insulin can stay out of the fridge if being used for 30 days. Most of the time insulin will last in the pump 2-3 days before you have to refill the resevoir. You can buy pump wallets from Frio that will help keep your insulin cool as well as coolers with the gel ice packs. Have hims check out the book Pumping Insulin by John Walsh. I just started on the pump and that book was a great help.

I am 54 and found out in 1997 that I had Type I diabetes. My son, now 35 was 16 when he was diagnosed and my daughter now 26 was 9 when diagnosed. We are all “pumpers”. We were all borderline “out of control” before pumping. I would say it saved our lives so, I would recommend, when ready to explore pumping options. 98% of everything involving type I is ATTITUDE! The rest is getting family and friends support as well as a good medical team. It sounds like he’s got everything going for him now and hopefully he’ll find a great Endo team to help. My suggestion at this point is just BE THERE and listen and be impressed with his new knowledge that he’s going to learn. GOOD LUCK and hollar if I can help.

Everyone has said it all…welcome, good luck, you are in the right place. As a parent, it must be tough for you, but he sounds like a motivated disciplined person (I know you are proud of him) and there are so many great resources, now. We’ll be thinking of you and your family.