A gloriously sunny weekend coincided perfectly with a weekend away with the lovely Laura, my sister, her husband and two friends. The destination for our escape without the kids was Reading and although I wasn't expecting much we were pleasantly surprised at the location and excellent variety of shops and food and drink spots.
Saturday was planned as a bit of light shopping in the morning before the 'boys' went off to watch our wonderful Blackpool FC demolish Reading FC in the afternoon. For the purposes of this piece that is the last time the football will be mentioned apart from the admittance that that part didn't go exactly to plan.
The morning was going wonderfully. I'd risen early and encouraged by the sun went for a walk around town and even grabbed a shirt in the Next sale as they'd opened at 7 for the locals to attire themselves in cheap winter clothing on the hottest day of the year so far. Following a wonderful buffet breakfast with multiple boluses we walked back into town and the intervening three hours had increased the number of people milling around and generally trying to be obstructive. After Laura found some sandles and a birthday present in a shop she went outside for some fresh air whilst I volunteered to fight my way into the queue to pay.
Then it all started to kick off a little in my head and panic central moved in. I did the usual patting of my pockets to find my wallet and discovered it was worryingly not present. I started to go back towards the shoe area to check I hadn't put it down whilst picking up other bags. Rushing back through the crowded shop a rather stressed mum who was fighting through the other way and pushed past with her pram. The pram handle looped around my pump tubing and yanked out the set leaving me disconnected and my already high stress levels went flying off the top of the scale. If anyone's read or seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory imagine the chapter towards the end where the lift (yes it is a lift not an elevator) explodes through the roof - that was my head at that point. I stopped dead for a second or two holding the pump and the tubing actually thinking - pump, tube, you, body, should be, connected, help, what now? First steps were still towards the shoe area as the wallet was of more urgency at that moment. It wasn't present so I rushed outside, remembering first to hide the items to buy behind some socks as running out of a shop holding stuff with a panicked look on my face was not going to help the situation. Once outside I checked the other bags and found the wallet - phew! At this point I talked with Laura about what we needed to do and firstly decided to go back in the shop to buy the stuff.
So this is where you seasoned pump wearers now casually say that the next step is to discreetly find somewhere to do a quick set change before continuing the morning in a relaxed manner. Well you'd be right. Apart from the fact I didn't have the spare set to hand to do this. I know! I've read the manuals, read the books, listened to the lectures and thought about the problems.... but .... I just haven't got into the practice of carrying a spare set around with me at all times. Why would I? I've had the pump nearly five months and I've not had a set fail yet so why would I need to change apart from every scheduled third day? Well I now have the answer in a 'real world' example.
This is however, where the story turns a little in my favour for two very key factors.
Firstly we were staying within five minutes of my current location and my spare sets were back at the hotel. Unlike a day where I would quite happily leave the house oblivious to the risk I was in easy reach of the solution to my insulinless problem.
Secondly, and this is the big one, I was in possession of a CGM for the week. I get to borrow for a week at a time every couple of months. Using this I knew that due to the walking around and guessing at boluses for breakfast I'd been at the lower end of my acceptable range all morning so could last for an amount of time without having to rush back too quickly. Until we got back I was continually checking the disconnected Veo to look at my rough levels and trends and thankfully didn't get a sudden rise.
On return to the hotel I changed the set and bolussed for the missing insulin to reduce a rebound later when the missing insulin would have been at it's peak.
So now comes the issue of how I'm going to prevent the exposure I had at the moment after the set come out. Ensuring the tubing is more tucked away is obviously important but it can't hide the fact I need to be carrying a spare set whenever I'm more than about thirty minutes from home. I currently store my spares in a fantastic extra-small Exped waterproof bag but this needs me to hold it all the time or put it down and forget it in a bar somewhere. A bag would be much easier to remember but I'll admit I'm not a fan of manbags (even when they are made by Stripy Kat) and bigger rucksacks as this just feels like something that takes away from the pump-convenience although it's obviously something I need to get over. Quickly.
This experience has shown I'm being foolish in my behaviour but I'm still not overly sure how I'm going to manage it going forward. In the short-term me and my Exped aren't going anywhere unless we're together.
Any tips for stress-free but easily handled protection will be greatly welcomed.