Pages

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.