Allow me set the scene
Arden's school has a half-day scheduled and one of her friends has organized an outing for a few of the girls after school. The group is being picked-up by one of the mothers for lunch and a manicure, I am not attending. We will manage BGs as we do while Arden is at school, a sleepover or other out of the home events.
What could go wrong? How about, literally everything...
We were battling a stubborn blood glucose number all morning, it was one of those 180ish numbers that just won't budge. Arden's pump was due to be changed later in the day but I thought it could make it just a little longer - I was wrong.
Arden's morning snack sent her BG into the 300s but we didn't know immediately because her DexCom sensor gave out just after we bloused for the snack. Are you following so far? Pump site going bad, just ate, CGM not reporting.
When Arden texted that she was getting ready to leave school, I asked for her CGM number and she replied, "It says ???". Okay, no problem, "we can just test a little more while you're out", I said. Knowing that they would be at the restaurant in under ten minutes, I asked her to test so that we could bolus for lunch... Arden tested and was over 340.
It was then that I decided to go to the restaurant and perform a 'diabetes pitstop' in our car. Seemed easy, and I had a plan. I wanted to changed her pod, swap her CGM and inject insulin for her high BG and the food she was about to eat. I didn't want all of this to ruin her outing so I didn't think twice about letting her eat with the high BG, normally we'd wait.
In my imagination, I saw Arden hop into my car; we'd switch her pod and pop off the old one, inject some insulin, swap her DexCom receiver, and she'd be back inside before anyone realized that she had left. Smooth, like a pitstop.
Arden got into my car and I told her my plan, she looked at me like I had two heads. She was not thrilled about trying all of this in a car.
Putting on the new pod went smoothly, but she wasn't terribly comfortable getting an injection in the cramped car. After a bit of drama, we injected and moved on to the DexCom receiver and that's where, to use a topic specific metaphor, the wheels came off.
Arden has been wearing a DexCom CGM for years and years and we have never, I want to reiterate - NEVER hit a vein upon insertion - until we tried to do it in my car, outside of a restaurant... while her friends were waiting for her. The blood would not stop, it was gushing out from under the sensor and going in every direction possible.
Arden freaked out just a little and I began to feel defeated and then she said something that broke my heart, "Let's just go home".
I removed the sensor, stopped the bleeding with some glove compartment napkins (Huge thanks to my wife for suggesting that I keep napkins in my glove compartment) and worked to help Arden find a little calm. When she relaxed I told her this...
There are going to be times when diabetes is difficult but we can't let it beat us, we can't give in to the feeling that is telling us to go home. We live our life no matter what. This isn't how you hoped today would go and I am sorry that my plan didn't workout very well but you are going to pull yourself together, go back inside and eat with your friends. Then I want you to get your nails done and forget about all of this, it's over - you're fine.
I felt like crap when I dropped her off at the door to the restaurant, I couldn't believe that so much went so wrong, all at once. Moments before, Arden asked me why we were having so many problems and I responded, "It's just bad luck - randomness that seems like it's not". She laughed when I told her I was sure that we had used up our allotted 'bad luck' for the month in the last five minutes.
Arden went on to eat and laugh with her friends, she got her nails painted purple and had a wonderful afternoon. I'm grateful that I didn't give-in to the pressure that diabetes put on us, I think that it would have been a serious personal setback for Arden and perhaps me, if I would have taken her home.
There is a ton of value in persevering through moments like these because you can't replace or recreate the tough situations that teach us the most. I know that none of us want these challenges, but there is so much that you can take from them... sometimes they are worth the hassle.