Sunday, December 23, 2012

What an idiot!

I've been having one of those days.  You know what I mean - when you not only wake up on the wrong side of the bed, but you fall out of it as well? It's not that I'm in a bad mood or anything, it is just that I'm just not entirely there...  putting the clean dishes away in the refrigerator and the milk in the pantry, shaving only one leg, writing the return address on both the "from" and "to" lines of a card and misspelling just about everything on the grocery list (let's just pretend I was writing in code).  All things considered, these aren't that significant of mistakes - especially when I have HB looking over my shoulder and laughingly correcting my blunders - but the one that is the real kicker, that really gets a burr under my self-loathing saddle and will have me lying in bed cursing myself for stupidity this evening is my forgetting to put the insulin vial back in the fridge.

Back in April 2011, I remember when I was being tested on my pump skills by a pair of Medtronic representatives (yes, they test you to make sure you wont kill yourself before they arm you with insulin) that one of them said to the other that "diabetics DO NOT like to waste insulin." For whatever reason, that statement got stuck in my head and I have been an insulin conservationist ever since... I might only have 0.50 units left in my pump reservoir, but I'll wait that extra 15 minutes for my basal injections to deplete that measly amount before I do an infusion change because - and I quote - "diabetics DO NOT like to waste insulin."

So after doing my infusion change this morning, I got distracted by something - I don't remember what exactly, but with two kids, two barky dogs and a Christmas cooking list about a mile long (I'm obsessed with holiday cooking) it's really not surprising - and I left the vial sitting on the counter.   While it's not that big of a deal to leave insulin out for twenty or thirty minutes, it's a completely different story to leave it sitting out for hours upon hours... it's not that insulin is like milk and curdles or straight up spoils, but the efficacy of artificial insulin goes down the longer it is exposed to inconsistent temperatures (I wonder if Goldilocks was a type 1 diabetic?).   Granted there is no way to know one way or another if that insulin had really "gone bad," but seeing as this vial was probably 3/4 full and that is about another month of insulin for me, I can't risk injecting myself with sub-standard insulin for fear of knock on side effects (hyperglycemia).  Into the trash it went.


Which reminds me... I did a similar bone headed move while at the hospital.  The night that HB and I went to INOVA Fairfax to begin the induction process, I packed an extra vial of insulin just in case I needed to do an infusion change while there.  I put the vial in an insulated lunch bag with a couple freezer packs to keep it cool and we rolled out.   Several hours after I was checked in and we were anxiously awaiting the labor process to begin, I remembered my vial and asked HB to pull it out and get it into the refrigerator behind the nurse's station desk.  Retreiving the lunch bag from my purse, HB pulled out a completely frozen vial of insulin... I mean rock solid, white as snow, nothing resembling usable frozen.  What was worse was that this vial was brand spankin' new - the cap hadn't even been removed yet!


So I don't know what it is that has me so distracted - maybe mommy brain? Simple exhaustion? Holiday exacerbated drama? - but whatever it is it has crossed a line!  Messing with my ability to complete simple tasks is one thing, but screwing with my insulin is below the belt! As mortifying as it'd be, I'd rather make inedible cookies for Santa (gasp!) than waste as much insulin as I've absentmindedly  squandered in the past month.  Somehow I think dear old Mr. Claus would be far more sympathetic than our insurance company will be...

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