My kids are going through a funny phase right now. When I do something they like they say, "You’re the best mommy in the world!" Luckily, they haven’t caught on to the flip side of that; I haven’t heard anything about being the worst. I’m sure that’s coming.
The DVD player in my van stopped working a few weeks ago and Slade fixed it. Benny is delighted and thinks his dad is a genius. "Daddy is the best fix -it man, " he said from the back seat the other day. "He is the best daddy in the world!"
Those fix-it talents were tested just a few days later. I tried to bolus Benny yesterday for a high blood sugar (180). When I went to unlock the pump, though, a message I’d not seen before was on the pump’s screen. The pump was beeping and read "remove battery to stop alarm," along with the message – call for service. Oy.
So we called Animas, the people who make our pump, and they talked us through it. Turns out the pump runs 250 diagnostic tests on itself every minute. When it finds something it doesn’t like, it lets you know. She instructed us to reset the pump (sort of like rebooting your computer) and we were all set.
Except we weren’t. Tried to bolus him again (that just means giving him insulin with the pump) and no dice. Same message screen. Grrrr. Back on the phone with Animas, same reboot. While we did that, though, we got the same alarm message screen. Apparently 3 strikes and you’re out – they decided to send us a new pump. The next day.
Slade and I looked at each other and realized that the next 24 hours weren’t going to be pleasant. The pump automatically gives Benny insulin every three minutes (that’s the basal) and we use it to give him a dose whenever he eats (that’s the bolus). No pump means no insulin and that means Benny could get very sick in just a few hours. We’d have to use shots again.
Quick call to our amazing Pediatric Endocrinology office. The doctor on call wasn’t Benny’s primary, but she was wonderful. She talked us through the insulin doses (we’ve been letting the pump do the math for the last eight months) and gave us instructions how to restart pumping when we got the new one.
The last time we’d used a needle to give Benny insulin was last July. The thought of having to do it again, likely every three hours even overnight, did not thrill me. But when there’s no choice, what are you going to do? I steeled myself for some tears and went on with the evening – dinner, homework, playtime.
Slade, though, had one last idea. He rebooted the pump again and replaced the lithium battery, even though it showed it was at full power. Success!! We made it through the night and it even if it poops out now, we should get the new pump in just a few hours. What a relief. And I feel even better telling Benny that yes, his dad is the best fix-it guy in the world!!!!