LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Friday, February 27, 2009

Flying infusion confusion

I’ve lost my voice. My lungs are half full of crap. I’ve spent the night coughing my head off. My mind is bleary and my hands are shaky. But the pump informs me that I must change its infusion set.

Three days ago I got bold and put a mooched AccuChek set on my upper thigh. It is one of those super-short 90-degree sets, so I got away with it even though I don’t have too much sub-q fat on my legs to infuse insulin into. Trying for a repeat performance this morning seemed like the least amount of brain work. Besides, they come two to a box, so the other one was just sitting there in the medicine cabinet.

I tore open an IV prep pad and swabbed down my target area, about two inches left of the current site. I tore open the clear plastic package and set aside the hose and shower cap. I placed the set in the spring loaded inserter device, pulled off the needle cover, then pealed back the two tape covers, and cocked the inserter.

That’s when something went wrong.

Snap! Poinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnk! Tink! Thunk! Splat.

Man shoots himself while cleaning gun screams the headline. So that’s how it happens.

Helpless… in slow motion… I watch my infusion set fly through the air, bounce off the mirror, rim shot at the sink, and fall to the floor, where it lands sticky-side down and gets full of cat hair. Hmmmmm…I guess we’re overdue for vacuuming.

Now remember that I am poor. Now remember that my health insurance thinks that insulin pumps are not medically necessary for Type-1 Diabetics. So it really isn’t much of a mystery why I am standing in front of my sink in my underwear contemplating inserting a cat-hair covered infusion set into my body. If I throw this away, sometime down the road it equals three days less pumping. Three days sooner to the train wreck of taking shots….

Making sure the safety is on, I put the set back into the inserter, doing my best to pull off the worst of the hairs. Part of the bandage has gotten folded over, damn it. I try to pull it flat. The sticky pad sticks to my finger and the set comes out of the inserter again. Crap.

I free my finger, and push the set back into the inserter once again, this time holding on to the needle. By some miracle I don’t stab myself, but at this point my antiseptic technique is way beyond the five second rule.

I place the inserter against my leg, release the safety, and as I pull the trigger I remember that I forgot to “pinch up.”

Snap! Aggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg! (Serious pain).

I frantically rip the site out and throw it back to the floor as bright red blood dribbles down my leg. Damn. Tagged the muscle tissue.

Three days shot to hell. I cough for a few minutes then peer into the medicine cabinet and pull out a Comfort set. But by now my leg it too traumatized to allow any more needles in. I resort to putting into my stomach, where I have not bothered to shave a clear spot. Now instead of cat hair, I’ve got my own stubble to deal with. The curse of having a manly hairy chest. As my Grandpa was fond of saying: if it’s one damn thing, it’s another.

Good morning world. Good morning diabetes. (Cough, hack, wheeze). Can I just go back to bed please?


Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Major suckage Wil! Both being sick and losing a perfectly good infusion set.

Hope you feel better soon!

P.S. - I got your e-mail, and will respond as soon as I can access my e-mail on a full keyboarded computer (having trouble with teh internets at home...).

2:28 PM  

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