Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A NEW MEMBERSHIP: TO THE "MILE HIGH" CLUB

OK, if I am not mistaken the "Mile High Club" is for people to do "special" things while at cruising altitude on an airplane. Well guys, gang, gals, friends...guess what? I became an official "member" yesterday. I don't even know how many people are in this club; I cannot imagine too many belong yet. Maybe I'll be a "trend" setter.

You see, we flew from Burlington, Vermont yesterday to Spokane, Washington. We are currently in Idaho for my sister-in-law's WEDDING. Somewhere between Burlington and Chicago, I realized we were in BIG TROUBLE with Joe's Insulin Pump Site. He hadn't seen a number under 240 for like 10hours, no ketones yet, but I was DONE "limping" by with a less than stellar infusion site. I discuss the situation with a now hungry Joe.... explaining that we either need to do a correction shot for his previous blood glucose of 320, or that I need to put in a new pump site while in flight. Let's just say my little bundle of positivity and joy (S-A-R-C-A-S-M) was not DOWN with either plan. I gently coaxed a choice out of him... well actually I said he would not be able to EAT until I was able to inject insulin into his little beta-cell "deficient" bod. So, begrudgingly, he chose to have a new site placed while CAREENING THROUGH THE AIR.

The "removal" of the old site...

I ask Joe to lean forward so that I may disconnect his defunct, 300s-inducing, mom-pulling her hair out, extreme situation causing site. He obliges. I cannot see the actual site. I remove it using my sense of touch only...finding the edge of the IV 3000 (this is a thin, transparent dressing used to help "anchor" the site), and gently (ah, or not so much, there just isn't an easy way to get that off blindly while jet-setting through the sky)...tug the dressing off...and then I unclip the tubing from the site...phew-phase 1 complete.

Now on with the "equipment set-up"...


So, I am bent over in my less than spacious seat... to gather my supplies. I am like a circus performer, perhaps a juggler, or a tight rope artist, or a balancing act illusionist. Dear lord, how I managed all of the supplies in my seat, on my thighs, in my mouth, I will never to this day know, but somehow I did. I had insulin, alcohol wipes, an Inset (the part of the system that sticks into Joe), a cartridge (the portion of the system that houses the Insulin)...with the needle and the blue plunger rolling about, and the IV 3000 in my mouth, secured between my lips. I am ooohhh so carefully drawing up the insulin (I forgot to tell you I am also flying across country on Insulin fumes, well maybe not quite fumes, but I prefer to travel with 2 vials, but I only have one new vial for this trip and would have been DONE FOR if anything had happened to that precious vial of "life support"). Need-less-to-say I was extremely cognisant of where that vial was at all times and when I was done using it, I packed it right up. I loaded the cartridge, primed the tubing - I think it is here where the flight attendant came by and asked if I would like some coffee. Remember I have the IV 3000 in my mouth...so I give a polite shake of my head. I am thinking ... 'lady I am about to try to jab a needle in my kid's ass in less than optimal conditions...who has time for coffee?' I didn't really think that, but I was thinking - 'honestly, look at me, do I look like I have space for the coffee too in addition to the controlled chaos I have going on in my lap right now?' I mean where would I even put the damn coffee, right ?

So I am ready for the "procedure"...

I have Joe lean way over toward the window so that I can access his left cheek. Hind site is 20/20 folks and here is where I made my mistake... I .... and I am not sure how "I" being only one human with 2 hands and 10 digits performed all of these things at once. I somehow pulled down his shorts...and even held down the elastic waistband to expose his skin with my left hand for the remainder of the procedure, wiped the site with alcohol (oh also forgot to mention that we are short on IV Prep - so I am flying across country on Insulin fumes, IV Prep fumes...and also hairspray and mascara "fumes" - but that is for a different story)... OK this is actually where the "mistake" came in. I should have removed the backing from the Inset earlier on in the whole process...and the plastic needle cover too. I am now stuck with one hand holding down the waistband of the pant and one hand holding the inset that still has the backing and needle protector on. I somehow, with the hand holding the inset grab the end of the backing paper and kind of "jiggle" off the backing STRETCHING my fingers that are grasping the backing as far away from the hand that they are connected to by BONE, TENDONS, and LIGAMENTS, don't forget...to get this backing off...sure, it came off in a couple or a few pieces, but I managed. Then I pinched the needle cover between my thumb and pointer finger and kind of "flung" the inset loose from the plastic guard. OK - good to go....I POPPED the set in with ease after the fore mentioned minor issues that the plane environment and my lack of planning presented. Joe was a ROCK STAR for sure. The Blood Sugar Gods graced us with a nice 170 about an hour after the new site and correction.
YAY...

But...

Then...
I look across the aisle at my dear Bridget who looks PASTY, with TEARS in her eyes, stating that she doesn't feel too well. I toss the EMESIS BAG over to her and talk her through her motion sickness as we land. She too was a TROOPER and only lost her cookies once and then rallied for "leg two" of our journey.

Another story from the day-in-the-life...and yes, IT IS ALL TRUE.

