One Touch Wanderlust

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.

Come home, dirty little One Touch!

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.

9 comments on “One Touch Wanderlust

  1. Sysy Morales says:

    Oh what a trip! I’ve always been so paranoid about this happening to me that I’ve put my meter, strips, and lancet pen in a not so cool fanny pack just to feel it safely close to me. I hope your meter learns a thing or two about being a good medical device. Damnit, no leaving your owner!

  2. Jess says:

    Ha! I left mine on the counter of an ice cream place at O’Hare airport once. It was still sitting there 15 minutes later when I went back for it…

  3. Tina Kicklighter says:

    I so look forward to your posts!

  4. Paul says:

    That’s pretty funny stuff. It’s almost as if your meter gets its own set of legs to go off and hide just as you’re preparing to depart.

    My solution…MANY meters…I have one at home, one at the office, one in my car, one that I carry in my backpack, and two or three others in a box of “back-up” supplies. I don’t have a GCM…tried ’em, don’t like ’em…so I’m always a bit paranoid about making sure that I have a meter within reach. If I’m within a reasonable drive from home I’ll only take one with me, but when I travel I always bring two.

    All of my meters are One Touch variants so they all use the same strips. Too much organization to have multiple brands of strips to deal with.

    My funniest lost meter story was a meter that wasn’t really lost. Was loading up the car after an evening at the in-laws house when I heard my little black bag drop out of my pocket and onto the driveway. Of course it’s completely dark, the dog is running around, and I don’t have a flashlight handy. After looking all over and crawling around on my hands & knees I come to the brilliant conclusion that the dog must have picked it up and gone off to check his BG level. Only when my son backed the car out of the driveway for me did I find it…flattened from being run over…OOPS! 😎

  5. Karen says:

    Oh my, your One Touch sure does get around!!! Maybe you could get some Minis to stash around as back up meters?

  6. Lindsay says:

    Such a pain to have to always haul all that diabetes crap around. I always feel like I have to double and triple check myself and I still forget stuff sometimes. I hate having to rely on all that stuff just to get through each day. So annoying.

  7. Jenn says:

    I am always afraid of leaving my meter behind somewhere. My daughter and husband are aware of my tendency to forget things and always make me check for “Charlie” (my meter’s name) before we back out of the driveway for ANYWHERE. Even if it is just a 5 minute trip to the store.

  8. quackademic says:

    I love that I am not the only one who has these moments! I have 3 meters–and only know where one of them is most of the time. I also find that the “holster” for the insulin pump gets me in strange situations…for instance, I was at a wedding dance and the thing kept falling down, so I found myself at the hotel counter asking if they had duct tape. That involved a call to maintenance, the maintenance person coming up front, the borrowing of scissors, and my husband and me in a very small hotel bathroom wrapping the pump around my leg with duct tape. Diabetes is definitely not for the shy or boring!

  9. Mark says:

    My latest “meter episode” happened on a hike called “Suicide Gorge” – made up of a series of high jumps into the river below. I wrapped my meter up nice and tight in plastic but alas, there was no way i was keepin my Accuchek Nano from taking a swim! Quite frightening but when i land up in a situation like this i normally try go hypo and treat it “conservatively” so i can know more or oess om ok. Great post Jacquie!

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