Nightmare travel FAIL

Today was the day Eric and I were going to have our special outing to LegoLand, which was a way of making up to him the fact he couldn't go to camp with his brother and cousins.

The trip was an unmitigated disaster.

In an epic Mom fail, we wound up 120 miles from home with absolutely NO INSULIN, because Eric took his pump off without telling me and I did not discover this until we stopped for gas in Malden, MA — and I had STUPIDLY decided I did not need to bring the spare insulin vial because "if I need to give him a shot, I'll just take it from his [newly filled] pump reservoir."

That sound you hear is me, whacking my head repeatedly against my desktop. After 6 years with this damned disease, you would THINK I WOULD KNOW BETTER.

So there I am, at 9:15 a.m., patting myself on the back for being so early and missing all the traffic… and at 9:20 I'm desperately searching for the nearest ER to get some insulin in the boy, because his blood sugar is over 450 and rising.

Moment of absurdity: I went to the place that had been a hospital with an ER when I lived down in Massachusetts 8 years ago, only to find it was under construction. I was panicking, pummeling my brain to think where the next-nearest hospital was, when I spied the union-required State Trooper sitting alongside the construction site. I pulled over and told him I needed to know where the nearest ER was and explained why. "Do you need an ambulance?" he asked. "No, I just need an ER with a doctor who can give the boy some insulin." The statie must have been bored spitless because his next move was to hop in the car, turn on his lights, and lead me to the ER — not at top speed, certainly, but fast enough to make even the Mass drivers think twice about impeding him (and me, following in his wake). So Eric managed to get himself a police escort... although I'm not sure he noticed, since he never looked up from his movie the whole time.

And did Eric get any insulin when we arrived at Melrose Wakefield hospital at 9:30 and told them what the problem was?

No. Of course not. FIRST they had to putz around trying to decide if they should draw blood from him or not. [Um, actually, just stick his finger and I can tell you how much insulin to give him.]

THEN they wanted to put him on an IV in case his fluids were low. [Yeah, they probably are, but if you'll JUST GIVE HIM SOME INSULIN…]

Then the earnest, well-meaning, but not terribly well informed PA wanted me to promise her I'd take him straight home after treating, with hints about the possibility of DKA. I smiled at her and said, "Once he gets the Lantus in him, he's not going to get DKA. We're only down here for a few more hours at best, and the Lantus is good for 24." She argued with me. ME. "I wrote a book on this subject with his endocrinologist," I said. She ignored me. Oy. [HONEY, PLEASE — JUST GIVE THE BOY SOME INSULIN.]

All told, it was 11:45 — nearly TWO AND A HALF HOURS AFTER WE ARRIVED — before someone actually came and said, "So, uh, how much insulin should we give him?" Once dosed, they made us wait 30 minutes to make sure it was working, and viola — he'd dropped 120 points in 30 minutes JUST AS I HAD TOLD THEM HE WOULD.

We finally made it to LegoLand at 1:30. We were out of there by 3:00. I gave Eric $100 worth of Legos just for being such a good sport about the blood draws.


Instead of whacking your head against your desktop, maybe a couple of whacks across Eric's butt for taking off his pump...

To paraphrase Art Linkletter, "Kids do the darndest things". Hopefully you used this opportunity to educate him about the importance of good communication.

hi Elizabeth, omg what a nightmare, that you handled the best you could, being in southern mass I could of met you 1/2 way with a bottle on insulin and a pod and saved you the trouble! as the others suggest I hope that eric realized the consequences of his actions, he by no means is the captain of his diabetic ship at this point but he is definitely a very important crew member!!! when we go away for a day or even if Jacob is going to a friends house I always slip an insulin bottle wrapped in tissues in his pdm case. but we all falter in our judgement at times the best thing is to learn and move on! one night a year or two ago, Jacob had a pod error at that time an issue in it self for him, ( he rolls with things so much better now :) ) I went to grab a bottle of insulin to change him out and no insulin in the cupboard!!! I did not grab the last bottle!! so I called a friend with a diabetic child but he used a different insulin knowing what I know now I know it wouldn't make a different but I called the local pharmacy ( we usually use express scripts) this was like 830 on a sunday night, finally after begging and pleading that my son would die the pharmacist asked me to bring a recent order with his type of insulin on it and he would front me a bottle!!!! needless to say Jacob, my husband and of course I was very upset, one of our worst nights aside from when I gave him novolog instead of lantus at bedtime and had to feed him Halloween candy and check him all night ok there are my true confessions!! we all make mistakes. the important thing was is was resolved and eric got his legos, and I am sure lots of hugs last night as you looked into those devilish eyes of his lol! let this incident go and replace it with lots of love and relief that all is well. xoxo amy

Actually if you're used to the fast-acting in a pump - you would be surprised how slow Lantus is to start its action.

