Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Guest Post: Cartwheels and Wall Corners.

This week, I'll be attending the Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference for the first time in Orlando, Florida. I don't have the usual line-up of guest posts while I'm away, so look for some eratic photos and thoughts being posted here throughout the week - as well as plentiful updates on Twitter. :)  

Today's post comes from my friend and fellow diabetes advocate, Michael Hoskins, who writes at The Diabetic's Corner Booth. Mike shares a story of a spontaneous "vacation" of his own - from insulin pumping. 

* * * * *

I sat at my desk, reading court rulings and plotting how I'd write a story about that day's legal happenings.

But something wasn't right. That thirst swam around in my mouth, that fruity taste present. A headache was clouding any thought about work.

Was I high? A blood test revealed a 398 mg/dL.

"What the... Fructose?!?! You a-hole," I said to my meter.

Was it my pump site? Tubing? Something else - had I eaten and not bolused earlier, or missed something else?

Hmm. The only thing that came to mind was that I was a couple days past when I needed to change out my site, so maybe THAT was the culprit.

I keyed in a correction bolus and waited for the insulin to start working its way into the set on my left arm. A half a unit in, the pump started vibrating like a whiny school child.

"No Delivery."

I responded: "You suck."

Trying again, the same result happened.

Unplugging tubing from site, I try a third time. This time, the bolus streams through the tubing without a problem.

"Great. Guess it's time to change up sites, here at the office..."

That's when I look for my spare infusion set in my briefcase and find it's not there. Apparently, I used the spare without replacing it. So, I'm stuck with a couple emergency syringes and my bottle of Humalog to last through the afternoon at the office. Skipping lunch, this won't be too much a problem.

But then comes the happy realization: I'm going to be FREE from my pump for the afternoon!!!!

A smile comes across my face, and I tweet this. Several in the DOC respond with enthusiasm, knowing from experience the awesomeness of being free for even a little bit.

I contemplate standing up at my desk, holding my arms straight up like I've just won a championship, and cheering for my new found freedom. But I thought twice, thinking my co-workers may not get my excitement.

They just might not understand the freedom from being unconnected, or an explanation such as "I'm High" or that I need to "Shoot Up." No, that might actually cause some more issues and uncomfortable conversations with the boss and management.

My mind turns to cartwheels around the office. Or maybe skipping around some wall corners that might otherwise present some set-pulling danger. Or maybe, I'll try darting around some doorknobs and laughing at them as they are foiled from latching onto my tubing.

No. Hesitation wins out again.

Instead, I tweeted from my Blackberry a few times and let it go at that. The DOC understood. They got it. And were just as enthused as I was.

Then, I just went about my daily work duties that afternoon, coming down thanks to some manual bolusing via syringe. Once at home about dinner-time, I put in a new set in my leg and was back to the pumping life.

It was only for a few hours, but those moments of freedom were good ones. I could have done cartwheels and not had to worry about doorknobs or wall corners. And just being in that position, even briefly, was enough for me.

* * * * *

Thanks again to you, Mike!


  1. Not being type 1 myself, I can't really sympathize with that feeling. It seems contradictory, using a pump to stay constant and not having to inject, and then the sense of freedom of not using the pump and having to inject. I'm sure all the type 1's understand though. Anyway, whether I know the feeling or not i rejoice in the feeling with you.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out and guest-post opp, Kim! Glad to share the story of a "free" afternoon! Have fun at FFL, and I can't wait to see everyone's updates as they come out!

  3. LOL, I love that you swear at your meter, and that you contemplated cartwheels and taunting the doorknobs in the office. Way to turn a negative into a positive...GO MIKE!!! :)

  4. My favorite is having free showers, other then that I don't mind, but I am glad it made you so happy!

  5. I haven't heard of that conference-sounds great! Keep us posted! : )
    Michael-my daughter likes to keep hers off after bathing-she feels so free. I get it. : )

  6. Just the fact that you CONTEMPLATED jumping on your desk and doing the happy dance, made me smile!

    Freedom! It was Michael's Independence Day!

  7. That sounds glorious! I've never been pump-free since being diagnosed last year (so I don't know how to do MDI). I guess no pump vacations for this one. But if I could be pump-free for an afternoon, I'd be darn right elated! Hurray for small victories, right?

  8. I laughed so hard (out loud. by myself.) at the thought of skipping dangerously close to doorknobs with nothing to worry about! Such simple things to make a D happy!

  9. Love the story! Being a fresh pumper myself, I still feel "lost" not "free" if I have to be disconnected for some reason. I guess in an year or so, I'll do the same happy dance when being "free".

  10. After 12 years with the thing, I feel NAKED without it!! But still happy to know that you had a great experience! :-)


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