Insulin Mix-up

Last night, I was getting ready for bed around 11. Like I always do, I test my blood sugar and then take my Levemir. If I need to take a correction, I will do that also. I tested at 115, so was happy with that. I just needed to take my Levemir so I picked up a pen, dialed in 8 units and stuck it in. As I pulled the pen out, I realized, I just gave myself 8 units of Apidra, not Levemir. Fortunately, I still had my pen in my hand so there was no doubt as to which pen I had used.

Levemir and Apidra pens

After the initial panic set in, I grabbed for my Smarties. I knew I had to start getting glucose into me. There were 5 packs in the container I keep upstairs so I started eating those. I recently brought a zip lock baggy upstairs filled with them so I had more than just the 5 – I just had not dumped them in the container yet. While I was eating the Smarties, I thought I would need to eat enough carbs to cover the insulin – yuck! My evening carb ratio is 1:15. Three packs of Smarties have 18 grams of carbs in. The easiest thing I could think of to do was count out 24 packs of Smarties (less the 5 I had already eaten).

24 packs of SmartiesI sat there looking at all those Smarties and wanted to puke. There was no way I would be able to eat all those. It was going to be a long night! I thought having a bad low would be better if I was downstairs, not up. I emptied out the baggy of Smarties into the container and put my 19 remaining packs in the baggy. I then grabbed my meter, insulin (not sure why I took that!), a pillow and a blanket and headed downstairs for the couch.

I started eating some more Smarties. All I could think of was I can’t do this! With gastroparesis, it is not good to eat a lot of anything because when you have too much food in your stomach, it doesn’t digest – I was already nauseous and knew if I kept eating more, it was only going to make matters worse. Then I remembered I had some containers of juice in the fridge. I don’t drink juice that often because of the high carb content but figured since I needed carbs, this would be a good time to have some. I went and grabbed some juice. I looked at the carb content and it had 47 grams of carbs in it. I drank it.

Welch's Juice and Smarties

After I drank the juice, I counted how many packs of Smarties were left in my baggy. There were 15 left so that means I ate 9 packs. I then opened Excel to see how many grams of carbs I had eaten and I had 101 so far. In total, I would need to have 120 so I was pretty close. I decided to take some Levemir and took 6 units instead of 8. I knew once the Apidra was out of my system, I would go high without any Levemir. Taking less would also help compensate for the 19 grams of carbs left that I really did not want to eat.

By that point, it was about 11:50. I figured I would wait until 12 and check my blood sugar. I fell asleep and woke up this morning to my dog on top of me trying to wake me up – my alarm was going off upstairs. As soon as I went up to shut the alarm off, I came back down and tested my blood sugar. I was 194. Things could have been a lot worse!


  1. Good grief! Thank goodness you realized it but I’m guessing you won’t want to eat any smarties for awhile…
    Glad you’re okay!

  2. Glad you are ok!!!!!!!!!!!! And that you knew what pen you used!!!!!!!!

  3. Smarties are SO yuck! But so are glucose tabs if you have to eat too many of them too often! But I guess staying conscious overrules the yuck factor!

    • Natalie, one reason that I switched to Smarties was a friend told me that Dr. Bernstein said to use things that have Dextrose first in the list of ingredients. I compared Smarties & glucose tablets and they are almost identical in ingredients. Smarties are a lot cheaper – I wish someone had told me that years ago! You are right, staying conscious overrules the yuck factor. I am glad that I had juice in the fridge because I don’t think I could have eaten 24 packs of those things!

  4. Phew – glad you managed thru’ that. I almost did that once – but luckily I didn’t (though I use smaller amounts of long lasting insulin – so it wouldn’t have been as much of a Smartie fest as what you did). I didn’t realise that about Smartie’s (here in Canada we called them Rockets) were the same as Dex-4 with dextrosol. I learned something new today reading your blog. The reason why I will still buy the more expensive Dex-4 …. I love Smarties/Rockets – so might not just stop eating them – though in your case you had a lots to eat. I do prefer juice boxes tho’ when I need a fast “fix” – mine run at 23 grams of carbs & are for kids lunch boxes – so they tend to be very yummy – but again – only use them for emergencies – or when I have kids visiting my house 🙂

    • Thanks Anna! It was only a little over a year ago that I found out about Smarties. I never would have thought to compare labels. Even on a normal day, I am not big on the Smarties so them tempting me into overeating shouldn’t happen! I am not a big juice person but after the other night, I can see the benefit of having some in the house – a lot easier to stack up carbs when you need to!

  5. I love smarties 🙂 but I am done at two packs. I have had to run through a list of carb snacks at 3am that my daughter will eat/drink. She never wants to eat in the middle of the night and I can’t blame her.

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