Woman vs. Insulin: Super Bowl Edition

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear my four-year-old nephew was out to kill me.

The kid is cute as hell: funny, smart, inquisitive, affectionate, and obsessed with all things technological — including my insulin pump.

Sunday evening found us all at my in-laws’ place for Super Bowl activities. After he’d exhausted the battery life and the game options on my iPhone, the little guy asked if he could “see” my pump. It’s a request he’s made before, and one I usually agree to. I like that he’s fascinated by all of my diabetes management tools, and I might have this fantasy that he grows up, inspired by me, to build the World’s Most Awesome Insulin Pump.

I’ve never been too concerned about his button-pushing. I’m usually watching him and explaining the pump’s features, and really, it takes a pretty complex series of commands to execute a suspension or a bolus. He couldn’t possibly accidentally give me a bolus of 10 whole units, right?


Somehow, as wee Mr. Wojcik was taking pains to clip my pump back on my pocket, he did just that. I heard a random beep and looked down, just in time to see the “Bolus Delivery” screen flip from 9.9 to 10.0.

I sought out my husband and took him aside. “I was letting T play with my pump, and he just gave me 10 units of insulin.”

“Can’t you stop it?” he asked.

“It’s already done. It’s undo-able. It’s, like, all in there.” I was trying to communicate the urgency of the situation without drawing the attention of my in-laws. It was my fault, after all, and I had this terrible vision that I’d end up in the hospital in a low-induced coma — or worse — and my nephew would forever be known as The One Who Killed Aunt Jacquie.

Almost enough carbohydrates, but not quite.

We left pretty quickly, stocking up on foodstuffs along our way home. Over the next two hours, I ingested a sickening mass of carbohydrates, made up of:

  • Two brownies
  • A muffin
  • 2o ounces of Coca Cola Classic
  • Five Valentine’s Day Peep Hearts
  • Two juice boxes
  • One 5 Guys hamburger
  • 11 5 Guys french fries

To say that I was nauseated would be an understatement. I lay on the couch, groaning and grimacing and checking my blood sugar every 15 minutes, trying to talk myself into eating just one more bite of something.

Thankfully, the lowest my blood sugar got was 43, and it only stayed that low for about 10 minutes. About three hours after The Incident, I was at 85 and climbing. Once I knew I was safe, I was eager to put the panic of the evening behind me; I was asleep far before the end of the game.

If my nephew is out to kill me, he’s going to have to start brainstorming different tactics. I’m never letting him touch my pump again.

14 comments on “Woman vs. Insulin: Super Bowl Edition

  1. Jasmine says:

    How on earth do you manage to be so funny about such a scary situation?? I was cackling nonstop after the carb photo.

    Sounds hard on the belly, but at least it did the trick. It was like an anti-betes gorge-fest.

  2. Trev says:

    Big Oops. I have had a few close calls, being surrounded by so many offspring. But now I know it is possible. Man thats a lot of food! Take care. Cheers!

  3. 1littleprick says:

    Ugh, that sounds awful! I can see why you felt nauseated. Glad everything turned out ok!

  4. Paul says:

    Holy Over-bolus Batman!!

    I don’t know about you, but 10 units would cover about 300 gms of carbs for me…excatly the reason why I stay away from the pie eating contests.

    Although I’ve never had to fend off an assassination attack from a four-year-old, I have had some frighteningly persistent lows that required gobs of carbs to reverse.

    One question…why did you go for the complex carbs? Presuming that you know your carb ratio, it seems like you could calculate the amount of Coke or juice you needed. I’d think that they were your best bet for concentrated sugar that wouldn’t leave you feeling like a beached whale.

    OK, I lied…second question. Why the 5 Guys burger & fries? Again, that may have worked against you as the lipids (a.k.a. grease) slows down the absorption of carbohydrates in the body…that’s why a dual-wave bolus is recommended for pizza and the like.

    Once again…I’d make my pitch for the artistically challenged Shot Bloks. They’re boring gummy cubes, but they pack a lot of reliably measurable carbs in a small mouthful. And…they leave room for beer when you’re done!

    Maybe you should get a taser for the next time that Mars (I mean T) Attacks.

    • First, I went with the foods that were closest at hand. Then, I went with Coke and juice to keep from dropping too low. Then I went with grease and protein to make sure I didn’t drop a second time.

  5. Ok. As scary as that must have been, I’m with Jasmine: your story-telling of The Incident is hilarious! Loved it. I am curious, though: What you went up to after said Super Bowl nap, and what you’re carb ratio is? Mine is 1 unit for every 10 carbs, and about half that carb load you described would cover the mistaken 10 unit bolus given… We all differ, though. Glad it all worked out!

  6. Amber says:

    I’ve got a 4 year old and an 8 year old, and at this point they both know if they touch Mommy’s pump, they’ll lose a finger. 😉 I don’t know how parents of little type 1s deal with pumps because the temptation is always there. I suppose they’re always locked? Even so, that would absolutely drive me crazy with worry.

    I made myself a chart a few years ago with What To Do If I OD written on it. It lists doses of insulin and how many glucose tabs/tbsp of corn syrup/tbsp of sugar needed for each dose if something happens. Ten units would require 38 glucose tabs (150g cho) for me to fix. Yuck.

  7. beth says:

    my niece is also 4, and also interested in my diabetes technology. she likes to help me when I need to change my pump reservoir & site and test my blood sugar. I usually let her help me with bolusing and primping by letter her press the buttons, but haven’t ever just let her play without me watching. good to know I should keep doing that!

    she told me last time she wanted to wear a pump like mine when she was older, and it almost broke my heart! I tried to explain to her that I really hoped she DIDN’T have to.

  8. Sysy Morales says:

    You’re so cute and funny, love it! Now for what happened…man…I’m sorry! It happened once to me when I was 16 and my brother a one year old. I caught it before I got more than 4 of the scheduled 13 units. So you sure had a tough one there! Recently I accidentally gave 20 units of humalog (only me, apparently) and just about died inhaling 2 liters of grape juice (not recommended). I wish I would have gone with massive quantities of candy and cake, instead. Either way, it SUCKS to force feed. You did a great job! Both with the handling of the situation and the story telling 🙂

  9. Jenn says:

    I “overdosed” myself one time. My husband and I had just enjoyed a dinner out without the kid, and I was completely full. (Famous Dave’s salmon was delicious!!) And as I was giving me my nighttime does of Lantus I noticed that the color of the top of the vial was not right. Of course, I noticed after I had done all 22 units. I PANICKED!!! I called 911, while stuffing myself with smarties, and told them I over dosed on insulin, which promted the police to show up. They were a little confused and said they had never had an overdose victim answer the door. The paramedics showed up and continued to give me candy. They raided the bowl by the videos, the fridge, the pantry, and had my husband make me a pb&j sandwich. I had to gag down everything as I was already full from dinner. I topped out at 220(ish) and never actually fell below 80, but I didn’t want to eat for DAYS afterwards.

  10. Liah says:

    My worst nightmare is mistaking the Humalog for my Lantus. To prevent this from happening I’ve been extra careful when retrieving it from the butter compartment.

  11. I’m so glad you are safe! It is very inspiring to hear how cool, calm and collected you stayed in the midst of possible medical crisis.

  12. Kathy says:

    I had my then 17 year old daughter give my then 8 yr old Type I her Lantus one night , while I was at the ER with a friend. She called me after she realized that she gave her novolog instead of Lantus. I rushed home and started an all night carb fest, even took her to Mc
    Donalds in the middle of the night for a candy-ice cream thing. It was stressful, but she thought it was fun getting to stay up all night and eat sweets.

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