So where were we? Been away from the computer for a while. We’ve been on vacation and getting used to the pump.
First, we spent a day at the Carolina Diabetes Center. Benny had been wearing his pump for a week, but it was pumping saline, not insulin. We were ready for the real thing. Or so we thought. First problem cropped up a few hours into our visit, after Benny had eaten a few snacks and we’d dosed him with the pump. His blood sugar kept climbing and it turned out I hadn’t correctly connected the tubing to his inset. Gotta hear that “click.”
(I’ve explained some of these terms before, but click here for more information on how an insulin pump works.)
They sent us home and we felt pretty good the rest of the day. Benny doesn’t mind letting us take the pump out of its pouch to press the buttons. He wears a sort of little fanny pack around his waist – he’ll be able to just clip it to his belt when he gets a little bigger.
But that first night, again, his blood sugar kept climbing, so something was wrong. At midnight, we decided to change the site. We actually debated going back to shots – it was a pretty bad moment. Changing the site hurts and I’m glad we won’t usually have to do it more than once every 3 days. But we got through it and Benny went back to sleep.
In a genius move, we decided to start on the pump just before going to New York to visit my parents for a few days. As you start on the pump, you need to check blood sugar more than usual, even overnight a few times. I thought that, with my mom around, she could watch the kids during the day, while I caught up on sleep. That seemed to make starting the pump “on the road” not such a bad idea.
Slade left for his own trip a few days later. We do this every summer. He plays in a golf tournament in Vermont and I go to my parents with the kids. So I’m the only one who can take care of Benny, but I’m not worried. I can handle this. And I do – for exactly one day. Then it happens. When I go to change out the insulin cartridge in the pump, I realize I don’t have any more with me. I check everywhere. No cartridge. That means no way to put more insulin into the pump. That means no more pump.
I won’t tell you who packed all the diabetes supplies, but his name rhymes with played. As in, played golf while I was freaking out in New York! Actually, I think I was pretty calm. I called everyone – my doctor, Animas (the pump company), Linnet, our diabetes educator. They all called me back in minutes. I couldn’t believe it! Linnet helped me figure out how to MacGyver together the stuff I had on hand and we got it done.
Here’s the wild part. The next day, Animas called my mom’s house to tell her the New York rep was on her way over with the missing cartridges!! No questions asked, no charge, just coming by to drop off exactly what we needed. I was blown away by the customer service from these folks. I’d heard it was great, but who drives stuff to your house?
Meanwhile, poor Slade had actually found a family in Vermont with kids on the same pump! They gave him a few cartridges and he was ready to drive them to NY. Luckily, he didn’t need to. I can’t say I’m happy he forgot to pack the stuff, but I will say it gave me new confidence in my ability to deal with all this. And I have incredible trust in Animas and in my doctors & educators. These are dedicated and special people.
No excitement since then (thankfully!) and we’re pumping away.