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Listen to an excerpt from The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom: Real Life Stories of Raising a Child With Type 1 Diabetes!

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This chapter is all about using social media to thrive with type 1 diabetes. But of course, it’s also about the many mistakes Stacey has made along this way. Hear the story of how she bolused her purse, instead of her child.

Read the transcript below

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Transcript of the excerpt:

“I think there’s an argument to be made that we can get more out of social media when we share our mistakes and worries than when we only post when things are going “right.” I know a lot of people love to share straight CGM lines and big and small victories, and that’s great. I love to celebrate along with you! But over the years, I find I have more of an impact and get more support when I pull the curtain back and show what’s not going right for us.

The first time I realized this was a scorching summer Saturday in 2010. Benny had just finished Kindergarten and Lea, 4th grade.  It was 101 degrees in Charlotte. I took the kids out to and then to a nearby splash pad. It was exactly what we needed and we spent the afternoon inside at home, trying to beat the heat.

The afternoon blood sugar check was a shocker: 500 BG. Big bolus, but an hour later Benny said he didn’t feel well. At this check we got HIGH GLUCOSE! No ketones, thankfully, but something was very wrong. The meter remote was across the room, so I asked Benny to take his pump out of the pouch he wears around his waist. That’s when the problem became very clear. He had no pump to take out. Uh oh.

Even though the pump we used was waterproof, we usually took it off when Benny was in or around water. It wasn’t the rough play – the insets stayed on just fine for that kind of thing and the pump is durable. But Benny usually went low during swimming and taking the pump off helped keep him steady.

Note: this definitely depends on the person. As Benny gets older and bigger, the energy he uses for swimming and water play has changed. When you think about a 5 year old swimming, think how exhausted they get – they use their whole body every second! A 12 year old is still very active but might be throwing a ball in the pool and hanging out for hours rather than swimming nonstop for 30 minutes. We found as he got older, we needed to increase the basal rate for a couple of hours after swimming if we’d disconnected for more than an hour.

As I said earlier, check with your endo about disconnecting a pump and/or adjusting the basal rates on a waterproof pump or pod. Many people have also found success using long-acting insulin along with the pump (also called “untethered) or even switching back to multiple daily injections for vacations or summer if your child swims a lot.

Whether your child swims for ten minutes or ten hours, you do need to put the pump back on! We had forgotten that part. As soon as I realized that, I immediately remembered what I had done. We’d taken off the pump and thrown it in my purse. It was still there, just blinking at me and dripping insulin. All that time I was giving Benny insulin using the remote meter, I’d really been bolusing my purse!!

Once we figured that out, it wasn’t a difficult fix. We clicked the pump tubing back into the inset, did a giant bolus, checked ketones (nope) and refilled Benny’s water. I spent a moment wondering if I should wash my purse or just wipe it out. And if I’d ever get rid of the insulin smell. Ugh.

15 minutes later I grabbed the meter to see if the insulin had started working. Yes, I know it was too soon, but I was nervous and anxious and…. I dropped the meter. It slipped out of my hands, onto the floor and cracked. I have backup meters, but this was the brand new remote meter we’d only had for a month. After almost 4 years of pumping, we finally didn’t have to reach into Benny’s pouch to pull out the meter and could easily dose him while he slept. I didn’t have to turn around in the car while my husband drove and dig around in Benny’s car seat to bolus him for road trip car snacks! We loved that new meter. And now, it was all in pieces on my kitchen floor.

Talk about feeling like the world’s worst diabetes mom. My kid was high because of my doofus forgetfulness. Our brand new amazing remote meter was in pieces. Surely, no one was as horrible a mom as me.

I took my frustration to Twitter. If I tell you the responses were life-changing, I’m not sure that would be an exaggeration. Remember, this was back in 2010 when social media wasn’t was it is today. I wasn’t sure what I would get. Scorn? Judgement?

Turns out, all I received was support:

Here are some of the great responses:

@kellyemmaellisThe Party Wizards @staceysimms oh no simple mistake!! At least it can be

easily corrected with pump and Benny had been nice and active to take the edge off!!

@SweeterCherise Cherise/LADA @staceysimms hugs! How’s he doing?

@DMomBlogLeighann D-Mom @staceysimms It happens. You realized it and are taking care

of the situation. He’ll be fine. ((hugs))

@Kate_Ireland123 Kate Banks @staceysimms diabetes is 24/7, you are not. You can’t be

perfect all the time. Its not your fault, you treated it, it’s over 🙂

@PortblPancGrl Stacey D. @ @staceysimmsglad he’s ok! And hope his BG gets back to

normal soon.

Other people had done this. Other people made it through. They said I didn’t have to be perfect and that Benny would be fine. It’s hard to describe how much better that made me feel.  I was still mad and frustrated, but I was no longer alone.

I think I was just as relieved to hear that Benny would be okay – that this had happened before – as I was to see these other women not judging me. Not shaming me. They didn’t share the post and invite others to pile on. Instead, they supported me. I didn’t know them but they were willing to reassure me and lift me up.

Of course, Benny was fine – his blood sugar came down, he was safe and happy and thought the idea of bolusing my purse was very funny.  I called Animas and they overnighted a new meter remote. Ours was still in warranty (barely out of the box) so they were fine with a quick replacement.

As you know, by now, this was hardly our first mistake. But it was the first time I remember admitting to one, publicly. It was incredibly freeing and it led the way for me to share more mistakes and missteps.”

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