Monday, January 10, 2011


I am living proof that reliance on assumptions can make one look pretty foolish.

Sunday was a day full of Less Than Fun Activities - eight hours in a S.T.O.P. class (a traffic safety course for those of us who get speeding tickets in Nebraska), the beginnings of a snow storm that has effectively shut down UNL's campus on its first day of the new semester, and hours of thirst, grumpiness,  frequent bathroom stops, and tooth sweaters coupled with a general feeling of mouth stickiness.

It began in the morning as I settled into one of the plastic folding chairs in the classroom, when I felt the familiar double vibration of Jim letting me know I was flying past my high alert of 160 mg/dL.  Huh...  well, okay.  That could be from my coffee creamer.  I took a correction bolus, another sip of coffee, and made the decision to disable my high and low alarms until the class was over - I didn't want the attention a vibrating handheld electronic device would surely bring.

Checking my CGM periodically throughout the morning, I seemed to level out around 230.  Lame!, I thought.  Another correction.  Another sip of coffee.

A lunch break gave me the chance to do an actual blood test, and it showed 245.  The insulin in my pump cartridge was new, and my pump site had looked unscathed earlier that morning.  To me, the only logical place I could lay blame was the apparent stress of watching traffic safety videos from 1995 (I forgot about how huge cell phones were then).  I told my pump about the 245, the Arby's I was having for lunch, and my Ping did it's thing.  (Question:  did it also sing?  Answer:  Yes, and it wore bling.  Can you imagine such a thing?  Done rhyming now.)

Why I couldn't yet connect the dots, I'm not sure; I continued above 200 for the rest of the afternoon.  A dip here, a rise there - but fairly consistent.  After class ended, I thought some walking might help things, and spent a half hour at the nearby shopping center.  Walking always makes me drop.  (Walking around NYC = Insulin, you know.)  And yet, this time, it didn't.

Fast forward to dinner:  I excused myself and procured a bathroom stall in which to do some diabetes-related investigating.  And, lo and behold, my problem was as evident as it was gross:

Okay, that was dumb.  Why didn't I check it earlier?  Whatever - I'll rip it out (and obviously also take a picture, while I'm at it) and put a new one in.  Which would have been a brilliant plan, except that this happened to be the first time I didn't have a back-up infusion site in my purse.

You've got to be kidding me!  Purse contents were being shuffled, then thrown.  I found the timing incredibly frustrating - I don't get clogged pump sites often, and the one time I don't have an extra site with me is now, when I'm standing in the bathroom of my favorite Mexican restaurant?

My one victory was that I did have a Humalog pen along for the ride, so dinner was spent without wearing an insulin pump.  (Which was way, way weird.)

Was it a series of stupid mistakes?  Sure it was, with the benefit of hindsight.  But, I've decided to not get upset about or dwell on this.  It's true that simply checking my pump site earlier than I did would have been a good idea.  It's also true that ensuring I had reinforcements (say, another infusion set) before leaving the house that morning would have been prudent.  It's also irritatingly true that sacrificing my own health for other people's silence was a regrettable choice.

But, what's done is done.  My kidneys got an unintended workout, and I'm moving on.

Tomorrow can always be better.


  1. Glad you enjoyed your STOP class! ;)

    At least you had the pen with you. But of course it was a Mexican place, right? Would have been to easy anyplace else. And I would be totally weirded out by not using my pump too. Good grief, it's been so long since I've injected I'm not sure I remember how! They didn't even have the pens in those days...

    Here's to a better day today!

  2. Yep, could have been better, but look on one of the bright things, you did have your pen.

  3. I've had a couple bad sites, and I definitely had "why the heck didn't I figure this out earlier?!" guilt. But this is SUCH a wacky dieases, there are SO many different things that could be causing a mystery high!

    I don't generally keep extra sites with me, actually. I know I SHOULD, but I do keep an extra set of the whole shebang at work and at my parents' house. Sometimes, if I've just changed a site before going out, I'll pop my insulin in my purse JUST IN CASE I have to use the emergency syringe I keep in my meter case.

  4. Inevitably, that's ALWAYS the time those things will happen. It's written in the stars somew3here. Like the Pump Gods are watching for the chance to throw a monkey wrench into our plans. But, glad you were able to respond with Humalog and spare syringe! No worries, we wouldn't have those "duh" moments without the "D." :)

  5. Sounds so familiar! The unexpected always happens when you don't have a back up but I'm glad you found an pen in your purse. Traffic school?!? Boring. Btw, you have dope rhyming skills:)

    Be Blessed

  6. I seem to either over-react and pull a Pod that ultimately ended up correcting, or tell myself to be patient, only to have uncorrecting highs. The guessing game is a beast.

    So glad you had that pen though!


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