Unexpected Birthday Chaos


A couple weeks ago was Dennis’s birthday.  He’s not that into celebrating his birthday so of course I make a BIG deal out of it!  It was a Monday so we decided to take the day off and enjoy a “date day” while the kids were in school.  We knew we’d go down to Liberty Station in Point Loma to enjoy their public market, but other than that we didn’t have a plan.

After dropping the kids off at school, we decided to forgo sitting in traffic on our way to Point Loma for breakfast and instead eat closer to home.  San Diego folks – if you haven’t been to Nutmeg Bakery and Café, you have to go!  It’s an urban styled, farm-to-table place with amazing coffee and delicious food.  We loved it!

I’d been battling with my medical supplies company for the past couple weeks.  They needed an updated prescription for my insulin pump supplies and then had to run it through insurance.  Just the ridiculous process of obtaining supplies for a chronic illness.  Anyway, I was down to my very last pump site and the one I’d inserted the night before was defective.  So, it’s was a tenuous situation.  On our drive down to Liberty Station my cell phone was on hold with the medical supply company for over 30 minutes!  But, when I finally got through to someone, they confirmed that my order was shipped and should arrive by Wednesday.  I would just make it with my current infusion site. Whew!


After strolling around lovely Liberty Station and enjoying the peaceful gardens and very quiet public market – it was before 10:00 a.m. on a Monday morning – we decided to hit Old Navy on our way to see a movie.  Sienna needed a college t-shirt for her school (they wear college t-shirts on Mondays) and her teacher said they had SDSU shirts there.

I found so many cute things at Old Navy, so I decided to try some clothes on.  I was mindful of my infusion site which was located on my hip.  But, not mindful enough obviously, because it pulled right out and hit the floor as I took off a pair of pants!  Agh!!  I quickly got my purchases together and told Dennis the news – I had no infusion sets and we needed to figure out how I was going to get insulin for the next couple days.

Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like having to help your wife solve a medical emergency!

Fortunately, my insulin pump company (not to be confused with the medical supply company) is located in San Diego.  So, I called them and asked if I could come pick up an emergency infusion set or two.  They were helpful and said “Certainly, they’ll be ready for you in about 4 hours”.  So, pretty helpful, but that timing still left me with the issue of needing to do injections for the next few hours.  I didn’t have insulin or syringes with me, so we headed home to get it.


While at home, I started testing my blood and gave myself an injection.  Meanwhile, Dennis went to the backyard and noticed that the gophers were digging up holes again.  He got the rodent poison pellets that have worked in the past, and buried one in the hole.  A few minutes later, he asked me, “Where’s Claira?” and I told him I heard her push the kitchen door open.  He rushed outside and caught her eating the pellet of rodent poison!

A quick internet search followed by a call to one of the many local emergency animal hospitals got us the information we needed.  We had to induce vomiting in our little terrier by giving her hydrogen peroxide.  Fortunately, we had some on hand and quickly got her to take a couple teaspoons, which certainly did the trick.  She threw up voluminously.  The vet still thought we ought to bring her in for observation and a dose of activated charcoal to make sure any traces of the poison were absorbed.

Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a trip to the veterinary hospital with your poisoned dog, right?

We sat in the waiting room of the vet laughing about the absurdity of our “date day” to celebrate Dennis’s birthday – and took a selfie too!  After getting Claira home, all safe and sound, we still had to make the trip out to the pump company to pick up the spare infusion sets.  What a pain.

The day wasn’t a total bust – we picked the kids up early and went out for BBQ that evening.  Plus, the morning was lovely and relaxing.  But, the thing that I kept reflecting on that day and will stay with me much longer than the irritation of those circumstances, was how wonderful Dennis was through it all.  He never complained or acted put out that he’d spent a big chunk of his birthday running around taking care of his wife and dog’s medical emergencies.  He is a very devoted husband, father, and apparently dog owner too!   His calm demeanor and sense of humor about the whole thing made all the difference.

One thought on “Unexpected Birthday Chaos

  1. Vicki Wilson

    I love the way you tell this story…made me laugh! Life often gets in the way of our plans…its wonderful that you have a husband that goes with the flow!! Good man, indeed! xo

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