“Ladies and Gentlemen, our gate is currently occupied. Please remain in your seats as we work to find a solution to this situation…”
I didn’t really hear anything after that.
The snow was falling in Chicago, and flights were delayed from every angle. Mr. Rose and I were travelling home after a full 4 days away from home, and the girls were in the care of my mother for the 1st time. Sugar’s numbers had been hovering in the 200’s-300’s, and I was anxious to hear the effects of her most recent correction.
I felt fidgety in my seat…anxious…there was a pit in my stomach, but I couldn’t really identify the reason. My phone was tucked away in the overhead bin, so I nudged Mr. Rose and asked him to call and check in.
You know those annoying people who start talking on their cell phones before anyone can get off the plane?
We had become those people, because I had no idea how long we’d be waiting for a gate, and the past eight years have taught me to rule out diabetes FIRST when it comes to that pit in my stomach.
“Hi. We’re on the ramp in Chicago, and we aren’t sure when we’ll be able to get off the plane”…”Hmmm.”…”WHAT? FOUR NINETEEN?”…”Ok. She needs a site change, and we’d better swap out her insulin too.”…”Well, first have her take off her pump and give it to you…”
I had already walked my mom through a site change, so I knew she could do that part without much drama. I had filled the pump with extra insulin before we left in hopes that we wouldn’t find ourselves in a situation like this. In other words, she had no idea how to actually get insulin into the pump. I left a list of phone numbers, including fellow friend and dMama, Tracy. I also have a neighbor, Heather, who has learned how to put in sites and fill the pump, so I figured it was good enough to have back up if necessary…but I was *REALLY* counting on the 150 units I filled to last the full four days.
Heather putting in a pump site for the first time.
And then Sugar’s BG was 419 after lots of 200’s and 300’s.
I sat anxiously listening to Mr. Rose giving instructions…and, when I couldn’t take it any longer, I took the phone from him. I could tell my mom was nervous about the numbers. Sugar was anxious knowing the situation warranted intervention, but her mom and dad were on a snowy ramp in a different time zone. The other two girls were bickering in the background, and I knew all too well the tornado my mother was sitting in the middle of. This scene has played out at least a hundred times at our house…except, this time…well…THIS TIME I wasn’t there to fix it.
My little girl needed me and I wasn’t there.
I felt a little lightheaded and clammy. I knew panic could easily take over…not so much because we wouldn’t be able to get the site changed and pump filled, but because I knew there was a 3.5 hour flight still ahead, and both Mr. Rose and I would be completely inaccessible. I knew things could go downhill fast if our fix didn’t fix it…but I’d be somewhere over the United States, completely helpless. This truth made me sick.
Mr. Rose must have seen the color draining from my face as the plane pulled up to the gate. By then, everyone around us knew something serious was going on with one of our children, and graciously agreed to let me scurry off first. (Thank you, Strangers!) Meanwhile, Mr. Rose got our carry on bags, and used my phone to call Heather to see if she could go to the house and help.
There was some ruckus getting off the plane — like hitting my head and seeing stars while trying to get into the aisle. It was really loud once I made it inside the airport, but between Heather, Sugar, my mom, and me we got the job done. I felt a wave of relief, said good-bye, and started investigating the status of our flight.
We were only about an hour behind schedule when we made it back to Phoenix. That’s when I turned on my phone to see this…
Tracy was called? A shot? Temp basal?
The site change didn’t work. Or the insulin was bad (which is what I suspect happened after going through the fridge and finding a vial the school had opened back in August that I brought home and forgot to throw away. I think my mother unknowingly used this insulin with the site change we had done in Chicago. Um. My bad.). Any number of variables, or combination of variables, may have reared their ugly heads, but the bottom line is that things went from bad to worse AND. I. WASN’T THERE.
I called Tracy immediately, and she filled me in. At that point her BG was *DOWN* to 514mg/dL and ketones were down to moderate from large.
When Sugar’s numbers weren’t dropping, my mom called her…one quick evaluation of the situation, and she jumped into action.
New vial of insulin. Another site change. A shot. Fluids.
Heather and my mom followed her directions, and got the job done.
Tracy knew my mom had to get ready for an early flight home the next morning, and could tell everyone was mentally exhausted from hours upon hours of trouble shooting. She thought it might make it easier if Heather took Sugar to her house so my mom could tend to the other two kiddos, and take care of getting packed for her trip home.
By the time I got to Sugar, her BG was 355.
The crisis was over.
They did it (without us), and I couldn’t be more proud of them!
PS — I REALLY want to tell you all about our awesome pals Misty and Keith, and the wonderful time we had at the 2013 Friends For Life Focus on Technology Conference in Cincinnati. I want to tell you about the tears I cried while listening to Edward Damiano talk about the Bionic Pancreas (P.S. — don’t miss Misty’s awesome recap HERE). And I want to tell you how nice it was to get away with my man for a few days…but…I’m a busy mom who works four evenings a week and Christmas is a week away. So like my FB page, and then you’ll get an update in your feed whenever I get around to it. Because I know you’re busy too!