Type 1 Diabetes

That’s a big needle, learning to use Glucagon

Asking your son’s friend to learn how to use an emergency kit that could save his friends life was easy, given it was Joey’s best friend Alex. 


The boys were going on Freshmen Retreat, and no one at the school is really trained in type 1 diabetes care.  So being that Alex would be with Joey, he was the perfect candidate to learn.  

I keep all of the expired kits for training purposes, because it’s a 4 step process, I think it’s easier to teach it hands on. 

Glucagon Emergency Kit

 The emergency Glucagon kit is intimidating because the needle is very long!  And the instructions aren’t easy to understand, especially if in a hurry, which would be the case if your gonna use it, it’s called an emergency kit because it’s used in an emergency! So time is of the essence!  

You would use the ER kit if Joey passed out due to a low blood sugar.  He can usually feel the symptoms of low blood sugar, but sometimes it drops fast and it’s to late. A low blood sugar is any under 70, for a person without diabetes, your blood sugar won’t usually drop lower than that. For Joey with  type 1, because his body doesn’t produce insulin,  his blood sugar is very irregular.  That’s why it’s imperative for him to have a fast acting sugar with him at all times! This isn’t a piece of hard candy either. It might take 4 juice pouches or two Sunny D’s to get his blood back sugar up!  

When a severe low takes place you don’t have a lot of options, as I mentioned before, you have to react fast! We were at a basketball game a couple years ago, as we were walking in a man was being transported out by ambulance. He was watching his daughter play basketball when his blood sugar dropped so fast he passed out. His wife didn’t have the Glucagon ER kit with her. There were two other families in the building with kids who have type 1, no one had Glucagon.  He went into a low sugar diabetic coma. He was fine after a short hospital stay, because the EMT had Glucagon. 

When Joey was younger, he wore a Continious Glucose Monitor, or CGM. One night he wanted to sleep in his brothers room so he slept on the trundle bed right next to Tony. It was about 10:30 pm, Joe and I were watching the news downstairs. Tony ran down and said that Joey’s CGM alarm went off (indicating a low blood sugar) and he couldn’t wake Joey. We ran up to find Joey drifting into a coma, so we took a small icing tube (icing to write on a cake) and squeezed it into the side of his mouth, rubbed his cheeks and he started to come back. Scariest moment of our lives!  Why we didn’t use the Glucagon is beyond me, it’s our go to now. 

Regarding the CGM, it is a great tool for diabetes management!  It calculates the blood sugar throughout the day and night, allowing people with diabetes to see their glucose levels and track how they’re increasing or decreasing!  It does require Joey to wear a second device, so in addition to his insulin pump, he would have another small unit affixed to his body. And it has a receiver that has to be near the unit to get readings. We are working with Joey to get it for him! The brilliant part is that we could monitor his blood sugar with our smart phones! Prayers for us that Joey goes back to the CGM! 

It’s not cheap, none of the diabetes medicine/equipment is inexpensive! I think that’s why more people/families don’t carry Glucagon or use a CGM! It’s ridiculous how expensive this disease is! We have to have insulin to keep our children alive! Why does it have to be so expensive, well I think I just answered my own question! 

We need a cure, a lot of people who have diabetes in their lives think that we’ll never have a cure because of the companies that benefit and make billions of dollars off of us. I can’t think that way! Hope is what we have! 

Cure Diabetes! 


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