Last week, I went to Atlanta for a work thing. I came home on Friday night, but my meter decided to spend the weekend up there.
For the most part, I’m pretty good about keeping my meter close at hand. Every once in a while, I leave it at work. Or, I’ll accidentally head out for pizza or drinks without bringing it along — no big deal. It’s only when I’m on the road that the ol’ One Touch decides to make a run for it.
The first time this happened was quite a dramatic scene. My husband and I were at the tail end of a three-week European journey, and were on our way to catch a flight out of Barcelona at, like, 5:00 in the morning. We’d dragged ourselves out of our hotel at around 3:00, taken a cab to the airport, and were in the check-in line with our gargantuan suitcases when I decided to check my blood sugar. Only my meter wasn’t in my little backpack. Or my husband’s bag. Panicked and still half-asleep, I unzipped my 600-cubic-foot suitcase on the airport floor and tried to shuffle discreetly through piles of well-worn t-shirts and wads of socks and underwear in search of my meter — but it wasn’t in there, either.
Instead, my meter liked Barcelona so much that it had decided to hang out in the hotel room — under the bed covers — while I endured the long, grueling plane ride back to the States. And here I was at the airport, ankle-deep in dirty clothes and stranded at least 30 minutes from my meter, with an international flight to catch and no grasp of the Catalan language. I called the hotel, and tried to explain to them that there was a little black case in room 214 that I desperately needed. They confirmed its presence there and, no doubt sensing the hysteria in my voice, called a cab to come pick up my meter and bring it to me at the airport. I ran out to flag down the driver (and to pay for my meter’s personal pre-dawn tour of Barcelona), and managed to board the plane with my One Touch, my sanity, and an overwhelming sense of relief.
Last week’s incident was a little less suspenseful and a lot more ridiculous. First, I left my meter in the car of the friend whom I’d driven up to Atlanta with. I was in a meeting while she was tooling around the city, and as soon as I realized something was amiss, I sent her a text: “I think my blood sugar thingie is in your car. No biggie, I’ll get it from you later.” I was wearing my CGM, after all, so I could at least keep an eye on the general trajectory of my blood sugars, if not the exact numbers.
The next day (after I’d already retrieved my runaway One Touch once), I found myself in the Hilton Atlanta Airport with about three hours to kill. Naturally, I decided to spend it at the bar in the lobby. As I waited for my friend to fetch me, I sipped a couple of Yuenglings and knocked out a few chapters of my latest book club selection. I checked my blood sugar, too, and that’s the last I’ve seen of my One Touch Ultralink.
We were about an hour and a half south of Atlanta when I dug into my purse and came up empty. Then I rifled through my briefcase and my duffel bag, looked under the seat and in the trunk. I couldn’t believe it — this was the second time I’d lost my meter in 24 hours. Either I was having some serious organizational and memory issues, or my trusty One Touch was taking its own vacation — again.
I called the hotel to ask if they’d found a black zippered pouch, smeared with dried blood and full of used test strips. They had, and offered to send it back to me via UPS. In the meantime, I sent a stream of distressed text messages to my husband and prepared for another afternoon of guessing at my blood sugar levels. I also got really angry at myself, and at the simple fact that I’m so reliant on such easily lost little machines. How glorious would it be to take a trip — any trip — without a bottle of back-up insulin, two extra infusion sets, and the constant subconscious worry that something’s been left behind?
When I got home, one of my back-up meters was waiting for me — with fresh batteries, lancet and all — lovingly prepared by my husband. The funny thing is, I don’t even remember using this relatively ancient model — but judging by the puppy teeth marks on the end of the lancing device, it must have been about six years ago. I even had to code the thing!
So now I’m waiting for my rogue One Touch to arrive in a big brown truck, and when it does, we’re having a serious talk. If I can’t take a vacation from my diabetes, neither can my meter.