24 comments:

The Crazy Pancreas said...

Wow! You are a D- Mom Rockstar!

All I could think about while reading this post was how much I would hate to smell the insulin for the rest of the flight! I HATE that smell!

Great job getting it all done and YAY for a great BG 1 hour post change!

Verity said...

Only you Reyna....lol. Wow, you are one incredible mom, pancreas and nurse!!! And your kids, they are like you, amazing!!! Have a wonderful time at the wedding and hope your flight back is a little more relaxing....xoxo

Wendy said...

EEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done, my friend!!!!!!!! COFFEE?????? REALLY????? Perhaps she could have offered to hold something for you instead?????


WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!! I'm happy everyone landed safely :)

Anonymous said...

OK,the rest of the story please, hairspray and mascara?? Love, Mom

Jessica said...

I was just thinking about you yesterday! It's been quiet around here! Kudos on the mid-flight supermom maneuver. I know that situation all too well- well, not on a plane. Mine was in a SuperTarget with a 3/4 done shopping trip complete with melting frozen foods, an hour before dinner time, with dinner still in the cart, one whining 3 year old with a site that had pulled out, a blood sugar of 450 with ketones, and a crabby baby who has very grabby hands and a desire to suck on public floors...ew. We had to do it in the "family bathroom" while I held Peyton and Liam was screaming. Lord knows what they thought we were doing in there. :)
I swear, A D diagnosis should come with a few extra hands!
Good to hear from you! You always make me laugh!

connie said...

OMG, Reyna!!! That was just crazy, I am amazed at how us moms can multi-task the heck out of anything!!! Especially when it comes to managing the D, and taking care of any other business that may get thrown our way!

You are a rock star, She-RA mom for SURE!!!

It was so good to hear from you again, I hope that you have a blessed trip and enjoy the wedding.

Lora said...

Thank you for the "mile high club" lesson 101.

You are too funny :)

Meri said...

The story and characters are all real...and it wasn't preformed by a stunt double? Brilliant!

Thank you for the detailed explanation...I could see each fluid movement very clearly. :)

It was almost like you were preforming emergancy surgery in the air. There SO should have been press waiting for you when you landed along with a medal of valor! Have a great trip friend!

Nikki said...

OMG! Chaos! You are the rock star! Haha. great writing!

Alexis Black said...

My God, Reyna...YOU are the rock star as well as those kids! Glad you are now safely on the other side. I can't believe the airline wasn't helping in some way...or at least aware of the craziness you were experiencing. I can almost hear your shrill, not-so-subtle voice saying, "come on now, people" loud enough for the pilot to hear through his armored cockpit door. LOL. Hugs.

Tracy1918 said...

Wow! Wow! Wow!

And to think, I got stressed out trying to give a simple Lantus shot in the booty at Sea World.

You rock!!!!

(I bet you could even manage the coffee next time! LOL!)

April Ann said...

Reyna-
This post was great! I don't know how you did it! Have a fantastic trip and boring flight home,

Joanne said...

Awesome, just awesome... you crack me up. Good job Reyna! Glad to hear from you, it's been less sarcastic around here without ya! And less sarcasm is never a good thing!

tara said...

Holy Crap, not only is your story telling phenominal but you are awesome. Glad you all made it and remind me never to fly with you all, lol

Heidi / Jack's Pack said...

Reyna, I've missed you!!!

You are D Mom Extraordinaire!!!!

Enjoy the wedding! I hope your trip home is less eventful with better numbers, no necessary site changes and no motion sickness!

xoxo

Laura said...

OMG - ROCK STAR! I love the details - I was on the edge of my seat while reading this.

I've missed you! I love your funny self!!

Amy said...

:) YOU ARE A ROCK STAR!!! That's awesome! And hey.... (since I now work for an airline!)..for your flight home you might want to request bulk head seating (the very first row of seats behind first class- usually more room there) just in case you have trouble again and need some space to do your handiwork! :)

Amanda said...

I am so happy to see a post from you again! I have missed you! And you are in Idaho? You are so close to me here in Utah, so close and yet so far...
You are an amazing woman, as evidenced by your mile high activities!

Sarah said...

my husband saw the header to this post and cracked up....
so,
ummm...
well...
Glad I read it and didn't just assume! What a trip. hope the rest of the time in Idaho was less eventful and more memorable!
thanks for making us laugh!

Shannon said...

Great JOB!! I dont have any knowledge of pumping needs but this sounds like a super mom moment!

Penny said...

You rocked it! Great job and you kept your cool - impressive hon!

Hallie said...

Good Hell, woman!!! I have bolused, injected, connected, disconnected, tested, and treated a low while landing... But never a site change!! You are amazing, my friend! I hope you had fun and that your return trip is less eventful!!

Shamae said...

Wow!! You rock my world lady! Well done!

Jen said...

I don't know how I missed this post..but MAN! You AND Joe are rock stars!! D just doesn't give us a break sometimes eh?? Just read your return home post as well..you must be so glad to be home. I feel the same exact way as you do about flying..which is why I haven't been on a plane for a few years now!! Take Care friend!!