On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

Finally, after literally hours of training, multiple doctor visits (including two cardio specialists), and so much time spent with our visiting nurse that I think I might have to include her on my Christmas gift list, Bill is ALL PUMPED UP.

Yesterday morning, we got up very early to get ready for our appointment. I’m not sure either of us slept too soundly, because the anticipation felt like a rock in one of our shoes. We didn’t want to be late (though when one routinely awakens at 5 o’clock as I do, being late for an 8:45 am appointment is unlikely).

We walked into the doctor’s office at about 8:30, and walked out with dazed looks on our faces at 12:30. Three-and-a-half hours of us (mostly Bill) answering questions about his symptoms, his on-and-off times, his sleeping and eating habits, and whether he entertains thoughts of suicide (a clinical trial deal breaker), and a half hour of the research manager watching us connect Bill to his new BFF — The Pump.

Seeings as it’s a clinical trial, it is essential that everybody in the study do everything exactly the same way. To that end, every time we’ve practiced, one of us had to read the instructions verbatim from the instruction booklet while the other followed the instructions. We have gone through the steps probably a dozen times, but always on an artificial stomach. Yesterday, it was the real McCoy.

Not shockingly, Bill requested that I read while he actually inserted the needles himself. He is a fearless warrior, and I was happy to oblige. I read the instructions as I had done many times before. As I read, he inspected the pump. He got the medication into the syringe. He prepared the cannula inserter. However, this time when it got to the point where the instructions said Hold the inserter by the base; slide the safety catch to unlock position; press the release button, I started to cry. I didn’t tear up. I didn’t sniffle a little bit. I started to cry to the point that I could no longer read. I was simply so sad that this man whom I love so much had to get hurt and I could do absolutely nothing about it. I felt the same as when I used to take Court in to get his vaccines, though I’m pretty sure I didn’t cry in those days. And here’s the thing: By this point, Bill had already pressed the release button and was looking at me like I was completely nuts.

“I barely felt a thing,” he told me reassuringly. “It really didn’t hurt.”And the research manager was thinking, I don’t get paid enough to work with nut jobs.

Bill then placed the pump into the conceal-carry holster which is what he has decided will be the carrying case for his pump. I’d say he reminds me of Wyatt Earp except that you really can’t see it at all. See what I mean?….

And it’s handy because if he ever decides he wants to pack heat, he can do it at the same time! After all, we live in the Wild, Wild West.

What Bill is carrying in the photo, by the way, is what we will use to haul our supplies…..

You can see the month’s worth of medication, minus yesterday’s first two vials.

And what does one do after four hours in a doctor’s office and the insertion of two needles into one’s belly?…..

…..Yep. Enjoy a burger and an adult beverage to celebrate the beginning of a new journey.

6 thoughts on “On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

  1. The supply bag is huge and since it travels with you I think it deserves a name. My vote is for Charles. It looks like when you fly by air Charles will need his own seat because he is huge!
    I’m so proud of Bill and you.

  2. I hope this eventually makes the Parkinson’s management easier and better. Kris, we English majors were just not meant to be nurses. But when we have to, we can do it. One of my kids has an insulin pump and one does not. But in the beginning,I gave the shots!

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