Friday, March 21, 2014

A Brother, Two Weddings, and a Friend*

Two days before our wedding the biggest blizzard of the season hit the Midwest.  It impacted all of Iowa, Western Wisconsin, and the center of Minnesota all the way to the Iowa/MN border.  Starting at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday thru all of Thursday it snowed and iced.  Plows were pretty much useless because even after they “cleared” (I use that word loosely) the snow off the roads, they were still covered in 3-5 inches of solid ice.  The temps were too cold for salt to melt anything. 

In anticipation of this BIG STORM, my brother and his family decided to leave Omaha Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday morning as they had originally planned.  In their haste, my brother (the other Type 1 diabetic) forgot a few things.  On Thursday, after unpacking at my parent’s house, he thought he had only forgotten the charger to the DexCom.  Not a big deal, I would just bring mine to the rehearsal dinner and he would charge up while we ate.

One day before our wedding, it’s time for my brother to change his pump.  Without missing a beat, he does what he has done thousands of times and he rips out the old one to enjoy a “pump free” shower before reconnecting.

There’s just one problem.  His pump supplies are 365 miles away in Omaha.

In just a few hours our rehearsal will start.  Because of the storm we need to double the time it will take to drive anywhere.  I am preoccupied, nervous, excited. My phone rings, 

E: “Katie, do you still have any of your old Animas pump supplies?”

K: “No, it’s been almost 14 years since I used a tubed pump and it was a Medtronic one.  What’s going on?”

E: “I ripped off my old site before realizing I forgot to pack my pump supplies.”

K: “Ok, talk me through our options?”

E: “Well, I was hoping you’d have some supplies, otherwise, I can call Animas and maybe they can ship one overnight, but we won’t be around tomorrow (BECAUSE WE’LL BE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEDDING) to pick it up.  I could also try and get a script for Lantus sent to a local pharmacy or I could just inject Humalog on the hour for the next day or so?”

K: “No, none of that is going to work.  I know one person who lives close enough to us and uses Animas.  This will only work if she’s home and answers the phone immediately.  Give me 5 minutes.”

A brief explanation…fellow DOC blogger and friend, Laddie, lives 10 miles from me.  Laddie is retired and, because she is smart, does not live in Minnesota from late December thru April.  LADDIE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN MINNESOTA WHEN THIS WAS HAPPENING, but one of Laddie’s sons was attending a wedding of his own ON THE EXACT SAME DAY I WAS GETTING MARRIED and because Laddie loves her grandchildren, and probably her son too, she had flown back into this hell hole on Tuesday so she could babysit while her adult son and wife enjoyed the wedding.  Little did she know, she was also going to save my brother. 

K: <OMG, please answer your phone, please answer your phone, please...>

L: “Hi Katie, why are you calling me?” <--in exactly the tone of voice a person should use when a person you never talk to on the phone is calling you the day before they get married 

K: “So here’s the deal… <explain situation>…are you home and can my brother come to your house and get some supplies?”

AND BY THE GRACE OF GOD, Laddie was home and could help! 

I was so concerned about my own diabetes getting in the way of my wedding that I never even considered my brother’s diabetes possibly being a problem.  Had they not rushed to beat the storm, he wouldn’t have forgotten to pack his supplies.  Had Laddie’s son not had a wedding to attend on the same day we got married, she wouldn’t have been 10 miles away from me.  Had I not been horribly depressed by my diabetes 2 years ago, I wouldn’t have discovered the DOC. 

Later I asked my brother why he called me instead of calling Animas.  He said that as he stood there assessing the situation he thought, “I can either call Katie or I can call Animas” and he called me because he felt I’d be able to fix the situation faster than Animas.

Because of Laddie, I didn’t let him down.

Laddie, thanks for saving my brother and subsequently, solving a problem that otherwise would have had me worried throughout my entire wedding day.

*Best Story of a D Mistake ~ Best of the 'Betes Blogs, March 2014


  1. Katie, I have to admit that I was surprised to get a phone call from you on the day before your wedding. But I was glad to help your brother out. There is something special when diabetes friendships become "regular life" friendships.

  2. Congratulations! On your wedding ... and saving your brother

  3. Don't you love it when, amid chaos, the seemingly random stars align just right and everything turns our great? Congratulations, kudos, and thanks all around!

  4. Laddie is dreamy.

    This is so cool.

    I would not have known what to do at all. I probably would have encouraged him go with "inject yourself with Humalog hourly" and gone to the pedicurist or whatever brides do one day pre-wedding.

  5. And things like this renew my love of the DOC.

  6. What is it about weddings that drive diabetes into eternal chaos??? When I got married last year, I thought I was prepared for everything as well. I had read other blogs about weddings in the DOC and, because of a few "horror" stories, insisted on keeping extra insulin and pump supplies with me all day long. I even had a little fabric loop sewn into my dress to clip my pump to (thanks DOC!), which kept it well hidden and secure between my boobs. Everything went swimmingly that day, until we were saying our goodbyes and packing up the reception. That's when my pump crapped out on me. I could be wrong, but I think my sweat somehow got into the pump and shut it down because of the moisture. This wouldn't have been so bad (we were about to go home anyway), except that we were set to leave for Jamaica at 6am the next morning. We only had about 4 hours at home before we had to leave for the airport to be out of the country for a week. I ended up getting an old pump I had in a drawer to work for me, as there was no saving the one I was currently using. I was so scared because the battery kept dying on the old pump every 2 days and I was worried it would give up on me as well, but it never did. Minimed customer service was wonderful during this ordeal and made every effort to get a pump sent to me in Jamaica (though the package got stuck in customs and never made it to me). On my last day in Jamaica I called Minimed and told them I was going home and would not be around to receive the package if it came through. They said they would worry about that. A new pump was on my doorstep when I got home the next day.

    Glad everything worked out for your big day! You can apparently never be too prepared for a wedding with diabetes!

  7. Oh my goodness! What a great story! Laddie is great (I've never actually met her but she is such a supportive person!). Thanks for sharing and I'm glad all is well for your brother. Congratulations on the wedding!!!