Tag Archives: frustration

The Awful Occlusion

The Awful Occlusion

My new unpleasant word that drives me crazy is occlusion. Now, this word has several meanings but in my case it has to do with a blockage in my dear darling son’s insulin pump. Just a quick overview for those of who who have no clue what in the world I’m talking about. For people who are insulin dependent because of diabetes, namely Type 1, they may have the option to use a pump rather than shots. This has good and bad points but I feel the good outweighs the bad, at least in our case. Basically there is a pump with a cartridge of insulin connected by a hollow tubing to an infusion site with a small opening called a cannula under the skin. Normally you replace the cartridge, tubing and infusion site at the same time. A cartridge will last, on average, about 3 days. But dear darling son being a teenager and life being what it is, we had replaced his infusion site because it had become disconnected during the night the night before. I came home from work and my son handed me his pump and said “The cartridge is empty” Now, he knows how to refill the cartridge but if I’m around then I get called on to take care of it. Just like when he’s hungry, he knows how to make a sandwich or such but will ask me to do it instead. Yeah, he’s spoiled but that’s how it goes sometimes. So I decide to just refill the cartridge and change the rest later. Wrong! When you refill the cartridge, you have to prime the tubing. After changing out the cartridge the pump automatically prompts you to prime. I hit the button, wait for it to start and BAM! the alarm goes off. Display indicates occlusion. This can be from a bubble where the tubing meets the cartridge, a kink in the tubing or sometimes a problem with the cannula. The last thing I wanted was more frustration from this infuriating disease, but I disconnected the tubing, got a new one and restarted the priming. At this point I told my son we might as well change the infusion site. He resisted and I can’t blame him so I relented and said ok we’ll leave it. The priming finished and I handed the pump back to him. After he reconnected the tubing to the infusion site, you can just guess what happened—–BEEP alarm—-OCCLUSION! Yep, so that is my new unfavorite word! Diabetes is a close second. 


Posted by on October 12, 2015 in The Dear Darlings


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