I would never ever consider going to ER in similar situation. Would either go back home to get my stuff, or walk into any pharmacy and get regular insulin over the counter.

If I had been any closer than 2 hours, and if I hadn't been determined that he'd get there in the end, I would've. And if I'd had access to the internet, I'd have tried to crowdsource some insulin via TuD. And if I had had the correct phone number for the friend I was meeting, who is also diabetic and who (as I found out once I sent my apology/explanation for why we missed each other) uses Humalog pens, the ER could've been avoided. But ultimately... if I had GRABBED THE G--D--- VIAL IN THE FIRST PLACE, none of those "ifs" would have been an issue.

Eric is usually very reliable about his pump, and I have grown accustomed to him getting it on and off on his own... but he IS only 7, and it IS LegoLand, and I really should have understood that the last thing on his mind was diabetes. Because LEGOS. (And, I have to admit, there was a certain amount of that in my head, too.)

Diabetes doesn't have to come first all the time, but it DOES have to be on the ship, no matter where you go. I've been getting complacent. It was a kick in the butt I suppose I must have needed.

You... can buy insulin without a script? Over the counter? I thought you had to have a prescription.


Ah, Amy. I did that too, in the early days when Eric was still on shots. I think I gave Lantus at the Humalog dose, when meant he got about 4 times the amount of Lantus he should've, and we did the round-the-clock juice-and-check thing, too. Boy was he mad when I kept waking him up. But by the 3d check, he stopped even waking up, he'd just stick his finger out for the poke and if I stuck a straw in his mouth, he'd suck the juice down. He still does that today -- never even opens his eyes.

I've come up with about half a dozen things I should've done instead of go to the ER, believe me. Starting with calling the clinic and having them just call in a vial of Humalog at the Malden CVS. Would have been a heck of a lot quicker. I think I just panicked, a little.

Best part: by the time we left LegoLand, he was at 99. I gave him a snack and we headed home, and by the time we reached the Maine border, he was 100 -- the Humalog had peaked just when I fed him the snack, so if he hadn't gotten it he'd have gone low, and that was how I'd planned it. We did have a low overnight, but again, knowing the activity profile of Lantus, I got up to check him at 1 and 2:30 and caught it.

chalk it up as another diabetes 'adventure' I think you did the right thing going to the er with his blood sugar creeping that high he needed something soon! good work mom catching that low, I might not of thought of the lantus on board plus he was probably pretty active at lego land, where is lego land anyways?? my boys have out grown it but would of loved going when they were younger. you may be on to something about being too complacent the universe has a way of talking to us and waking us up! I guess that was yours! hoping for a smoother stretch and a happy start to the new school year. Jacob got his drivers permit today funny how everyone gets so nervous about their child driving, my response is I have done my worrying over his D this is nothing and Jacob is super cautious I know he will be a better driver than me, hence he needs to get the a ok from dad before I will drive with him at any length!! best wishes and please don't be so hard on yourself, we all have a story again this was a wake up call for you and also for eric! amy

LegoLand is in Somerville MA. It just opened in May at the Assembly Square Mall -- I was blown away when I saw all the changes there, when I lived in the area, Assembly Square Mall was a ratty, dying hole that few people went to. Now it's an incredibly beautiful pedestrian-friendly retail center with all kinds of nice shops, including LegoLand.

That little "adventure" taught us both something, because Eric has become very conscientious about his pump all of a sudden. Now, when he takes it off to put on his clothes, instead of putting it on his bed or his dresser, he brings it to me and places it in my hands, and if I don't put it back on him right away after he gets dressed, he bugs me. "MOM! You forgot my PUMP!" So I guess the message was received on both fronts :)