An Emergency…….What Would YOU Do??? Panic!

Plan ARecently, I read, with great interest, a story about a woman who was completely stressed out that her child’s pump malfunctioned.  She went on and on about how her entire life was now upside down and she had been fighting with all sorts of people on the phone to get it fixed immediately and she was in a rant about how she and her child would  EVER survive.   I’m reading this entire scenario on-line and finally I wrote:

Why not just give your child shots until the pump situation is corrected?

Yesterday I wrote about the possibility of failure in technology.  Today I ask; should there be a failure in technology, what is your back-up plan?  What is your ”B” plan?  What is your alternative course of action when ‘life’ hits?  Have we become so dependent on our world of technology that we just assume it will always be okay?  

That is a mistake.

Years ago I read about a mom who was stressing about what could happen at an airport with her child as they went through security.  She was overly stressed about all of the possible airport scenarios of bells and whistles going off, and pat-downs, and ‘all of the stress’ that would be added to her child’s life upon reaching security.

I wrote to her: “Why wait?”  I then suggested that she run a few scenarios at home before she got to the airport. I suggested that she not call it a game but rather tell her daughter what happens at an airport; take a tool from the garage that she may not recognize that sort of resembles a wand and have her lift up her arms and do what a TSA officer might do.  Do that once every two or three weeks until it is time to actually leave and it will be second nature to her.

The same with a back-up plan.  Now if you wait until such time that the pump breaks, the stress level will already be on the rise.  In advance; this weekend; today; all in advance; show your child what will be used if you have to inject insulin because the pump does not work.  Make them part of the process ‘in the calm’ and not in an overly charged stressful situation; you will lose that battle.  Open it, look at it, show them and instruct your child without inflection when showing the needle at the end of ‘a pen’ syringe.  Discuss it and make it normal.

Kids will be fine with most things as long as they are not being shocked or surprised with it; so go over back-up plans in advance of when they will be needed.  You will be glad you did.

With that in mind, also run a few ’emergencies’ with your spouse/partner with expired emergency glucagon.  DO NOT wait for the first time you use it to be in the case of an actual emergency, you will be glad you ‘rehearsed’ that scenario as well.

No one opens in a show on Broadway without much rehearsal to get it right; ‘rehearsing’ in life for REAL situations is so much more important, don’t you think?

I am a diabetes dad.

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0 thoughts on “An Emergency…….What Would YOU Do??? Panic!

  • Kristen Fowler says:

    Our school nurse would do drills in my daughter’s preschool class. She would have my daughter sit in a chair and be very still to simulate passing out from low blood glucose and the other kids would practice lining up and walking to the classroom next door. Seeing the kids walking in her classroom with the assistant would signal that teacher to go next door to the classroom and assist with the glucagon and to help make the necessary phone calls.

    Luckily, it was never needed, but I did feel better knowing there was a plan in place and that all the kids, not just the teachers, knew what to do.

    • I have heard it stated many times that it is all about the planning…..once a plan is in place it only needs to be followed. Thanks for supplying input today Kristen.
      –Tom (D.D.)

  • I couldn’t agree more. By the time we flew with my son, he knew exactly what could happen AND IT DID! He was patted down and then swabbed. He was given the privilege of watching them put the swab into a machine to check for any trace of explosives. He found the whole experience kind of fun. Turns out that the metal clip on his pump is what set off the alerts.
    We have back up pens, pencaps, and syringes at home and when we travel. They are kept in one place so we can find them in the dark if necessary. Better safe than sorry!

  • anne marie anderson says:

    Great advice Tom,
    Glad to say I not only agree, but try to be a prepared mom in all these situations. It has served my child well. Always travel with extra meters and a basal insulin pen for overnights.. Insulin on both of us in case of bag theft ect. Prepared her for the wand/pat down and get there early.
    We once got on a commuter train to the city. My girl forgot to put her pump on. 🙂 All basal’s are on MyCareConnect/BlueLoop so we went to injections for the day. Best part was, my DD was getting on a stage at Solder Field to talk about living life with diabetes. Spent the rest of the day at the Aquarium and didn’t skip a beat.
    Support group motto ~ “Be prepared not scared”

  • We had a moment this morning with Ben’s pump- sudden blank screen and I thought it was about to die. Sudden panic hit me as I was rushing out to school with him. And although I would have known what to do I’m not sure that Ben knows that a dead pump would mean injections for a day or so. I will tell him as its important he knows.

    After you sad post last year following the murders of the young children in school I emailed Ben’s school nurse just to put a plan in place about emergency care for Ben- if he had bolused for lunch and then couldn’t eat because of a fire or worse I asked them to ensure an adult would be in charge of looking after him in the place of safety and ensuing he had enough replacement glucose to be safe.

    We do all need to plan and be aware- thanks!!

  • We always have Lantus, extra Novolog and syringes on hand in case of a pump problem, which happened this summer when my son got thrown in the pool. It was a seamless transition for a day. We have mixed expired glucagon a few times. I also had the opportunity to speak to the EMT’s that would respond at my son’s school in case of a dangerous low there. Loved the peace of mind of knowing how they would handle it. It also makes me feel better to know that they are aware of him and his T1.

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