What Tone

Yesterday morning wake up 329 + ketones. Pee strip change color pinkish—not believe eyes.

BUBS: (from bathroom) I have ketones

BIGFOOT: (from kitchen) He has ketones!

BIGFOOT SPOUSE: (from hallway) No way!

JACK: (silently continues reading Sports Illustrated)

BUTTER: Woof (to dog walking by)

Peanut Butter Puffins in milky black tea may or may not have been essential players in the quick exit of the ketones

This first time for ketones. Except for diagnosis day. Not remember what do, except not call on-call doctor unless “Moderate” or higher. Then remember not exercise. Also remember: need food, need insulin so body stop eating itself. Also remember drink extra water so ketones exit via pee. Also enjoy empathic, measured tone this page from Diabetes New Zealand. In general, find not much to it. Not need different insulin/anything crazy like that.

Change site. Open freshie. Big correction via syringe. Then ask Bubs (feel fine, happy) spend hours on sofa w Minecraft + water bottle on lovely end-of-summer day.

Meanwhile, 1 hour later (8AM) check again. BG 568 <—not sure, but maybe highest ever; ketones match color for moderate. Bigfoot call on call doctor pager, because think ketones probably barreling toward large and Minecraft/water/sofa not effective treatment. Notice tight gut feeling of nervous.

New doctor call back. Super nice. Sound young. Native speaker, no Rhode Island accent. Female. Probably Brown University medical school student. Say things like, Wow, I’m actually really impressed that you’ve changed the site twice and opened a fresh bottle of insulin and gave a correction via syringe. That’s perfect. You’re doing everything right. (That among Bigfoot favorite phrase—really like this doctor.)

But doctor not realize until end conversation need write down patient name/order of events for medical record. So nice! As if so enthusiastic just waiting by phone, hoping for call, so excited real-life situation, forget take notes. After review notes, add Hmmmm, one thing I’d have done differently if you had called before giving the five units by syringe, is that I think I would have said to give him seven. So if you don’t mind…I think you should give him two more units. Bigfoot ask By syringe or can I  use the pump, since it’s a new site? Fresh happy young doctor say Yeah, sorry. By syringe. Just so we can be 100% sure it’s going in. You know? If he doesn’t mind too much. I know it’s a pain. Bigfoot say actually no problem, Bubs not mind because happy play Minecraft. Doctor final instruction: check BG, ketones again two hours, call back if not improve.

When check for new data (sooner than directed, bc such suspense) 9:30AM ketones: trace. BG: 332. That right direction. 11AM 118. 11:45 55 (whoops, Skittles). Ketones: negative.

CVS pharmacy order blood ketone meter strips, very exotic, not in stock. Bigfoot grateful arrive soon. Now know for fact ketones not mere legend, Ketostix really get on nerves. One problem is colors: why scale like Crayola fleshtones of children of the world? Could range periwinkle through indigo. Could go chartreuse through lime rind. Current scale too fleshy: Caucasian, embarrassed, sunburned, sunburned Native American, Aboriginal Australian.

Also language. Descriptors for scale in mishmash. Bigfoot think Ketostix need choose: this about SIZE or DEGREE? Why not infinitesimal, small, medium, large OR trace, barely significant, moderate, extreme? Current language not allow Bigfoot coherent vision: ketones actually grow larger, like pingpong vs. softball, or just increase in number, like full bowl cereal vs. two Cheerio floating in milk after eat?

Meanwhile all that, Bubs so jolly diabetes. This actual quote—part sad/naive, part Zen master/inspiring sick child:



  1. Karen · September 3, 2012

    I love our blood ketone meter! It’s one of my favorite tools, especially for night-time checks…who wants to wake up a kid to pee? It takes my pharmacy about 2 weeks to get the strips for us, but well worth the wait.


  2. Linda · September 4, 2012

    “Bubs so jolly diabetes” Bubs ROCK. -Keeping bg in range for T1’s (and/or their mamas) is like being handed a big dinner plate with a dime sized circle drawn on it – and, rolling around, a BB, one stupid BB. Ok, your mission (whether or not you should choose to accept it) is to hold the plate above your head, keep the BB in the circle, while dancing. Drop BB? Go straight to ER, not pass Go.


    • Katy · September 4, 2012

      Your description just made me cry. In the public library. I’m sharing it on facebook, OK?


      • Linda · September 4, 2012

        Ohhh. not cry… Think of how good today’s kids are at video games – Bubs will be a pro, count on it! Certainly, share. Make earthling proud.


      • Katy · September 4, 2012

        you’re right.


  3. shannon · September 13, 2012

    way to rock your first ketones experience. ROCK.

    and bubs jolly diabetes quotes…amazing.


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