LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Smoke detector batteries

Damn. Ambushed.

I didn’t even feel it coming. Of course. I never do.

But where was the frickin’ DexCom? It’s supposed to prevent things like this.

47 mg/dL flashed at me from the face of the Presto Meter.

Hello low. I haven’t seen you for a while.

I don’t know if it was the surprise, or the lack of sugar reaching my brain, but I just sat there like an idiot, staring at the number.

Rio leaned over to look at the meter. “Hey, there’s only two digits!” he said.

Then he jumped up, shouted “Hooray!” and bolted from the room. About 30 seconds later he came bounding back in waving a glucagon emergency kit, “I’ve been dying to use one of these for years!”

Fucking Christmas in January.

When Rio turned five I taught him how to use a glucagon ER kit, and he’s been dying to stick me with it ever since.

Lucky for me, his mother intervened first, with glucose fluid. Then a brownie, then potato chips (we can argue about optimum choices some other day). Then a bowl of cereal. Then crackers. The low was a stubborn bastard. I’m not sure how or where it came from, but it took almost 100 carbs to get my head above water again. And poor Rio didn’t get to use the glucagon.

Good thing, as it turned out.

About an hour later, my brain functioning again (at least as well as it ever does), we decided to review the somewhat obtuse inject-mix-pull-inject process of using the ER kit. That’s when I noticed the expiration date.


My break-glass-in-case-of-emergency to save-my-ass medication had expired.

Two years ago.


Blogger George said...

That is one prescription I never think about. But an important one!!!

FYI - My Word Verification is nowdrugu

that is some funny shit.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Mike Hoskins said...

Great story, Wil. But that's nothing... We found a Glucagon kit last year that had expired in 2007. Yes, it's a good thing those Lows don't come often but then again, the expiration date it's a causality of that. And yes, I also eat millions of carbs when Low.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

why is it that we all seem to eat like it's our last meal when we are low? i can never get enough. start with glucose tabs, move to sweet tarts, hmmm perhaps some cereal, would anyone like an orange? how 'bout a peanutbutter sandwich?
like i've been freed from a POW camp and sent straight to the buffet table!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Mary C said...

Some of us T3 parents are less likely to have out of date Glucagon kits. Our schools require current prescriptions at the beginning of the school year. Our nurse required it had to be good for the entire school year. Getting two ore three of those suckers is awfully expensive though.

4:45 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

Good heavens! Well, at least you found out is was expired, but what a hell of a way to find out! Glad Rio didn't get to practice either.
Just wanted to add to Mary's comment - that's ridiculous that the school nurse required it to be for a full year. When ours expire, I simply take a new one up to school.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Mary C said...

Their reasoning is that they can't keep track of expirations dates of all the medications and they are prohibited from using expired Glucogon even in a life threatening situation. It's the right decision, I just wish it didn't cost so much.

8:17 PM  

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