Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My Purse

I have a pretty big purse. And it's pretty packed with stuff. All of it stuff that makes sense, at least in my head, to have on hand.

I have hand cream (two hand creams actually but one is almost finished so I'll be down to one again soon) and a handful of lip balms (I like variety). A collapsible shopping bag (ok, two collapsible shopping bags). Sunglasses and, in the off chance I actually need them in the middle of winter, my contact lenses. I have a ziplock bag full of fruit chews, Dex 4s and other emergency carbs. I have my fountain pen(s), my rollerball pen and my clickie pencil. Ink refills for my pen because I write a lot. A hairbrush and a pick (not sure why I need both but they're in there). A CPR pocket mask. My glucometer. Batteries for my pump and my glucometer. Face cream (just a small one). A mirror (just a small one). Hair elastics. Hair clips. A mangled Larabar. My emergency glucagon. My wallet. My change purse that I no longer use since I got my new wallet but it's still floating around at the bottom of my bag anyway. A nail file (ok two nail files). My green moleskin notepad.

What I do not carry on a normal day is a new infusion site for my pump. I also don't normally carry a back-up needle with insulin.


Because I already carry a ton of stuff.

Because I work two minutes from home and, on most days, can easily leave the office to pick up what I need should I need it.

Because my purse is already packed with stuff, most of which I actually want to carry. I don't want to take any of that stuff out to carry more things that I really don't want to carry.

Because I rarely run into problems that I can't easily fix.




Anyone want to guess what happened?

Yep. I needed some stuff that I didn't have and was nowhere near my home at the time.

It all started on Sunday morning. I woke up to a beautiful flatline on Dexter. I had slept well all night and spent over 8 hours with a blood sugar between 5 and 6. I love waking up to flatlines.

I showered and went downstairs for breakfast. My regular breakfast. Which I bolused my regular insulin for. I ate it, said bye to Doug and hopped in the car to drive to Toronto for a sister-visit.

By the time I hit Burlington, Dex was singing the high notes. I was surprised to see that I was 17 and climbing. I doubled checked on my glucometer and it said I wasn't 17, I was 18. It made no sense. The only thing I could think of was that I hadn't exercised that morning and my sugar was higher than it should have been. I bolused. Dexter sang. I bolused again. He kept singing.

By lunchtime, I had managed to get my sugar down to 11. Still crazy high but at least I was dropping.

We ate. I bolused 20 minutes before we ate and took twice the dose I should have. Within 30 minutes of eating, I was 17 again. We walked around Toronto a bit more but then I said I had to head home. Something was wrong.

I got in the car and I was 18 and climbing. I dialled in a 5-unit megadose and hit 'go'. I immediately felt wetness on my skin and smelled insulin. Fabulous. My site was compromised, I was 75 minutes from home and I had no other insulin-injecting device available. It explained the problem but I had no solution.

There was nothing I could do but drive. Every 15 minutes I checked Dexter and every 15 minutes he confirmed that I was 17.5 and holding steady. Not the kind of flatline I wanted to see.

By the time I got home I was exhausted, dehydrated, headachy and starving. I changed my pump site and took a megadose of insulin. We waited 40 minutes until I dropped back down below 11 before we ate our 100% carb-free dinner.

I should have carried a site change in my purse. I should have had a backup system. I should have at least had something in the car in case I needed it.

I know.

I know.

I know.

I just don't really want to feel any more like a traveling hospital than I already do. I just wanted to spent the day in Toronto with my sisters, pretending we were famous. Walking into stores and looking at the beautiful vintage clothes we can't afford to buy. I just wanted to giggle and tell stories and be the big sister.

Not the sick sister.


  1. Well you know what I'm going to say right?
    hop into any shoppers. buy a small bag of syringes and a single vial of insulin.
    at least it would have gotten you home feeling a bit better.
    Everybody is different though and when my bg is creeping up on 14 or 15 i start feeling so sick I can barely function. The thought of having to drive all the way back home would be torturous to me.

    I never used to carry backup pump supplies for the same reason. My purse was already full of so much shit. It nipped me in the butt on more than a few occasions but I still never changed my ways.

    I feel really bad that diabetes screwed up your day like that.

    1. Oh, boy. Quelle drag! :-( Ditto what Scully says, especially re. getting some supplies wherever you are. I've done that more than once (never carried backup pump stuff when I was pumping), and it's not too difficult to mimic a basal delivery w/ hourly mini-injections.