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October 13, 2011
Let me recap for you a rather boneheaded thing I did on Sunday’s trip home from Kansas during which I lost, for the first time in my tenure as a person with Type 1 diabetes, an important part of my diabetes accoutrement.
Before that, though, for those of you who aren’t familiar with me: I use an insulin pump, the Animas OneTouch Ping. This pump is paired with the OneTouch Ping Meter-Remote, which allows me to administer boluses remotely, as well as serves as my primary meter for keeping blood glucose numbers — this is the meter I turn over to the nurses during my endocrinologist visits, who in turn download the info it contains and print out a record of my glucose checks, which the doctor then uses as part of his assessment when he discusses how my self-management is going.
This is the thing I lost, this meter-remote.
See, Kathryn and I took a little vacation back to Salina, Kansas — where I grew up — for a couple of days to attend a Swedish festival in the town where my mother grew up (Lindsborg, Kansas; Little Sweden, USA, as it says on the billboard on your way into town).
We had a good time, saw lots of family and several friends, and ate some rather tasty food. Our flight home was at 10:30 on Sunday morning. My folks live about three hours from the airport. Therefore, it was an early exodus from my hometown so we could make it to Kansas City International on time. (Is all of this information important? Maybe. I don’t know what I’m blaming my loss on besides absentmindedness, so I’m giving you some added detail so you can determine for yourself.)
I threw my carry-on in the backseat of the rental car. My meter — henceforth referred to as my kit — was in its black case and peeking out of the outside zippered pocket of my carry-on. I know it was there; I saw it; I can still see it.
Before returning the rental car to National at the airport, I stopped to top off the tank. At this point I recall getting into the backseat for some reason to grab something out of my bag. Or did I? I don’t know. I also don’t remember clearly if the kit was zipped up in the bag’s pocket, or if it was peeking out. It may have been peeking out, because perhaps three hours earlier I’d put it in the bag for easy access in case I needed to check my blood glucose on the way to the airport.
We dropped off the rental car, hopped on the shuttle to the Delta terminal, and before going through security, I sat down to check my glucose.
I fumbled through the carry-on for about five minutes. I knew immediately it wasn’t there, but still, I pawed through protein bars, travel packs of Kleenex, an iPhone charger or two, loose change, and infusion sets and reservoirs, all to no avail. The kit was gone.
Kathryn sat there watching me without commentary. Earlier that morning she thought she’d lost the charger to her Kindle, only to discover that she’d put it in the glove compartment of the rental car. I never gave her grief for the loss of the charger; I didn’t receive grief for the loss of my kit.
Where was my kit? I knew I had it in the rental car, knew it had been in my bag. Now it wasn’t. So, my dilemma: call the National desk and see if they could find it, or just suck it up and deal with replacing the kit when I returned to Michigan?
I don’t know about you, but traveling really wears me out. After only three days away from home, I’m pretty much done. I want the path of least resistance to get me back to the comfort of my home. Sure, I need my blood glucose meter, but sure, I could make it three more hours without monitoring. I knew I had a couple of spare meters at home; not meter-remotes, mind you, but meters that work with the test strips I have. I also had carbs for the flight; I wasn’t worried if my glucose went a little high, and with carbs, I could always combat a low.
I opted to avoid trying to track down the kit at National and just suck it up and pay for my mistake. We made it home without incident, and I e-mailed my certified diabetes educator to see if she’s dealt with other irresponsible people who’ve lost their kits, and what they did to avoid paying full price for a new meter. (At that point I didn’t know how much a new meter-remote cost, but I wasn’t really feeling like paying for a replacement, my fault though it was.)
Failing to hear from the CDE by Tuesday at noon, I called Animas and asked them what I could do. I was in luck. Because this was the first time I’d lost the meter, the representative I spoke to said they had a one-time free replacement policy and that she’d send it out to me next-day. Then I asked her what the price was if on the off chance I lost this one and needed to replace it (let’s hope not). She said I’d have to speak to someone in another department, because she wasn’t sure, but that she believed it was somewhere between $60 and $80. That sounded much better to me than the several hundred dollars I thought I’d have to pay. I know regular meters aren’t that expensive, but the OneTouch Ping Meter-Remote communicates with my insulin pump, so I wasn’t sure what expensive technology is involved in such a thing.
I received the replacement meter remote from UPS last night. I have it sitting on my desk beside me, and now, when I get around to it, need to go through the procedure of connecting it wirelessly to my insulin pump — this requires, if I recall correctly, a pump shutdown and restart, which is why I’m looking with some hesitation at the meter. Call me lazy, but sometimes small things are daunting!
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