Monday, June 14, 2010

What Are You Doing?

*in the voice of a movie trailer announcer*

In a world...  where medical devices can pass for cell phones...

Of all the things I don't like about being diabetic, there are a few that I can be thankful for. 
  1. That I wasn't born before the 1920's, when insulin was discovered.
  2. That I have the best available technology to use to manage my disease, and a supportive medical team who I actually look forward to seeing every 6 to 8 weeks.
  3. That I have relatively no complications, after 24 years.
I'd like to also add to that list:  the option of discretion.  All diabetics are different - some proudly flaunt their insulin pumps and glucose monitors.  Some simply don't care if others see their devices or not.  For me, it's always been a struggle.  It's not that I don't want others to know I'm diabetic - it's just that I don't want it to be one of the first things they notice about me.  I like the idea that, of all the things in my life that I can't control, who knows about my diabetes can be one of those things.  We're lucky, in a way - there are so many other illnesses out there in which, because of its change to one's appearance, you do not have a choice in who will know.

This isn't to say that I go out of my way to hide it.  I tend to wear my insulin pump under my clothing somewhere, or in a pocket, as opposed to clipped to my waistband, like others might.  My Dexcom receiver (a continuous glucose monitor "remote") is usually in my purse, a pocket, or just in my hand as I'm walking around work.  But the meter-remote for my insulin pump?  I will whip that out anywhere.

In fact, my meter-remote has more than once been mistaken for something it is not.  "Oh, did you get a new cell phone?"  Or, "What kind of phone is that?"  My favorite came from my husband's grandma.  We were sitting around the table, with food being passed around, and I was figuring up my bolus for the meal.  There is a rule at their house about no cell phones at dinner, and she didn't know about my new diabetic equipment.  "What are you doing?  Texting?" 

Yes, actually.  I'm texting my pancreas.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Kim,

    Great blog! Just wondering... You said that you sometimes keep your Dexcom receiver in a pocket. When I do that, I have a lot of trouble with static electricity causing frequent alarms and reboots throughout the day. I finally had to wrap it in a dryer sheet before putting it in my pocket. Now I just wear it in a Verizon phone case that was designed for the Chocolate 8550. Wearing the case on my belt is bulky and somewhat obvious, so I would prefer to use a pocket on my jeans. Have you had any similar issues?

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  2. Hi Lisa! Thanks! :) While I can't say I've had the static electricity problem you've described, I have had my share of receiver difficulties. In the 7 or so months I've been using the Dexcom, I've had 3 receivers. The first one had a "hardware error" and shut down completely, and the second one - who knows what caused it - but it started vibrating on its own, and wouldn't stop. I actually had to hit the thing to get it to stop. Then it would start up again later... sigh.

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