Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Rage Bolus, Anyone?

Bit of a rantish post here. And there's no reason for this other than to vent frustration.

Last night, after I came home from the U2 show in Boston (more on that later), I was a little bit high. Rang in at 212 mg/dl. Okay, no problem. Bolus it up, go to bed. Woke up this morning at 200 mg/dl. Hmmm, no drop in the blood sugar levels. Not to worry, though, because it's a Free Shower - no infusion set - Day due to the fact that it's time to change the infusion set. Primed and inserted a new set with good ol' Charlene. She purred (beeped?) happily and I set about dressing for work.

Arrived at work. Hungry. Devoured one of those sometimes-delicious-but-most-often-just-gritty Kashi Whole Grain Granola bars. Bolused two units to cover, in accordance with the 1:10 ratio. Worked at my boring job for about an hour before realizing that I had already visited the bathroom twice in that time. Hmmm. Not normal. Tested, revealing 281 mg/dl. Whaaaa... I corrected this morning. I bolused for the crappy snack. And now I'm higher than before? Frustrated Kerri. So I Rage Bolus*. I just crank the shit out the pump, knowing full well that I only need about two units to come back down. I lace in 3.5 units. Sit back, satisfied.

Not done yet. I test again, an hour and half later, clocking in at 286 mg/dl. Fan-freaking-tastic. Good thing all that insulin made me higher. Because that makes f-ing sense. So I Rage Bolus again, sending 2 more units coursing through, Frustrated Kerri not really giving a shit that the "active insulin" tally on my pump is enough to cover dinner at Olive Garden.

So it's noon. I've been high all morning. I just changed my infusion set this morning. And I'm angry. I do not want to pull this set only to find that it's perfectly fine and I've wasted yet another expensive pump supply.

I'm riding this out. It's Me against the D. Who will persevere? How high will Kerri allow herself to rise before she pulls the set and starts over? How much Rage Bolusing will eventually catch up with Herself before Kerri bottoms out at 44 mg/dl? How many licks does it indeed take to reach the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop? If you say three, you and that f-ing owl can go screw. It at least takes 125. I'm going to find out as soon as my Rage Bolusing catches up with me and I'm Trick or Treating at people's desks here at work.

*Rage Bolusing: Taking an uncalculated amount of insulin to correct a frustrating high bloodsugar reading. Also see: Panic Eating.


At October 04, 2005 1:52 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...

Update: I'm back to 130 mg/dl. All set. Rage subsided. And that damn set remained INTACT.

At October 04, 2005 2:25 PM, Blogger Sandra Miller said...


I read your post, and just nodded, seeing so much of my son in there.

When he's really high, or not coming down after an earlier correction, Joseph often wants to give himself -- what I usually refer to as -- a "knee jerk" bolus (though I think your "rage bolus" is a better term for it).

It's damn frustrating for him when he's not coming down. Joseph just feels miserable when he's high (as I'm sure you and everyone else with D does). Especially if he's been high for a while. About the last thing he wants to do is patiently ride it out while the insulin on board slowly does it's work -- not knowing if it will. Or if he needs yet another new set.

I've gotta say that, even as the parent, I've engaged in a bit of rage bolusing (though not usually as agressive as Joseph would like). And you know, I don't even have the excuse of feeling high to justify taking this action-- I just can't stand by, helplessly watching my son do battle with some pretty intense emotions during one of those extended highs. And knowing that being that high for that long is NOT good for him.

Kerri, just saw your comment -- I'm really glad to hear your landing was much softer than anticipated.

Though vexing, isn't it? No apparent explanation for the highs... just hate when that happens.

At October 04, 2005 2:40 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...

2:30 money shot: 125 mg/dl

Good job, right?

Good numbers, but I've consumed a salad, two packages of peanut butter crackers, and a piece of bread over the last two hours. Without bolusing. And I can feel that "dropping bloodsugar" feeling, which is making me feel panicky and nervous at the office.

Sandra, I'm sorry you and Joseph go through this too, but it does comfort me that I'm not the only one with irrational, unexplainable highs. They make me crazy. I feel like I'm wasting hundreds of dollars worth of test strips, insulin units, and pump sets in efforts to correct a problem that isn't even diagnosable. I hate pulling sets out on the first day. My medical insurance is such crap that every wasted supply feels like 4 hours of dronish overtime.

I hate sounding whiney and trust me, I'm hardly throwing a Kerri Pity Party, but it is incredibly frustrating to follow all the rules only to be thwarted by hormones, nerves, or f-ed up hardware. Or all three at once, making it even more difficult to both isolate the problem and keep it from repeating.

Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only Rage Boluser out there. I feel less like an isolated, impatient heel now and more... normal.

