Stroke of Midnight (Almost)

Daily Prompt: Where were you last night when 2012 turned into 2013? Is that where you’d wanted to be?

Last night was an exercise in the trials you face when your life depends on a battery powered device.

To preface, my insulin pump failed at about 11 pm last night. Not just a bubble in the tubing or a bent cannula. But a full on mechanical, this shit ain’t working no more, failure. I’m lucky that my micromanaging of my blood sugars caught the issue early and I was able to get home and back to my party with 15 minutes to spare.

Let’s start at the beginning. (And this isn’t a story for the faint of heart.)

I bought a super cheap, but awesome, tight dress from Forever 21 last week. It’s was spandex, sparkly, and age appropriate. Perfect for dancing in all night. The problem pump users have with tight clothing is where to stick the insulin pump in something that showcases all bumps, lines and imperfections. I decided to try hiding the pump with “the girls” for the first time ever. (Hey – other female PWDs do it all the time, why not?) Surprisingly, not that bad considering I’m petite everywhere.

The hubs and I leave for the studio and stop off at our friends’ house for some “real” NYE drinks. Pump is working fine so I have a little bit of dessert to counterbalance the champagne.

The studio opens a buffet of desserts at midnight to coordinate with the sparkling cider toast. Since I’d been dancing and had pizza for dinner, I went to check my sugars around 11 pm. 154 mg/dl. Fine. Nothing to smile about, but hey, it could be worse for a pizza night. So I check to see how much on board insulin is left and the buttons are frozen. The escape button, bolus button, light… nothing. Unresponsive. Fine. I ask the front desk for a coin to open my battery compartment to maybe reset the frozen pump. (They are computers and all.) Off. On. Nothing. I jump out of the bathroom to find my cell phone in the next room; my pump awkwardly stashed in my bra. On the phone with favorite company once again, Minimed.

I explain that my pump is being unresponsive and I need help resetting it. Then the alarm goes off indicating “Button Error.” Tech support says that the error is too complicated to reset so they have to send me a brand new pump, which, with the holiday, won’t be here until Thursday morning. Fuck! Apparently, my pump is also no longer working. Ugh! Really? So I’m advised to get on a backup method for the time being. Yes! Let me yank that out at a NYE party right this second. After frantically flagging down my hubs in the ballroom and listening to Minimed’s spiel about how I need to return the pump in a timely manner (Seriously!? Now? I need to go home NOW!), we dash home, alarms on my pump now sounding off every minute.

On 25 minute drive back, I manage to give myself a random dose of insulin (because that seemed logical at the time) and cut the battery from the pump because the alarms were stressing me out. Figuring my pump wasn’t doing me any favors attached, I decide to hike up my dress in the car and remove the cannula so I can ride home wireless.

Bad idea. About 2 seconds later, my abdomen is covered in blood. Guess the infusion set was also angry that the pump failed. I’m screaming at the hubs to give me light while he’s trying to drive as fast as it is legal. We have no kleenex, napkins, or anything. Hubs yanks out a clean handkerchief (I’ll never make fun of him again for carrying one of those) so I can stop the bleeding. I’m really thankful my dress wasn’t white, but my tights were ruined.

Finally home, I dig out the Lantus and shots I conveniently inventoried and organized this weekend, re-pack my supplies for the evening and head back to the party.

We arrive at the studio again as they are prepping the cider glasses. A couple people noticed we were gone. I spill the details to a friend of mine because she was the one that had to search for my hubs. My instructor overhears “blood everywhere” and ultimately gets intrigued. We gather our glasses, party hats and faulty noisemakers and ring in the new year about 30 seconds behind the rest of the world. :) (Because our clocks are all off.)

I was a little worried about dragging my non dancing hubs to a dance party for a full evening. But at least I can say that it wasn’t a boring evening.

Happy 2013!

16 thoughts on “Stroke of Midnight (Almost)

  1. Yikes! A scary moment indeed! And while I can’t relate personally, you’re not the only one whose “girls” have drowned their insulin pump. (I hope that link works). Incidentally, shortly after that blog post went up, MedT posted a suggestion on their Facebook page to make sure, if a pump is kept against the skin, that the buttons are facing away from the body.

    Well, I hope your Lantus shots work for you in the interim and that you’re pumping again soon! And I love your attitude through the whole thing, you actually make it sound…. fun.

    • Scott – the link worked, thank you. And I have a feeling that her “water resistance” theory may hold true in this case. (I was dancing up a storm… it was warm… my pump was warmer, a little foggy…)

      Luckily, the pump is still under warranty so I don’t have to make that awful payment. But – I may be more inclined to see if I can switch over to Dexcom just based on what I do as hobbies. (Dance, hot yoga, bleh.)

  2. SO much excitement for New Year Eve? Makes one captivating read, for sure!
    LOVED the fact that you handled it so well and went back to the party.
    Double thumbs up to your spirit !
    Happy new year! Stay safe :)

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