Diabetes Details 4: Embarrassing Pump Mishaps
Help please! I need a small device I can use to make the “bleep” sound of censored swearing. I’m hoping to do a reading of “The Creature in Your Neighborhood” at my book launch next week, but there’s one scene that wouldn’t be appropriate without the bleeping. Any ideas on a device that might work?
I debated whether to share this one, but I decided what the heck. My ego can take it, and everyone can use a laugh on Monday mornings, right?
My insulin pump is a pager-sized device which contains a plastic vial of insulin. It sends out a low base dose of insulin, and I can program it to deliver more as needed for meals and adjustments. That vial is connected to a tube, which goes to a small catheter in the belly (or wherever else you stick it.)
Photo from Minimed (this is not Jim’s belly):
I use the 43″ tubing, which gives me plenty of … um … maneuvering room when changing clothes, etc. Extra tubing gets tucked in, and life is good about 98% of the time.
Last week I had a 2% night. I was getting changed for bed, and the tubing got tangled with my pants. I didn’t realize this until it was too late, and the pants/tubing mess was tugging the catheter and sticker on my belly.
I couldn’t straighten up without ripping the catheter out. (And there’s a sentence you don’t read every day.) I tried to yank the pants back up, but they were binding my knees, and I started to fall.
Graceful as ever, I turned the fall into a hop. My other foot came down square on the edge of the laundry basket, wrenching my little toe. At this point, some primitive self-preservation instinct in my brain screamed Just surrender to the inevitable before you destroy half the bedroom hopping about like a one-legged kangaroo on an LSD trip!
I fell. There was an earth-shattering kaboom. My wife rushed out thinking … okay, I don’t know what she was thinking as she saw me sprawled on the floor, pants at the ankles, rugburn on one knee, still doubled over to protect the pump tubing, and clutching my throbbing toe. I don’t want to know. At least she was kind enough not to laugh too hard after she saw I was okay.
Grace? Dignity? I used to have these things, once upon a time.
This is the sort of thing they don’t warn you about when they’re teaching you how to use your insulin pump.
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