No, before you panic and scroll beyond my post, this isn’t about difficulties in the washroom! At least, not in the traditional sense… As most of you know, I make use of an insulin pump for my insulin delivery. I’ve been on pump therapy for over five years now, and recently upgraded to the Medtronic 670G. I’ve also started using Continuous Glucose Monitoring, which has presented its fair share of challenges, despite being a comfort now.
But my “toilet troubles” came in the shape of an issue I faced about two weeks ago during a change of infusion set. I had been doing work in my back yard and worked up quite a sweat. As a result, I decided I should grab a shower. But once I was in the shower, I remembered that I only had about 8 or 10 units left in my current reservoir and I would need to change my set up once I got out of the shower.
As any Type-1 Diabetic using a pump would agree, “naked” showers are a rare treat. For those who may not understand, a “naked” shower refers to one you get to have where you don’t have an infusion set attached to your gut and can enjoy the shower without the dangers of pulling the set out from washing. Having a shower line up with the actual change of one’s infusion set is rare, so I chose to rip the infusion set out while I was in the shower in order to reap the benefits.
The infusion set includes a round piece of sticky adhesive material, fastened to a hard piece of plastic that hold the actual cannula that delivers the insulin. I decided to pull an NBA imitation and toss the infusion set over the top of the shower door and hopefully get it into the trash bin. Instead, I successfully managed to come up a bit short and it landed right into the open toilet bowl!
Once I was out of the shower, I stood there and tried to decide how I would get this discarded piece of medical equipment out of my toilet bowl. I judged that I didn’t want to take the chance flushing it, as I didn’t want to risk clogging the line. I’m also not one for submerging my hand into an open toilet bowl, despite how often I clean it. As a result, I needed something that could successfully grab the infusion set without contaminating say, a kitchen utensil or an implement that I would never feel quite right using again, regardless of how well I cleaned it.
My solution is that I ended up using two Q-tips to try and pick it out. I struggled for several minutes looking like some dark comedy of someone with paper chopsticks, eating leftover Chinese food out of the grossest carton possible. Plastic and wet adhesive are reasonably slippery when wet. Add in trying to grab onto them with wet cotton swabs and you’d have yourself $10,000 if this were the 1990’s and someone caught it on film and gave it to Bob Saget!
I did finally manage to fish the infusion set out and toss it in the trash, after several attempts. I’ve often given my son Nathan a hard time about closing the toilet lid, since there’s a small shelving unit with toothbrushes and my electric shaver hovering right above the toilet. Leaving the toilet lid up is often a recipe for disaster since Nathan is quite clumsy and has come close to dropping his brush in the toilet on more than one occasion.
I should have followed my own directions, as this could have been avoided if I had closed the toilet lid before showering. Of course, I could have simply kept the infusion set on a shower shelf until I got out too, I suppose. But it made for a funny incident and goes to prove that Diabetic problems are not simply limited to medical ones. ☯