When I made the appointment, let’s call it a massage, I knew I would not be home in time to meet the guys after school. But I knew they could handle it, and that they’d be together.
But what if the pump malfunctions? This thought vaguely haunted my brain, but I pooh-poohed it each time it arose, because the pump never malfunctions (except for that one time), and what are the chances?
At lunch time, the school nurse called. B’s bolus had knocked him into low cartridge zone, and the pump had begun its tune. Aha! That’s what those d-parents are talking about with their intuition and the Lord protecting them—that must be why the pump malfunction thought was haunting me. But I’m snipping the problem out RIGHT NOW, in plenty of time for my appointment. Huzzah.
When I got to school to change the cartridge, I also changed the site and—for extra credit—the battery. Because I was not joking around re getting all of this hootenanny’s components set. And I took my time to make sure everything was just so. And then, because I am thorough, I told a minor, appointment-protecting lie.
I said to B, so the nurse could overhear, I’m going to the doctor this afternoon and you might get home before me. I was hoping the nurse would assume, based on the absence of doctor description, that it was gonna be a date involving stirrups or mammography, and that she would discourage my boy from needing to contact me again in the next few hours.
With the MA-P lie and perfectly inserted/filled/lithium-energized pump in place, I got on with my life. And my appointment.
Everything was going along swimmingly at my (now halfway completed) appointment when my phone started A-punking. That’s Jack’s ring; A-punk was his favorite song at the time he got his first phone number. I dread the A-punk because Jack only calls when something’s wrong, and so each of his jarring situations is introduced with ba-na-NANA ba-na-NANA bun-nanananananana.
The bus already left and someone locked their bike to my bike. Can you come get me?
I’m sorry honey, I can’t. I’m at the doctor. Can you walk—-
Nevermind here comes the bike kid see ya bye.
And then I went into the stirrups (but not really stirrups) portion of the appointment, and by that I mean the part where I’d need to execute some extraordinarily awkward disentangling in order to leave, so I guess for this story since I’m pretending it’s a massage, it would be the point when I’d be all oiled up with my face in the doughnut pillow, and the massage assistant would have taken my clothes away to be ironed, and also my car would be getting detailed.
Um mom? I fell off of my bike and I’m bleeding pretty bad, and I made it home but don’t know what to do.
I talked him through rinsing off the wound, patting it dry with a clean towel, applying bandages, and returned to the doughnut pillow/stirrups (but not) part of the appointment. I settled right back in, certain that now everything that could possibly happen had happened.
It’s B. My pump is broken. You hear that? (Muffled chirping.)
Yeah it says zero units and it’s making a weird noise like SCREECHSCREECHSCREECH and I really want to eat.
When did the screeching start?
When I got home from school. Just now. It’s broken. It doesn’t even say the date. It has an hourglass. Did you hear the noise?
Did you test?
I am. How much should I bolus for some scoops of ice cream*?
You’ll need to know your blood sugar for that. And get the scale. You know how to zero-out the bowl.
(Rummage rummage poke.)
Okay. You’re going to have to do an injection, and weigh the ice cream, or you can wait for me to get there…
Where’s the pen?
And then I was STRUCK DUMB. But literally. I said nothing and then for real said duhhhhh. Then pen was in my bag here with me at the appointment.
This makes sense in the byzantine insulin-preserving system Joe and I have fallen into. (Trust me re byzantine or try to muddle through this: we carry a filled insulin pen with us in our d-bag. The cap of the pen is marked with the date the cartridge was removed from the fridge. When we change a site, we fill the cartridge from the already-unrefrigerated cartridge in the pen*, and transfer that cartridge’s date label from the pen to the cartridge itself and store that cartridge in a pottery in the kitchen. And then we put a new (cold) cartridge in the pen and label the pen cap with the new date. And return the pen to the d-bag, of course.) (*If no used/room-temperature cartridge is in the pottery.)
But because I was going from school to “the doctor” with no time in between to transfer a picky little piece of tape from one fucking thing to another, I (very VERY smartly) kept the empty insulin pen in my bag in the part where I keep my phone so that I would keep bumping into it and notice it and refill/date-tape it as soon as I got home.
So then I said…
You’re going to have to give yourself an injection with a syringe. First thing you do is get an insulin cartridge out of the fridge and hold it in your armpit.
Where in the fridge?
On the door. Over the milk.
I don’t see it. Oh, here. Okay.
And then you’ll need a syringe…
Like an orange cap kind?
And then reality hit me: he has no idea how to use a syringe, and I am a terrible teacher, and I’m terrible at talking on the phone, so trying to teach someone something that could kill them over the phone would not be wise. And even if it would have made it safe, I could not have Facetimed the lesson, because of my own current (compromised) situation. And so at a very awkward moment in my appointment, I got out of the stirrups and went home. (But it wasn’t stirrups and it wasn’t even a massage, and I wasn’t going to get away with the lie, because my hair was soaking wet.)
But then the universe smiled upon me. Did you know you can dry your hair (pretty much) in a ten minute drive if you aim all of your car’s fans at your head and run your fingers through your hair over and over again like a trichotillomaniac on a rampage? And how lucky that he was only 192. And how lucky that the Dex was perfect in every way. And how lucky that the Whole30 is over and there’s whiskey and ice.
*Another thing making today unique is that B had braces put on, and the orthodontist’s assistant and I devised an almost all-ice cream diet to soften the blow.