Roll Over Beethoven
I heard it from across the crowded room. The unmistakable melody. A terrible electronic version of 'Fur Elise' was coming from my daughter's insulin pump. What, I often wonder, would Beethoven think?
Eye contact confirmed that this wasn't a simple 'Bolus cancelled by user button push' or 'Unable to communicate with pump' Animas Ping alarm. My kid looked both concerned and irritated. I made my way through a few conversation groups.
'I forgot to do a site change before we came. I'm out of insulin. It gave all it was supposed to give to cover what's on my plate but now I'm out.'
We were really enjoying this party. I was reveling in the opportunity to hold an adorable baby whose mom needed a civilized plate of food and adult conversation. My daughter was enjoying helping the little ones at the cookie decorating table. We were having great conversations with friends both new and old. To add atmosphere, it had just begun to snow. This particular festive gathering was exactly what we needed after a whirlwind weekend of holiday shopping and preparations.
We were not, I decided, going to let diabetes win the afternoon. My daughter ate a little less than she'd bolused for, to provide a cushion. We kept an eye on her numbers. She held steady for almost an hour, then her blood sugar started to creep up very slowly. We considered leaving then, but I had to return the baby, and then on the way to get our coats we found other people we wanted to talk to. The rise became more significant about twenty minutes later, and we started our round of goodbyes. But considering the homework that still needed to be done and the football that needed to be watched we wouldn't have stayed much longer no matter the diabetes circumstances.
We got home, replaced the insulin and the site, and bolused for an hour and a half worth of missed basal insulin in addition to the suggested correction for her blood sugar at the time (about 220...not bad at all). The rest of the night was uneventful blood sugar wise.
There were few minor downsides: I needed to heat up some leftovers since she had stopped eating anything but raw vegetables once she ran out of insulin. She missed out on a great spice cake. And the electronic Beethoven theme repeated itself every few minutes- but I'm guessing it probably wasn't audible to anyone but us over the music and conversation.
Looking back, I'm glad we didn't panic. There was no need to. She disconnects her pump at the pool for an hour at a time all summer. At the beach it's often longer. We do the same thing we did last night: make up the insulin once she's hooked back up to the pump. Ideal? No. Medical advice? Absolutely not. But sometimes it's more important not to let diabetes ruin a good time.