I have plenty of awesome stories and pictures from MasterLab and the Friends for Life conference this year, but I have to share about a decidedly not awesome thing that happened first.
As I mentioned, before the conference I was in New York for my cousin’s wedding. This required packing for 10 days away from home – a lot of clothes and a lot of diabetes supplies.
I remembered to bring my meter remote so I could bolus on the dance floor during the wedding reception.
I did a full site change and filled my cartridge with insulin last Thursday morning right before getting picked up for my ride to the airport. I change my infusion sets and cartridges separately depending on timing, so I only changed my infusion site Sunday morning because I still had insulin left in the cartridge. But by Monday morning, it was finally time for an insulin refill. And that’s when I noticed.
I had not packed a single insulin cartridge for my pump.
I also did not have the blue plunger that attaches to the base or the syringe cap that fits on top.
I had a vial of insulin and no method to get it into my body.
My first step was the same thing any other grown adult would do – I told my mom (we were sharing a hotel room). She asked how I could forget something so important.
I reminded her that while I did forget cartridges, I did remember: multiple infusion sets, two Dexcom sensors, two types of tape, three different meters (every day use, meter remote, ketone meter), ketone strips, BG test strips, glucose tabs, lancets, lancing device, spare batteries, gluten free snacks, and I even managed to fit some clothes in my suitcase.
The next thing I did was check to see if I could purchase syringes over the counter in New York state, and was happy to find I could purchase a package of ten. Now I knew I could take insulin once my pump ran out.
Still in the parking lot of the grocery store, with syringes in hand, I went online to see if there were any members of the diabetes online community near by.
I tried Twitter.
The request was shared on Tumblr.
The call went out on Facebook.
I called the local JDRF chapter. No supplies available.
I called the local ADA chapter. No supplies available.
I called the local Joslin Clinic. No supplies available.
I called Animas customer service. There are no local representatives near my location. I received several phone calls from various levels of the support team as they tried to do anything they could. They offered to overnight me supplies to my hotel. The only problem with that offer was that I was leaving the hotel at 5 AM the next morning.
And that was the best part. I knew I just had to get to Florida. If I could just make it to Florida, I knew that there would be a plethora of cartridges available to me.
The first few hours of MDI went better than expected but by the middle of the night and through my time on airplanes and in airports the next day, I just could not get ahead of my missing basal and keep my blood sugar down.
The happiness I felt when I finally got to the hotel and saw friends I hadn’t seen in a year or more was overwhelming when added to the happiness I felt when I saw the pump cartridges one of them was holding in her hand.