How Do You Help Someone That Is Killing Themselves With Insulin?

I read a post this morning that really surprised/scared me.  I thought that the girl just needed some help learning how to properly use insulin.  I sent the link to a friend of mine saying this girl needs some help and she replied back, “HOLY CRAP.”  I said that was my response also.  Normally, I would put a link so people can see what I am talking about, but in this case, I think it is better to keep this person anonymous.

This girl is a Type 1 and taking large volumes of insulin. I know there are plenty of T1s that are insulin resistant so that part was not what bothered me. She was more than doubling her Lantus dose from day-to-day depending on what she ate. You should not be using Lantus to cover meals and you should really not be varying by that huge of an amount.  She also did a very huge correction of almost 50 units for a not very high number – not too much over 100.  I know that the math does not work for everyone but her numbers were just way out of whack. 

I really thought that she just needed some help in learning how to figure out some proper ratios and even get help with insulin resistance.  I sent a message to a couple people that I knew were level headed and would not attack her and asked them if they could try and help.  Then I made the mistake of looking at some of her older posts!

She has a long history of injecting several hundred units of insulin at a time to bring down highs then will drink large amounts of coke to help counter-act the insulin.   She passes out frequently from lows.  She has a fear of highs and has even been hospitalized because of what she is doing but she won’t (or can’t) stop.  Numerous people have tried to convince her that what she is doing is dangerous. 

She wants to get a pump but her doctor won’t approve one until she brings her A1c up – and yes, you read right, I wrote “up.”  Normally I get a little uptight when doctors withhold pumps from people but I truly understand why her doctor would not want to give her a pump.  And yes I know that insulin is insulin and a syringe is no more dangerous than a pump (I have said that myself plenty of times), but in her case, I do think it would be.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that there is anything that someone from the DOC can do or say that can help this girl.  It is really sad to even think that someone is beyond help.
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