Oops - mixed up my insulins!

Well, yesterday was my wedding anniversary to my lovely husband (note: we've been together for a hundred lifetimes, opted for a shot-gun wedding when we found out we were pregnant!), but I was not able to spend it celebrating with him as I was in the hospital - grrr.

I have been T1 on MDI for nearly 15 years and I had NEVER mixed up my insulins (I keep them separately out of fear) until last night; my BGs were slightly elevated so I needed to correct, it happened to be at the time I take my nightly does of Lantus, and it wasn't until I was done injecting that I realized, 'CRAP! That's a burgundy cap on that vial!' and into the bloodstream was 23 units of Humalog (more than I would take in almost 2 days).

So...what to do? Well, I hopped on to TuD and realized this has happened to plenty of folks before me and I read like mad; at the same time my husband was on the phone with Telehealth (with live in Ontario, Canada) trying to find out what their suggestions were (I do not have a Glucagon in the house, we have no medical coverage or income at the moment, and was unsure if you needed a prescription or not...still do not know the answer to that!). As usual, the suggested I go to the ER. Well, I had to cab it, because our toddler was asleep and my hubby needed to stay with him. Alas, I arrive, explain my situation, and the triage nurse rushes me into an ER exam room - they do all the initial stuff, it is a very fast and thorough 15 minutes - and there I stayed, checking my own BGs every 10-15 minutes, while a nurse would come and check every hour; my BGs were stable the entire time (I guzzled OJ and snacked as soon as I realized my mistake!) and after sitting there alone without seeing a doctor in over 4 hours, I was ready to go home. They did not feel this was a good idea, as they were worried I would spike (obvious event to have happen after such an error and no Lantus) and felt I should stay and go on another drip - no thanks, this is not how I envisioned my first night away from my wee one. Anyways, I asked to see the doctor, they told me it wold be hours, I told them it had been hours (and I'd managed pretty well on my own)...well, this is where it went down hill. The nurse informed me that I was in the ER and it isn't a fast process (duh!), she then told me that I would have to sign to leave against medical consent (all the while growing more pleasant and patronizing) and I said, thank you, that's what I would like to do - the situation was stressing me out which would also cause my BGs to rise - and then she implied I was unable to properly care for myself (she actually said, well why are you here? I said, because I mixed up my insulins; her response, well, see it is clear you are having trouble), and ferociously ripped out my IV line upon me signing the form to leave and told me to get out!

Anyways, after 5+ hours of self-care at the hospital I was finally home and in my bed, and able to wake up 2.5 hours later with my wee one (because that's all that matters!), with slightly elevated BGs.

Should there ever be a next time, I will think long and hard about going to the ER, because I honestly think it made things just that much worse!

Glad to hear that you're okay! Yes the insulin mix-up has the potential to be a bad situation, but it sounds like you handled it like a pro.
And sorry to hear about the crabby nurse :-/
Hope you're back to normal today following quite a restless night!

Ditto, Bec, very glad you're ok and so sorry you had that horrible ER experience. You handled it perfectly and it just goes to show how much better we are at handling our own D than the medical community...or at least some parts of it. Every hour! My guess is they had no clue what you were even talking about when you said "mixed my insulins".

Glad you're ok and back with your husband for a belated anniversary celebration!

Cheers Bradford - luckily my 2.5 hours of sleep was all I needed, followed by lots of couch cuddles this morning (even though the wee one was sound asleep he's been acting all day like he knows something was/is up!) and other than slightly elevated BGs, I'm as normal as I've ever been :)

Thank you Zoe - I said exactly that to my husband (good or bad management - mine has been mostly good - my 15 years as a diabetic counts for more than the 15 minutes in class the ER nurse took; not to discredit any of the medical community, but a disease as unique as this cannot truly be understood unless you are its bearer); I couldn't believe it, every hour! Now I'm home my fingers are badly (BADLY) bruised - hurts to type, turn doorknobs, check my BGs, inject - from their horrid machine (apparently mine was not trustworthy...as if I could fake a glucose reading??), but other than that glad to be back home :)

omg bec you poor thing, i swear ER docs have no clue about type 1 we had a similair case with me self managing jacob in the er with a stomach bug! the iv fluids and antinausea med really helped though! and yes i gave jacob novolog instead of lantus not once but twice, after speaking to the endo he had about 120 carbs and i checked him every hour of course we overdid but it was a scary thing. i only wake up in a panic thinking about did I ??? once in a while now since now he is on a pump! next time god forbid as long as you are not alone as you figured out the hard way you could manage it at home without the hassle! so sorry, i hope you got some rest and will celebrate your anniversery later, you are blessed to have a true soulmate for a hubby. better days ahead! amy

cheers, amy! i saw my endo 2 days after it happened and she was livid that the ER staff was the way the were and even more so when i told her the nurse was suggesting i had done it on purpose for attention - grrr. my endo told me i did the right thing leaving and suggested i con't to keep my insulins in different rooms, lol!

I'm starting to think that ERs kill people. You know a lot more about diabetes than they do so I'm glad you left.

Thanks for your support Kathyann; I'm glad I left, so was my GP and my ENDO when I told them.

Ugh - I did this exact same thing recently! Posted about it on my blog
I've been diabetic for 9 years and this was my first time too. Glad you came through it okay :)
It's quite reassuring knowing there are others out there that also make the same mistakes as you!

What concerns me too BEC , is that ER Staff may not have made contact with your Endo /GP ...those who know your diabetes history of 15 years ???

Ah ha, Nel - I promise you they NEVER made contact! I've seen my GP twice since the incident and she still doesn't even have the ER report. The worst part of it all is that the doctor never saw me, and the nurse(s) flitted in every 45-60 minutes. I should have stayed home, no thanks to Telehealth!

Indeed Shonelle! It is unfortunate that this should happen to anyone, but oddly a comfort to know that others (like ourselves) are human and human error does occur. I read your blog post; hope the exam went okay ;)

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning saying that medical errors are the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. Hospitals need to be approached with caution.

Thanks Bec!
I'm pretty new to TuDiabetes but whats kept me coming back is that there are others that understand Diabetes like we do!

Agreed ;)

I only discovered TuD at the beginning of the year; I find it useful in so many ways, but mostly, I take stock in the support and understanding that always seems to be here when you need it ;)