Thursday, April 17, 2014

Two Diabetics, a Low and a Pizza Place . . .

Imagine you head out for pizza with the love of your life, and every few minutes you hear your pump’s low alarm.  But when you check your pump, it wasn’t alarming.  That’s exactly what happened to me and it was weird!!


Pete and I had just finished packing for a long weekend in Florida with his family so I checked my purse, thinking that perhaps I had stashed my old, spare, backup pump in there while packing.  But no, the backup pump was safely at home in my  The beeping happened again when our waiter came to take our order.  I asked him if he heard it too, just to be sure I wasn’t completely losing my mind.  He did hear it, and judging from the reactions of those at the tables around me, they could hear it too.  I explained what the alarm was to my waiter, showing him my pump as if to prove I knew what I was talking about.  “Somebody is low and needs a glass of juice.”, I told him.  He just smiled and went to deliver our order to the kitchen.

A few minutes later the low alarm sounded again.  Each time I instinctively grabbed my pump even though I knew it wasn’t me beeping.  Except this time, it was!  Talk about REALLY freaking a PWD out - a dozen low alarms that weren’t mine followed by one that actually was.  It felt like someone was trying to gaslight me.  A sip of Pete’s soda quieted my alarm, but soon I could hear the telltale siren of either a 530G with Enlite suspending, or an older Medtronic pump whose low alarm has been ignored way too long.  “Someone is going to pass out”, I told Pete, but we still couldn’t figure out where the alarm was coming from.  I was becoming a bit obsessed with the whole situation, but Pete convinced me to concentrate on eating my own pizza before I too went low again.  As I ate I made up a elaborate story that the pump alarm was coming from someone in the band that was performing in the bar area.  I decided the person couldn’t hear his alarm over the sound of his music, but we could hear it over the restaurant’s sound system.

As our waiter came to check on us, the siren alarm sounded again.  The waiter took one look at me and said “I know.  I hear it.  It’s coming from that table in the corner.”.

Ah ha!!!  I wasn’t any more crazy than usual!!!  I looked across the room and saw the tiniest, oldest couple sitting in a booth next to their walkers - and I didn’t know what to do.  Maybe their hearing wasn’t what it used to be and they just couldn’t hear the alarm.  But maybe they would be embarrassed by a stranger coming up to talk about diabetes with them.  Maybe my fellow pumper was diagnosed at a time when PWDs were taught diabetes is something to hide and to be ashamed of.  I didn’t want to make this person feel uncomfortable, and they were both eating, so I decided to stay at my own table and leave well enough alone.

There is a part of me that is still kicking myself for not going over to the couple, just to ask if they needed some help.  (What would you have done?)  And there is another big part of me that can’t believe two diabetic were out at an Italian restaurant and we both had low alarms!  What are the chances of that?  #freaky


  1. First of all, I have to say that this NEVER happens to me. I have never come across another pump user unless it was at a D-event. But if it were me, I would have gone over to check. My curiosity wouldn't let me leave it alone. YDMV. Pretty freaky though.

  2. One waitress at a restaurant while explaining why I was ordering my martini without sweet liqueur in it, other time at a photo meetup, third time at a starbucks.
    Those are all my pumps in the wild

  3. It's easy for me to sit here and type out that I would have approached them, and I'd like to think that I would.... but in the real world? I dunno - I'm kind of shy when it comes to strangers.

  4. Reading this makes me feel kind of spooked out. Like you and Pete and the waiter were united in having the supernatural power to know danger was lurking...but couldn't do anything to stop it.

    You must have been so relieved to see them eating.

    What a story. My gah.

  5. There is a man in my department who has poor hearing and a CGM. I don't even wear a CGM any more but I always hear his alarms before he does and have to fight the urge to look at my own pump out of habit.


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