Forgetting the Pancreas

Have we all had that moment when we went to change a diaper, only to realize we forgot diapers and/or wipes? We sit there and contemplate our sheer stupidity and neglectfulness and wonder what the hell our next steps should be. Do we leave wherever we are at to go get the needed supplies? Ask the stranger in the waiting area if she has any spare? Go rummage through our car, certain we must have SOMEthing useful in there?

 

It becomes a laughable situation, looking back. What was, at that moment, a sheer crisis, becomes something we dealt with (however that might have been) and moved on from. A dinner table story that we share for a good laugh and then we (hopefully) restock our bags and/or cars for the next dramatic episode in life.

 

Well… I had one of those moments. Except it was the kind where you swear your heart stops, your stomach drops and your palms get sweaty. TELL ME I didn’t forget this. TELL ME it’s here, somewhere, and that I didn’t just epically fail at life. Welp! It’s not here. And that “it” is a life saving device. That “it” is my son’s artificial Pancreas… aka Omnipod. Oh, and not only was the Omnipod not in its typical spot in my purse, but all of the Diabetes testing supplies and backup insulin was missing. Sitting on my kitchen table, packed and ready to be replaced into its usual spot in my bag.

 

HOW COULD I?! I left the ONLY thing that keeps my son’s sugar in check on the kitchen table. As if it were my spare set of keys or a few extra diapers… in other words, treated as though it was NOT an immediate and always necessary item. Yes, I’m drawing out the drama. Because I heard so many times after this instance, “it’s ok, it happens”. Or, “don’t worry, we figured it out”. Which is thoughtful and kind and everything I don’t feel as though I deserved for that accident having occurred.

 

So to recap, yes, I forgot Carter’s Omnipod PDM. We sat down to lunch and I started to calculate the amount of carbs sitting in front of Carter. My sister sat with my kids while I took a quick stroll to the shoe/coat room at the indoor playground to retrieve the PDM from my purse. Where it wasn’t actually sitting. Nearly running back to our table after this horrible realization, I shamefully told my sister what had happened. Less panic stricken than I, she gently reminded me we could handle this and told me to call my husband, who by stroke of luck had gotten home from work exceptionally early that day.

 

Thankfully, my husband knew how much I was already internally beating myself up and refrained from any comments during our phone conversation. He simply did what needed to be done and made the 15 minute drive to the indoor playground to drop me the needed supplies. All was fine, Carter only got insulin a few minutes later than normal and nothing terrible came of the situation.

 

But man… what an eye opener. I NEED to keep insulin on me at all times. Yes, I usually have everything and its brother on board with us. Usually I have everything from backup insulin to extra test strips, ketone strips, syringes and even a spare Omnipod and med tape in case of a pod failure while we were out. You name it, it’s there. Rolls and rolls of smarties, extra glucose gel, glucagon. But yet in that moment, the missing items were the only ones I desperately needed. I had syringes I could use, but the backup insulin was in the testing kit. Oh, how could I be so careless?! Disappointed in myself and overly frustrated with the accident I swore this would never, ever happen again.

 

And so I created a testing kit for home and one for my purse. That way, this wouldn’t ever happen again. Should I happen to leave with my purse and all the Diabetes supplies, there would be one at home too for my husband or whoever was left behind with Carter. We had so many extra cases from our time at the hospital and meeting with different Diabetes technology companies that the task was relatively easy! Extra lancet, lancing device, bottle of test strips, extra Freestyle meter, extra wipes. Simple, yet effective. Just this super small idea made me feel so much better about this hopefully not happening ever again. We’d have 2 kits and the only thing I’d need to remember was the Omnipod PDM and back up insulin.

 

Since we get two bottles of Humalog per month that we don’t even close to touch yet for our little guy, one bottle can stay at room temperature for 2 weeks in the testing kit while the other stays refrigerated for the full 30 days. As long as I’m diligent about dates and making sure we toss the expired insulin after 14 days, we should always have backup insulin in at least one of the testing kits. *Big SIGH*.

 

I know mistakes are going to happen in life and especially with this disease. It truthfully isn’t my first “big” mistake but I’m not perfect and I’m only human like everyone else. That doesn’t make what I did “ok”, but it definitely opened my eyes a little more to what could happen to Carter if I don’t always ensure I have everything he might need while we are out of the house. The mistake further prompted me to take action and create ways to hopefully prevent this from happening again.

TALK TO ME! How do you keep everything together? Do you leave yourself sticky notes or something similar to keep from forgetting something vital on the way out the door? How do you keep it all straight?

 

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