Without opening my eyes – without really waking up – I reached under the covers, searching. It wasn’t there.
I ran my hand ran across my abdomen. Right…over my bellybutton…left. There it was. I found what I was looking for. Or rather, I didn’t find it.
My eyes flew open and I sat up.
Where was my pump? It wasn’t attached to me. I felt the little knob of my infusion set, but the smooth disc that connects it to my pump was absent.
There was a dry feeling in my mouth and my head was fuzzy. I continued searching amongst the tangled bed sheets until I located my pump. It was lying on the very edge of the bed, almost falling off. I reconnected it and started to assess the damage.
How long had I been unconnected? Disconnected? Not attached?
It was about 3am. We’d had a late night and by the time sleep came, it was well after midnight. I guessed that I’d been separated from my pump for about two hours. Not as bad as it could have been, but long enough.
I checked my BGL and discovered it was creeping up into the mid-teens, which explained the dry mouth. ‘Oh,’ I thought ‘And the need to pee.’
I got up, threw on a t-shirt and, pump in hand, went to the bathroom and then stopped by the kitchen to chug two long glasses of water.
Cherry, our cat, wound her way around my bare legs, pleased for company, as I stood over the sink, looking out the window into the dark garden. A wave of nausea rushed over me. Breathing deeply, I contemplated taking an anti-nausea tablet, but the feeling had passed. I stumbled back to bed after giving myself a correction bolus.
By the time I woke up in the morning, my BGL was in range and the dry feeling had gone, my head was clear. Crisis averted.
I am usually really diligent about reconnecting my pump if, for whatever reason, I remove it. I am particularly conscientious about it at bedtime because I am a notoriously heavy sleeper and the likelihood of me sleeping through climbing BGLs is high (as will be my BGL by the time I eventually do wake!). This is especially an issue when not wearing my CGM and there are no warning alarms to wake either me or (more typically) my husband.
This was the case last night. No CGM (I don’t want to talk about how I accidently ripped out my last senor AFTER ONLY 6 DAYS as I was getting dressed), no alarms. Just a pump lying dormant; dripping insulin onto the mattress instead of into me.
This week marks 14 years of wearing a pump. For over 5,000 days I have had this device attached to me for pretty much 24 hours a day. You would think that I simply would never fall asleep without it safely attached to me
And yet, I did. Because as much as having diabetes is part of my DNA, robot parts are always extra.
I got up and ready for work, and as I was driving in I realised that I’d forgotten to put on a couple of the enamel bangles I wear most days – especially when I am in all black, as I am today. Perhaps I’m just having a forgetful day, I thought, and weighed up the option of turning the car around. I decided that having forgotten my life-saving medical device at home would probably be accepted as an excuse for being extra late, however forgetting to accessorise would probably not. I proceeded to work, my arms unadorned.
One of my lovely and clever work colleagues came to the rescue though, and, MacGyver-ed me up a solution using nothing put coloured post it notes and sticky tape.
Once again, crisis averted.