I’m writing this late.
The events I’m going to write about happened a few nights ago, Friday the 7th, but the feeling of helplessness still lingers.
Early Friday morning I had changed my pod like I was supposed to. Everything went seemingly well. Some of the adhesive tape that holds the pod to your skin had come up. The whole front side where the needle goes into my skin had been lifting slightly. I’d taped it up as best I could and then headed out to our local Walgreen’s to find something, anything, that would make the pod last. I came across NexCare Tegaderm bandages, which work amazing by the way, and placed it around the pod hoping that would save me from having to replace it after only a few hours.
Later that day I had work.
Around noontime, after movie popcorn and lunch, which I had bolused for, I was slowly trending up on the dexcom. I figured my body needed time to catch up with all the excitement. I did a bolus right before work and then headed in around 4 p.m. All of a sudden I start to feel the dreaded symptoms of elevated blood sugar. Dry mouth, a bit dizzy, nauseous, and everything else that tags along. I check my dex and I am still trending up. I take more insulin.
Two hours later when I finally get a chance to check my dexcom/meter all it says is HIGH. I freak out and not internally. My supervisor already knew that something was wrong so when I questioned when I would be able to take a break she just let me go. I phoned my husband to let him know what was going on. I had been trending up and then reading HIGH for a combined six hours. The only thing I could think of was the pod. I wasn’t getting any insulin whatsoever despite my bolusing. My husband rushed up to my work, thankfully we live fairly close, to bring me a new pod and more insulin. I had a syringe and a quarter of a vial on me so I took 15 units while I waited.
The few minutes it took for him to get up to my work felt like hours..
When he arrives I frantically jump in the car. Having only a few minutes left of my break I rip my pod off, fill up a new one, wait for it to prime, and then stick that sucker on me. I start my basal and take a deep breath. Everything was going to be fine. When examining the old pod the needle appeared to be bent. Who knows where that insulin was going…
By the end of the night I was starting to see actual numbers on my meters. I got home around 10ish and was sitting around the 200’s. I don’t even remember getting myself to bed. In the morning I was at a 94. My blood sugar actually stayed in the low hundreds while I slept. Needless to say I felt like such a zombie the next couple of days. The crazy part is that it’s not the pod change that worried me or the not getting insulin part..it was how others were going to see me after such an ordeal that really bothered me. It made my heart ache, actually.
The technical issues were figured out and then resolved but the way I felt when I had to explain my frequent restroom breaks, or finger checks, or dexcom glances..that feeling of helplessness, vulnerability, the feeling of not being normal..it weighed heavy on me. I can only speak for myself but I strive for normalcy in a world of diabetes chaos. I try not to let health issues, if at all possible, interfere with my life. With work. With anything. Not saying that I put things on the back burner, no, I did what I needed to do in that situation and took care of myself. That doesn’t change the fact that I felt like I was being looked at differently. In that moment I was being treated like a child. Not intentionally but it happened. The rest of the evening I was handled with kid gloves and it frustrated me. The next work day was back to normal. Nothing had actually changed but I feel like it will always be in the back of their minds when they look at me.
My ego was a bit bruised. My pride, maybe. I don’t know.
What I do know is that I will be better prepared next time. But hopefully nothing like this happens again..
Have you ever dealt with anything like this? How did you come out of it?