A few hours after my son got home from his time away, I asked to see his meter. I knew there was going to be a problem when the excuses began.
"Well you see, you won't find all of my readings on that meter. I used another meter in my shed."
I asked where the other meter was. Of course he had left it behind at his father's. That was convenient! He said that he had done a lot of testing on the meter he brought home in the last few days so it would give me some idea of what had been going on.
As I scrolled through the meter I found readings that were between 20-30mmol (360mgdl+). I tried to breathe. I asked him what was going on.
"Well, I was high this morning because I didn't want to go low last night and interrupt the little bit of sleep I was going to get. You see how I was low at 11pm? I had a juice and a granola bar to cover it."
"A little bit of overkill don't you think? You were just low (3.7/65), a juice would have done it. If you weren't going up that quickly after 15 minutes then you could have added more without sending your readings through the stratosphere."
I continued to scroll through the meter and note the results. I continued to work to breathing. All of the readings were high and higher! What was going on?
"I think my site was going bad. See, my readings dropped once I changed the site."
"Dropped? When? Where? How long was this site in? You were running over 20 (360) for days!"
He replied that his site was a little old. He had probably gone over by a day or so. Perhaps his site was as much as seven days old I asked? He just shrugged his shoulders. I wanted to scream but instead I asked him about a cut on his hand.
"When did you do that?"
"What do you think it will look like in seven days?"
"I hope it will pretty well be gone."
"So when you lance a small hole in your body for your cannula, how much healing do you think has gone on around it in seven days? When the tissue around it heals, it can't absorb insulin any more."
He replied that he thought he could go 5-7 days before a site change. I know that some people will with no problem but he has insurance, he is young, and I really didn't want to go down that alley with him so I replied that ideally sites are changed every 2-3 days.
"Oh, well you see all of these highs have meant that I learned a lot this trip. I should probably do this more often. I never realized this stuff before. Now I know it. Wasn't this a good thing?"
I had to laugh because otherwise I would have strangled him. None of this information was new. It was all stuff he knew before. I told him that continuing to run that high would result in serious complications. He told me that he had been told that was hogwash. I replied that maybe one or two highs would not kill him but doing this forever would quickly result in problems. To help him understand all of this, he was now definitely going to the Friends for Life Conference in Vancouver. He needed some more training.
Once again he shrugged that teenage shrug and went back to enjoy being home. I just sat and shook my head. Maybe he would learn because of this. Maybe one day everything I tell him about his diabetes care will have some meaning. In the meantime, I will continue to pray, to hate summer vacations and extended periods of insane bg levels.