Sunday, November 6, 2011

The orange box

Theres some things about diabetes that we dont talk about alot.   

But we freaking should.   My husband and I are 18 months into this journey as pseudo - pancreas (es?) .   Is pancreaii a word?

The long orange box is one of those things.   (The... with the big needle inside).

Its almost as if talking about it may cause us to have to use, though we understand that to be just fear.   The panic.

But truly we should be educating everyone around us on this life saving orange box as well.

Everywhere we go, we take Reubens hypo kit.   Its been a complicated thing having to treat lows in a baby.  When Reuben was 8 months, 9 months old he didnt think much of juice and lemonade.   You could barely get him to take the things he needed to treat mild low blood sugars.   We had a few serious low episodes but we managed to squeeze some glucogel in his mouth and keep some of it there.     Its been a fearful time finding things he will accept to bring him up.   Now that hes 2 years old, weve been able to expand his 'odds on Reuben taking this hypofix despite the confusion and the fight' food list and include things like soft lollies and lollypops.  (Pop-pops to Reubs).

Thankfully now the hypo kit isnt jammed full of 'options', we just carry, juice, lollipops, glucojel, some soft lollies and the orange box.

Soooo - heres the piccy and a quick run down on glucagon -

GLUCAGON - What is it?

Think of it as LIFESAVING.   Put in simple terms, it functions as the opposite of insulin.  (Insulin is also life saving).   Insulin lowers blood sugar, glucagon raises it where there has been insulin reaction (seizures, unconsciousness).  Obviously unconscious persons cannot eat or drink the sugar they need to raise blood sugar, so the next step is glucagon.

Gulcagon is not sugar. It is a chemical that causes the liver to release its stores of glucose into the person's bloodstream. This "jolt" will last somewhere around 90 minutes after which they will still need emergency help as soon as possible.

The instructions inside the orange box are easy to follow - remove cap on vial, squeeze the liquid from the syringe into the vial, shake to dissolve the white powder, draw up the dose, and inject subcutaneously like you do insulin.   1/2 dose mark indicates for small kids, and full dose for bigger bodies....
We havent had to use it... yet.   But everytime theres a lower low.  Or.   Everytime we have vomitting or gastro.   We.brush.up.   Just to be sure.
Im grateful each morning when I see Reubens chubby little face and feel his soft baby skin and smell his baby sweetness as he kisses me good morning - and I havent had to administer glucagon.   Grateful I am.



  1. We have never had to use our orange box either. Every time one expires I think "thats another one down... another one that we didnt have to use."

    Lets hope it continues to be that way!!!!

    Great post!


  2. The mere idea of the orange box used to send me into an anxiety attack. I am finally able to pack it along with us as just another life saving tool for our sweet girl. Thanks for sharing...wishing more people in our life understood what the orange box was for!

  3. i have to admit that it scares the bejeebers out of me too. I think it's more so the fear of knowing what the situation will be when I might have to use it...that is the stuff that will keep me up at night. Thank you for posting this Jules!!

  4. We've used it for mini-glucagon (one unit per year of age) a few times when we couldn't get blood sugar up (stomach bugs, usually). Though it is really scary the first time (ok, still scary), I actually find it comforting to have around now.

  5. we've cracked it open once, then chose honey instead...I just knew it was the right choice for him at that time. I however hope to never have to think about it ever again in terms of should I give him a life saving shot right now, or in sugar, or icing, or, or or or it was a horrid moment for our family for sure.
    I agree though, we do need to be more up front about it. I reminded my mother-in-law that she needed it whenever she took isaac and she looked so appalled at the idea, I just bluntly said, "do you have any other ideas of what to do if his blood sugar drops suddenly and he's unconscious and unresponsive?" She grabbed the kit, sad that we have to be so blunt sometimes, huh?