Wednesday, November 29, 2006

R.I.P. Binky

Binky is dead.

Who is Binky, you may ask? Binky is our son's insulin pump, which delivers insulin to his body around the clock and keeps him alive on a daily basis. Among other features on the insulin pump software, one may "name" the insulin pump. For whatever reason, our son elected to call his pump "Binky."

Maybe it was named after his baby blankie, whose name is "Binky" (what he said when he couldn't say blankie). Maybe the pump was named after his sister; one of her many nicknames is "Binky." Could it be a twin thing? I rather doubt that he named his pump after the powerhouse literary agent Binky Urban--but Mommy and Daddy are both writers, so ya never know.

Anyway, all of a sudden yesterday at about 4 PM, our son was trying to give himself insulin for a snack. Binky claimed that the insulin cartridge was removed. Of course, it was not. Then Binky demanded that we confirm the sensor on the insulin pump pushrod by reinstalling the cartridge. Of course this didn't work. We threw out the insulin, filled up a brand new cartridge. Nada. New battery, nada aussi. Binky continued to lie and claim there was no insulin cartridge.

A lengthy phone call to Smiths Medical confirmed that Binky was dead. Or, shall we say, brain dead. In fact, Binky's body is going to be donated to science since the disease which took its life is undiagnosable (at least, via phone from St. Paul.). Of course, it was past 6 in St. Paul. The Fedex had gone. Binky's successor still lay in the warehouse. Unable to be shipped. Binky's carcass remained dead and tragically useless on the counter. We had no time for tears.

After hanging up I immediately called school because that is where our backup insulin pen in kept. We do have syringes at home but only Novolog pen refill cartridges which can be used in a pinch with syringes, but really are best used with a pen if you are going to do more than a couple doses that way.

We had to figure out a solution for school. Fortunately, the school secretaries were still there (bless them). I booked it over to school to get the pen. Then we had to dig all throughout our supply box at home for pen tips. We only had 6 on hand. That really won't get us through the two days we will have to wait for Binky's replacement. So I had to call the pharmacy and get everything refilled.

Moral, always have a backup pen BOTH in the house and at school. Make sure you have more than a pathetic number of pen tips. Really. That was a dumb move of us not to be better stocked with all that stuff. It was a needlessly stressful aspect of the situation. Fortunately the Lantus was available onhand.

The school secretaries looked at me with great pity. I must have looked really stressed. I didn't feel that stressed, just completely "on" and moving quickly to get the problem solved. Our son is OK with the shots for a few days but I had to write a long letter to the teacher describing the mathematical forumala for figuring out a high blood sugar correction and what to do at lunch. I'll bet I will get a call anyway, but that's OK.

I really miss Binky. In Binky's memory and also because it is 38 degrees outside, I am wearing a black down jacket. I can't wait for Binky's replacement to arrive. Maybe the new pump should be named something a little tougher, like Thor.