We were getting ready for bed when my wife suddenly got a look of horror on her face. She went to fill her pump and there was no insulin. She picked up Fin’s prescriptions earlier and didn’t get her medicine. It was ten o’clock at night and I was falling asleep on the couch and she had three units left to make it through until the pharmacy opened in the morning. Not gonna work.
So she called the emergency department and told them what happened. She said this was the first time in twenty-five years she had been without insulin. They urged her to call her doctor first. They told her they couldn’t just give her insulin. They said there was nothing they could do.
She got a hold of the on call doctor and was told that she should slow down her basal rate and wait as long as possible until the effects of being without her life-giving medicine started to show. When her sugar climbed up into the upper four hundreds, that would be a good time to come into the emergency department. Then they would check for DKA and give her fluid and see what they could do since she forgot to fill her prescription.
Meanwhile, we’re looking up 24 hour pharmacies and trying to figure out how to get a shot of insulin in Eastern Maine at eleven o’clock at night. There was nothing. There was no way. The emergency room wouldn’t help and the doctor told her he couldn’t do anything until she admitted herself to the emergency room. It was a Catch-22 and we just watched the clock for a while and she checked her blood sugar every few minutes as it crept up slowly.
No, thank you.
Since we didn’t have a night nurse last night, I stayed home with the kids while a dear friend came over and took Jess to the emergency room where her plan was to sit and park it until her sugar became out of control and they had no choice but to treat her.
Luckily, it didn’t come to that. The triage nurse had a diabetic son. She told my wife to wait for a minute, and came back with a bottle of Humalog. The emergency room doctor just happened to be my wife’s primary care physician, and came out to say hi. She told her that the people she talked to before had absolutely no right to say what they said. She should have just come right in when she knew she had no insulin. It was no different than an asthmatic running out of albuterol. There were ways to get her what she needed, no matter what.
She came back home at one in the morning and we went to sleep, safe and sound.