“Mawm, I can I help you put on your pump right now?”
It’s always an issue of immediacy. If Birdy sees me taking off an old pump site and preparing a new infusion set for insertion, she’s immediately taken with the urge to press all the buttons and cue up the dosing.
“Sure, you can help with some of the parts.” As I talked with her, I filled with the insulin cartridge using the needle and a bottle of room-temperature Humalog.
“Can I fill up that tunnel with insuwin?”
“Not this part, yet. I need make sure it doesn’t have any air bubbles in it.”
“Wight. Because those would make you fly up into the air.”
“Not exactly. If air bubbles get into the pump, then mommy ends up getting air and not insulin.” I finished filling the cartridge and tried to think of things she could help with. “Hey, do you want to take the plastic wrapping off of this part?” I handed her the infusion set and watched her peel off the plastic edging.
“So can I put the needle in you? Because I pwamise to be very, very gentle and it won’t even hurt a bit. Does that sound like a plan?”
“Maybe you can help with that part, but we’ll do it together. So the insulin is in the pump now – want to hit the OK button?”
“The OK button? You mean the one with the O and the K?”
“Exactly. Press that and the pump will get ready to use the insulin inside of it. Then we’ll stick it on me and be good to go.”
She pressed her little finger, with the remains of an at-home manicure involving orange nail polish and a smiley face sticker grinning back at me, against the ‘OK’ button on my pump, instructing the pump to start whirring and loading the insulin cartridge.
“Oh Mawm, the ‘OK’ button makes the pump stop yelling [it was beeping incessantly while I was showering, as it had gone to zero units] and makes it happy again. This button is tewwific.”
“Correct.” The cartridge finished loading, and Birdy and I carefully worked through the rest of the process of readying the pump for installation, with her in charge of the OK button. When it came time to put the infusion set against my skin, she wanted to pick the place.
“Your Dexcom is on your left leg. That means your pump should be on your left side, too, to make everything on the same side so you don’t tip over and break your bones.”
“Wow … okay, sure.”
“That’s how I take good care of you. You are the best OK Mawm when I help with these things.”