The dog leaped from her spot on the green lounge chair where she'd be sitting. I'd just arrived home from work and was ready to go change into more comfortable non-work clothes. She was in pounce mode, her backend sticking up and her eyes fixed on me standing at the top of the stairs.
"Riley!" I said happily, greeting my 4-year-old black lab.
She responded by sprinting toward me, eager to offer a similiar welcome-home greeting.
As she rounded the couch that stood in between us, it was already obvious her front paws were leaving the carpeted floor and she was leaping toward me. I braced myself, non-chalantly gearing up to catch her as she jumped up to say hello.
Her front paws hit just above the right-side of my waistline, just at the spot where my pump was currently connected to my body. Her paws hit the very site, and as gravity pulled her back down, I could feel the infusion site ripping out of and away from my stomach. The moment moved in slow motion, and it felt as if I'd been shot. I grimaced and could hear the slow-motion grunt come from my mouth. There was no doubt the pump site was now disconnected.
I looked down. My white work shirt and silver tie were turning bright red. Pulling up my shirt, blood sprayed everywhere. It coated the non-painted walls of my gameroom, spraying like a paint-gun coating the walls with color. Non-stop. The dog, tasting blood splattered on her nose, growled and wanted more. I felt weak, my legs buckling, and I fell backwards and down the carpeted staircase to the bottom floor. The growling dog that had been so happy moments ago, leaped toward me and her blood-covered teeth inched towards my neckline as I lay at the bottom of the stairs, unable to move because of now-broken legs....
Twitching, I lurched and awoke in the comfy green chair upstairs - where I'd apparently fallen asleep. A computer sat on my lap, and an expired video of the previous weekend's SNL showed on the screen. It had all been a nightmare, I realized. But it felt so real. I could almost still feel where my pump had been ripped out, and in rubbing a finger over the spot, I realized it was still connected - though a little loose, as it was approaching the next day when I'd need to change sites. Looking around, the dog was curled up in a ball on the nearby couch, though watching me with curious eyes as to what I was moving around for when I could be sleeping.
It was late, long past bed-time. I closed the computer and moved toward the bedroom, the dog now up herself and wondering where we were journeying off to. She grabbed a toy and went into pounce-mode, eager to play now that Daddy was awake.
Our eyes connected. My hand instinctly moved to cover my infusion site, and I shook my head and turned to go to bed, glancing at the unpainted walls and not wanting to interfere with that.
"Good night, Riley."
She wagged her tail, following me into the bedroom and laying down on her cloud blanket near the boxes of pump supplies in the corner - two important parts of my life, so close together, but necessary to stay apart. If not, disaster can strike when the dog and diabetes intertwine. It can happen to anyone. Could happen to me.... Or you.