Damn. I love the O.C. (Online Community. :)

At October 04, 2005 3:46 PM, Blogger Tekakwitha said...


I've done that a few times. I think that I get so pissed off at my pump/body/high bs that my anger also makes my blood sugar rise. Just go down already!

anyway, I hear you.

At October 05, 2005 7:27 AM, Anonymous john. said...

at least you weren't anywhere near someone like this guy-


At October 05, 2005 9:11 AM, Blogger Kerri. said...

We can't help it ... these damn things just look so techo-fashionable.

At October 05, 2005 12:49 PM, Blogger Jay said...

I really like the term....Rage Bolus. I get those stubborn highs occasionally (usually after a night drinking/playing poker where the damn host buys one of those huge costco size bags of pizza rolls. Evil). I'll offer a suggestion that my pump trainer offered up. She had really stubborn highs during menstration. She would "Rage Bolus" sometimes up to 20-30 units over 4 hours to battle it. Her doctor told her to adjust her basel up 0.1-0.2 units per hour. She laughed at that. That's only 1-2 units compared to her 20 units. Turns out it worked. My theory is that when you rage bolus when you know there is no way that you have that many carbs in you, your liver fights off that bolus for whatever reason, adding sugar to your system. Small bumps in the bolus are sneakier. Another thing to try is extended bolus (at least that's what it's called on the Cozmo) Meal bolus over long period of time (AKA Grazing Bolus). Just curious, any drinking at the concert. 90% of the time when I am like that it's after drinking.

At October 05, 2005 1:44 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...


No drinking, this time. I don't drink very often (maybe 8 times a year) but when I do, I always end up low. I usually cut my basal by 70% when I drink so that I don't crash and burn.

I've got the Minimed Paradigm pump and it has a "square bolus" (which I'm guessing is similar to your extended) so I'll give that a whirl next time instead of RAGING.

At October 05, 2005 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Lord, Kerri, do you sound like me. I "rage bolus" at least once a month and almost always end up so bottomed out Willy Wonka doesn't have enough candy to help me. It really is frustrating. You work sooo damned hard to keep yourself in range and sometimes your strange and broken body just revolts.

In terms of drinking -- the process around why you bottom out after drinking is really interesting -- too bad it makes so much sense to not drink when you've got diabetes... Otherwise, I'd be able to really get tossed and have a great time like so many of my friends.

Too be honest, though I think the extended bolus suggestion SHOULD work -- it never does for me. There are times when my bloodsugar is just determined to be too high -- and there are only two choices -- feel like crap for hours or even a whole day because my sugar is too high or bottom out a bit by hyper-bolusing...

I'm glad you joined the Barton Group... See you later.


At October 07, 2005 1:36 AM, Anonymous Jana said...

I'm not a pumper, but I can say I've Rage Bolused in an even more dangerous way (w/o having the "insulin on board" calculated and of course I'm too in a rage to calculate it myself). But mostly I just want to congratulate you on a fantastically funny post...really made me laugh (especially the link to the Tootsie Roll Pop commercial). It's great to laugh about our d-lives sometimes...

At November 12, 2005 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


All I can say is I am ROFLOL about "rage bolus." I think you know my daughter Lauren from camp -- she was an itty bitty camper when you were finishing up there (she knows Brooke well) and is about to do her ninth year there and then become a CIT.

Anyway, I never put a name to it but we've been rage bolusing forever! When we've changed the site twice, not eaten anything, corrected and corrected and finally I just slam a million units at her and we figure "so she'll eat in a while!"

It's just one of those things only those of us who live this crazy life can "get."

Lauren has a new one, too, now that she is a teen: I'll call it "Alibi bolus." It goes like this. We are at, let's say, the high school football game. I'm over the other side with the old folks, she's hanging with her buddies, munching out at the snack bar. I approach her and before I say a word she pulls out her purple cozmo, waves it in front of me and says "I did a 200-gram bolus! So leave me alone!" What did she eat? Oh, she doesn't really know and hasn't actually eaten some of it yet -- but she's covered. Good God in Heaven.



PS Lauren was dx on her sixth bday too.

At December 14, 2006 9:19 PM, Blogger Anne said...

I know you wrote this last year but I just read it and it is hilarious. The danger of rage bolusing is even worse with a CGMS.

At January 04, 2010 1:16 PM, Anonymous Bethany said...

I love this. I totally could have written it - though not nearly so well. :)

At January 04, 2010 2:15 PM, Blogger JanMarie said...

This has happened to my son a bunch in last few months. What causes this? I will take the site off and it will look fine, very frustrating...........

At February 06, 2013 5:31 PM, Anonymous Deanna said...

OMG! My son has had diabetes for 2 1/2 years and I was laughing to the point of tears when I found this post. Thank you! I needed that today! ;-)


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