There he is, snoozing away in the middle of a king-size hotel bed. Just an hour earlier he was disconnected from his pump and taking a bath when the pump somehow fell off the bathroom counter onto the tile floor and STOPPED WORKING.
I thought back to that morning when I was doing some last-minute packing for our trip to Seattle and paused in front of the refrigerator- take Lantus (the long-acting insulin that covers the basal needs of someone not on a pump) , yes or no? I already had a ridiculous amount of supplies packed and thought, nahhhh, I don’t want to deal with keeping my unopened bottle or pen refrigerated the whole trip, and if for any reason I have to take him off the pump, I always have syringes and the short-acting insulin that I could give him every few hours. Well I didn’t picture the pump BREAKING the night before my JOB INTERVIEW. I had really hoped for more than a couple of hours of sleep before this interview. I freaked out. I scrambled for a new battery and hoped the old computer guy trick of rebooting might be of some help. Nope. I called Medtronic. “We are experiencing a high volume of calls. Your wait time is thirty minutes….” AAhhhhhhhhhhhk. So I called Ben’s dad and asked if he’d call too, and I left my callback number with Medtronic and tried not to cry as I put Ben to bed. I don’t think I’ve cried at all yet- not even when he was diagnosed. This one really got to me. I just suddenly felt hopeless. I was never worried about his health necessarily. I was worried about how I’d ever be able to provide for him if I can’t even go in to a job interview without utter chaos the night before. I felt so sick of feeling like I had to fight constantly with one hand tied behind my back. And what the hell did diabetes have against Seattle?? It had tried to thwart my move there over a year ago on The Worst Day Ever .
With Ben asleep and no next move planned until Medtronic called me back, I sent a quick (frantic) email to a fellow D-parent and blogger located in Seattle. I had recently reached out to Jen to let her know I really enjoyed her blog and her Pacific Northwest photos and to ask about local Seattle resources for families with diabetic kids. (There is way more to orchestrate in a move now than in my previous life!) So that night I sent her an email telling her what was happening and asked if she had any Lantus. Funny, all I needed was 0.3 units. Less than that. So small, you can hardly be sure it’s accurate in the syringe. What a fuss that tiny bit of insulin can cause. I didn’t expect to get a hold of her in time, but it was worth a try. Plus the venting made me feel better, and I gained focus. —-Lantus! I need Lantus. Or do I? Just how soon can I get a replacement pump? If it’s super soon, I don’t mind getting up every few hours to give a shot of short-acting insulin. If not so soon, I need to pick some up. —– So I found out what pharmacy was closest and called the endo on call (Stanford Pediatric Endocrinology- I love you like a box of kittens!) and got the prescription called in as well as Ben’s pump settings emailed to me. Meanwhile Medtronic called back, and either I was not alarmist enough or I had reached a rep who didn’t know how to flex her make-shit-happen muscle yet, but I was told a pump could be shipped there by Saturday- 2 days away. Sigh. Fine. Whatever. Meanwhile Ben’s dad was texting me, “What is your room number? I need your room number.” He was getting somewhere. The rep he reached was going to put a pump on a plane to Seattle and have a courier deliver it to my hotel by noon the next day. Nice job, Dad. And Medtronic.
But I still had a job interview the next morning that I wouldn’t mind being slightly rested for. And one of Ben’s godfathers was going to watch him while I was out a few hours. He’d done a great job of taking care of Ben the last time we were in town, but that was a baby on a pump- not a wild-ass toddler who would need injections every few hours. So picking up the Lantus would be a good idea after all. Luckily my friend and San Jose neighbor was in town at the same time and knew of my predicament. He offered to run by the pharmacy to pick it up, so Ben could just snooze away. With everything calming down, and a solid game plan in action, it was almost hilarious to look over at Ben, commanding a king-size bed, oblivious to it all.
While the timing of this incident was not so great for me, it turned out fine for Ben. The past week he had been having night-time lows so it was a fine time to go without insulin for a few hours. He went to bed around 150 and hovered around there for the next 4 hours. I went to bed once the Lantus arrived, and I could give him his shot. I woke up once that (short) night to make sure those lows didn’t return. I didn’t expect them to since he went without any insulin for nearly 4 hours. I rather expected a high. That crazy little guy woke up at 160. So much to wrap my mind around.
The next day my new Seattle friend Jen got my email and called me so worried and offering to help in any way. Funny how she phrased it, “Well, it’s 16 hours later, you probably have it under control….” All D-parents have a constant clock running. So sweet of her to have one running for me too.
Thanks everybody for your help. I’m happy report that diabetes in no way affected my job interview. I did rely heavily on coffee and makeup that morning, but so what. It was a successful meeting, and the only reason I would not get the job would be if they find someone else more qualified.