There is a gorgeous story that goes around the diabetes online community – Pumpless in Vienna. It shows the power and value of using social media to connect with other PWDs around you. Little did I know that I’d run into my own Vienna-esque situation…not reaching out to the whole DOC, but sending out a cry for help to people that I’ve met through Twitter and advocacy. Guys, the internet is crazy!
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY
Today I was babysitting my host kids and we were jumping around in the pool. I took off my pump, even though it’s waterproof, because I didn’t fancy it being ripped from my body during an intense pool noodle fight. During a particularly big splash, my pump got soaked. I wasn’t worried – that pump has been in the ocean with me, a bit of chlorine won’t hurt it!
HOWEVER. I heard a beep come from the pump I had never heard before. It sounded like my pump was making a last ditch effort to get someone to turn their chair on The Voice. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
Leaving the kids in the pool, I went over and my stomach dropped.
NO DELIVERY – *random assortment of numbers* – *screen flashing like crazy*
“Ok, ok, just take out the battery, give it a prime, she’ll be right” I muttered, and did exactly that. AGAIN, THE BEEP FROM HELL.
I did what all people would do in that situation – furiously google whilst telling the kids “don’t drown please, or do it loudly so I can stop you” #bestnannyEVER.
France support line – not available
UK support line – not available (it was then I realised that of course they’re down, Animas has fled the European market. MY LUCK)
Australia support line – my French phone didn’t recognise the number. Typical. Even if I had got through, it was 3am Aussie time and they couldn’t have put me through to the relevant people until the next day my time.
I then saw a BIG ASS CRACK in my pump, and started to look a little like this…
…so I called Annie.
I met Annie at the IDF Congress last year after some Twitter chats, and she’s like my English diabetes mum. It’s ridiculous how you can know someone for a week and feel like you’ve known them for years. She’s a beautiful soul, an incredible advocate, and gives fantastic hugs.
“Annie? My pump has shat itself, what do I do?” I tried to play it cool (“C’mon Georgie you’re 26 and a strong independent woman”) but honestly my voice was wobbling and my anxiety was throwing really helpful and catastrophic situations into my head.
True to form, like the fairy godmother she is, she calmed me down, sprang into action, and within a few hours she’d found a spare pump and supplies from Grumps. I also met Grumps at the IDF Congress after some Twitter banter and reciprocal retweets- he’s an fantastic advocate, as well as being a no-bullshit kind of bloke, hilarious, and an all-round legend. Now, apparently, he’s also my diabetes fairy godfather.
Within a few hours, I knew that I’d only have to deal with my backup pump (my old-OLD one – there’s a lag and the screen flickers and sometimes cuts out altogether #safe ) for a few days. I knew I wouldn’t be stuck on injections for the next seven months, and I knew that I had support 17000 kilometres from home. I often feel like I don’t deserve to have friends this generous and caring. Yet I am so bloody grateful to be part of a community that will pick up their phone in the middle of dinner, listen to me freak out, then send over diabetes supplies as soon as they can, cost be damned. These people have really only known me through a screen and for a few days in real life, yet the kindness and generosity I keep experiencing is crazy. Diabetes is unpredictable, and companies aren’t always there for you when you need them. Diabetes friends however? Absolute keepers.
Edit – shoutout to this Aussie diabetes friend who works for my pump company and helped me out via Facebook even though ITS SO EARLY IN THE MORNING IN AUSTRALIA AND SHE WASN’T EVEN AT WORK. What a champion.