I can’t believe I forgot…

When I woke up and realized what I had (not) done, I was astounded. Completely and utterly shit-kickin’ floored. How could this happen? Inconceivable.

It has been about 10 years that I’ve been pumping, and not once had I ever forgotten to do this. There was that time back in March of 2005, but still, my point remains. Don’t click that link right away or you’ll ruin the story. If you’re still curious when you’re done reading, click away.

Here’s the story.

Tuesday night:

Get home from work, play with the kids, have a little supper then start to wind down and get ready for the next day. Now, you all can see that I have a pretty elaborate hairdoo, and it takes a LOT of work to keep it looking so nice. Yes, that’s right – a home haircut every couple of weeks. Takes about 20 minutes total – including the shower afterwards. Well, I was getting a bit shaggy, and had a training presentation to give at work tomorrow morning, so it was clearly time for a cut, followed by a nice, hot, loose-hair rinsing shower.

My wife & daughter were asleep already (lightweights), but my son was still awake (he and I are the dominant male night owls of the house). We talked for a while, then I even did some reading for about 30-40 minutes before slipping off into the land of dreams.

Wednesday morning:

I slept clear through the night – no screaming/crying kids, no bathroom runs, no low bloodsugars, nothing. No interruptions whatsoever. Sleep before 11:30, up by 7:00. Nice. So I make my way to the bathroom for the obligatory morning trip, and as I walk by my dresser, I notice my pump there…


A quick hand check on my infusion site, and yep, there’s no tubing there – just the sharp edges of a disconnected quick set.

Ketostix showing purpleHoly. Shit. Mind is racing. How? What the hell was I doing last night? Holy. Shit. Again. Quick BG check – 386. Damn. On to the bathroom. Am I spilling ketones? Purple. Shit. How do I feel? Surprisingly, not terribly bad – a touch queasy maybe. Hadn’t noticed that before – is it nerves?. I had a huge dinner last night. A ton of insulin on board for many hours. Without that big bolus would I have been even higher?

Connect pump, punch in correction bolus, up the suggested dose by a bit (ketones = insulin resistance).

Mind is still racing. Need time. Can I/should I call in sick to work? Can I drink water? Will I be able to keep it down? What about that training I’m supposed to do this morning? Never been here before. Never been without insulin for so long. Can I pull out of it, or am I headed to the hospital for IV’s? I know that if I can keep from puking whatever water I drink, I should be fine. A bit of time, some insulin and a bunch of water, and I’ll be back in action. But can I keep from throwing up the water?! That is key. If you are not able to rehydrate yourself, you’re pretty much screwed and will not be able to recover without help (read “hospital”).

I just bolused 10+ units. Need time. Don’t want to push things too far too fast. Can I call in sick? What about that training? Shit. I laid back down and decided to just rest a bit. Drifting in and out of sleep, waking up to tell my wife that “I’m Ok, but it’s too early to tell if I’ll need to go to the hospital or not”. Great – just the type of thing she needs to hear as she’s rushing around trying to get the herself and the kids out the door on time. Have I mentioned that I married Superwoman?

I rested for about an hour, being sure to get up before my wife left the house. I tested again and was down to 308 – super. Seems a bit fast, but I’m not complaining. I feel Ok. Just a bit queasy, but very tolerable considering the situation.

Here’s the test. Down the chute with a big tall glass of water. Sit down, wait a few minutes. Feeling Ok so far – wait some more.

This is gonna work – I’m holding my water just fine. I continue to get ready for work, drinking water like a camel that has been traveling thirsty for a long, long time.

I get to work, down to 222. Ok, I’m going to make it. I am going to pull out of this potentially yucky situation.

I feel pretty beat up – run over by a small vehicle, but honestly pretty happy about not having to get help with it.

I do my training session, and it goes well. I even told the story about being bit on the head while playing basketball yesterday. Yes, you read that right (now is not the time or place for details…).

Done with training, extremely well hydrated, close to time for today’s basketball (I’m playing about three times a week now, and loving it). I wanted to test for ketones, but would you believe I actually ran out of ketostix at work? Those bottles are supposed to last for like, a lifetime right?

Basketball goes good – at least no major events or catastrophes – I count those days in the “good” column. I feel more tired than usual, but that is expected I think with all I’ve put my body through last night.

Make it through the rest of my day, get home, play with the kids, have a little supper then start to wind down and get ready for the next day. And start it all over again – pump firmly attached to my hip.

With a sincere thanks to God for helping me pull through that situation unharmed, I move on to the next day and on to the next challenge.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Senior Communications Manager for Roche Diabetes Care (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…