"Wow mom, that port change didn't even hurt!" said Rocco. "Great honey! Sometimes we get lucky," I happily replied.
I should have known, but I didn't.
Until three hours later when this showed up.
You see, when I change Rocco's port, there is a little straw-like part that goes into his skin.
His pump administers a continuous drip of insulin, and we supplement this with an extra dose any time he eats, or when his blood sugar is high.
The insulin travels through the tubing and then gets absorbed into his skin through this straw.
The port is the part that sticks to the outside of his skin so the straw can stay inside his skin.
We have to change this port every three days.
When I changed it this time the straw-like part didn't actually puncture the skin. It just bent over. So he didn't get any insulin for three hours. The result was a super-high blood sugar reading of 503. His normal number should be around 100. This doesn't happen very often. Actually I don't remember the last time it did. But it does happen. It's just one of the crappy parts of diabetes.
When I pulled the port off, it looked like this.
It should have looked like this.
This meant we had to do another port change. This time it did hurt (just a little), so we knew it worked. Phew! "Sorry, Rocco honey!"
Within two hours, the insulin hit him his blood sugar was 90. Thank God high blood sugars are only temporary.
When things like this happen it brings me back into the reality and severity of our situation. It reminds me that Rocco can't go without insulin for even three hours.
I always wonder, "How is he ever going to do this on his own?"
Kids are forgetful. Boys can be absent-minded. He will forget to change his port or to administer an extra dose to cover a meal. I know he will. Adults forget so how is he going to remember when he is thirteen years old nd he is at his friend's house playing video games? Forgetting once or twice is not a show stopper, but he won't be able to forget too often because this is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week job. Everything he eats has to be measured and accounted for. He will have to do each port change on his own during finals week in his dorm room. Where will I be? How am I ever going to let him go to college?
This unknown and scary part of diabetes sometimes creeps up on me. I know it will work out. I spend every day making sure he knows how to handle each situation when it comes up when I am not around as he grows into adulthood. But the bad part is once this happens, without my help, he is never going to have an “off day.” A mindless day where he doesn't have to be thinking all the time of carbs vs. exercise vs. stress vs. insulin. How will he do all of this conscious diabetes thinking while living in the dorms, having a girlfriend, going on a job interview, driving his friends to the prom, holding his first baby, or doing yard work? All of these daily tasks will require his full attention on his diabetes first and everything else will have to come second. During all of these major life events, he will still have to consider what his blood sugar number is. How? Seriously, how will he do it? I trust him completely, so my mind knows he will care for himself responsibly. But, my heart never seems to catch up to my head.
My brain knows if anybody can do this, it's Rocco. He has been responsible about his condition since he was three-years-old. My friend remembers watching him and his brother one time. He walked right into her house and told her "I have three skittles in my pocket in case my blood sugar goes low while I’m here." She still can't believe that this little three-year-old didn't just reach into his pocket and eat the damn candy! He knew even then that he needed that sugar in case of emergency. I know he will be fine. He will barrel through it just like he does everything else. I just wish he didn't have to...
Yes, some days this does creep up on me...