The alarm goes off, forcing my hand out from under the covers to seek it out. I test my blood sugar without thinking, easing the tip of my finger into my mouth to whisk away the blood. Wipe the sleep from my eyes. Pet Abby as she stretches out on my pillow. I shuffle off to the fridge to take out a bottle of insulin, letting it warm to room temperature while I shower.

I pull the tape loose on my set and gently pry it from my thigh.  It’s the one shower per week that I am without an infusion set.  The shower is hot and the sticky residue left from the tape is worked away by the soap.

Filling up.

I think about what I will wear to work as I fill the reservoir and tap out the bubbles.

Set to Reservoir

Siah comes up and rubs against my leg while I connect the reservoir to the tubing of the new infusion set. She reaches for the tubing.  I bat her paws away, “No, kitty.”  She sits, watching.

Loaded into Quick-Serter

Prime the pump, keeping watch for bubbles.  Chris stirs in bed as the pump beeps and whirs.  Load the set into the insertion device, peeling back the tabs and removing the needle sheath.

Holding my breath

Run my hands against my thigh, looking for a place that isn’t already sore or blotchy. I find a spot and rub it vigorously with the IV prep wipe.  Press the insertion device against my thigh.

Even though I’ve done this hundreds of times before, I still hold my breath before I release the buttons.

Infusion set needle.

The set slides in with a soft click.  I pull back the blue cap, leaving the cannula in place.  Send 0.3 units through the tubing to fill the plastic tube that is now embedded in my skin.  Furrow my brow at the initial cold wince of insulin spreading under my skin.  Tap on the top of the infusion set – “You stay put,” I encourage it.

Stay put.

I decide on black pants and a pretty blue sweater for work.  Nestle the pump into the waistband of my pants and tuck the tubing out of sight.

I put on my watch. Siah and Abby meow at me for food.  And Chris’ alarm goes off.