[IP] Re: There's Always Something
It never fails: Just at the moment when we least desire an unexpected encounter
with positive results on a Ketostix test strip, there it is, just waiting to see
how we will respond *this* time. . . .
Last Friday, I was attending the Farewell Tribute for my cousin, the Secretary
of the Army, at Fort Meyer in Arlington, VA, when it happened. My family had
been driven in a military van with police escort through the front gates. After
being dropped off at the door, we quickly stepped into the hall where the
ceremony was about to take place.
I sat down in my assigned seat facing six marching bands dressed in full
regalia--admittedly, a strange place for a nonmilitary-minded civilian like
myself. Among the spectators in the rows surrounding me were generals,
legislators, multimillionaires, and so on, as well as various members of my
family. Needless to say, protocol was being strictly followed.
Of course, as soon as the trumpets began playing the first thing I did was
check my blood glucose. Three hours earlier, my BGL had been decently low (107)
when I changed out my insulin and Quickset about two hours after eating a low
carb breakfast. Naturally, I expected my BGL would be in the range of 90 or
less, especially given the amount of walking I had done late in the morning.
Then the g-meter reading popped up: 348!
Upon request, an officer in dress unifrom pointed me in the direction of the
rest room. I quickly checked for ketones and, you guessed it, the reading almost
instantly revealed maroon/LARGE. That's when I realized: the body suit I had put
on earlier in the morning required I remove my clothing to check and/or change
the infusion set. Not good.
So, there I was, ensconced in the rest room stall of Conmy Hall, with
Pershing's Own beautifully playing a traditional military salute on the other
side of the wall not far from where I sat shivering. As I prayed that no one
would notice me though the gap between the stall and its door, I made the
unwelcome discovery that the Quickset cannula I had inserted several hours
previously was crimped and clogged.
I stayed calm. Then I thanked God for insulin and my trusty back up kit, gave
myself an injection, changed out the reservoir, replaced the damaged Quickset,
got dressed, and asked a man wearing a beret, gold arm braid, and many medals
where I could obtain a glass of water. He brought me two and, after I explained
what was happening, kindly offered to have a medic "stand by" until my BGL came
down. Given the unusual surroundings I found myself in, his offer was definitely
Within minutes, I was back in my seat, fully dressed, with the two (refilled)
glasses of water and an assigned medic nearby, listening to the Army's best
marching bands and smiling once again at the wonders of modern science, the
uncanny timing of highs and lows, and the strange circumstances in which we may
sometimes find ourselves.
Only those of us for whom diabetes-related self-management and
grace-under-pressure problem solving has become normal can appreciate the skill,
dexterity, and humility frequently required of us (or our parents, for those who
are still too young to yet know the ropes). Hats off to us all!
So, the next time you're tempted to panic, please don't. If you think you need
to apologize for being too high or too low, forget it; instead, give yourself a
hefty pat on the back. When others voice criticism, dismay, or their ignorance
about the inconveniences/costs/symptoms/challenges you're facing, know you you
are a lot smarter about this disease than they are. And for every time you take
care of yourself or problem solve your way out of a sticky situation,
remember--you are not alone.
Dx'd Type 1 2/02; Paradigm pumping since 10/02
for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: