Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Insulin Pump Story, Part One: How A Tiny Robot Threatened My Mad Ninja Skillz.

I orginally intended to do one long post about my process of accepting an insulin pump into my life, and how I wear it.  But, like usual, that got me going on other semi-related points, and before I knew it, it was going to be a small novel...  soooo...  I'm breaking it into two parts, spread out over two days.  You're welcome.

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Prior to actually wearing one, insulin pumping was never something I was all that, er, "pumped" about.  (HA! I love D-humor.)   

The idea of me actually wearing an insulin pump was first brought up to me in 2004, by a new endocrinologist I started seeing (Doctor B).  He was all about technology, and I was very comfortable with my injections, thank you.  Even making the move to insulin pens from syringes and vials had taken some coaxing.  I mean – this would be a big step.  And one I didn’t feel prepared to take.  The only times I’d seen someone wearing one, they had it clipped to the outside of the waist of their pants, and I really didn’t like how that looked.  Not very subtle, right?  I dreaded the idea of having to have it “on display” all the time.

As I’ve said before, sometimes I like to be discreet about my D.  A diabetic ninja, if you will.  I don’t necessarily want my robot parts to be the first thing someone notices about me – I’d like to have the say-so in who knows and when, in some situations.  Job interviews, or meeting new people for the first time, for example.

Another reason I had for putting off getting a pump was dating.  It sounds ludicrous to me now, but I thought any guy who saw that a machine was attached to me at all times (albeit, a small, life-saving machine) would be turned off.  I was scared that no one would want to date me while I was wearing that thing.  I made a deal with myself that once I was in a stable relationship, I’d give the insulin pump idea another look – but not until then.  I really wasn't giving myself enough credit - or looking at it from a logical standpoint.  Because, really:  anyone who doesn't want to date you solely based on the fact that you wear a piece of equipment that helps you stay healthy isn't worth dating in the first place.  Would I really want to be with someone like that for the long haul?  Would I really want to live the rest of my life with someone who values appearance over health?  That would be a long, hard road to walk with someone.

Destiny spoke in 2005.  I started dating my now-husband, A, in January of that year, and our relationship might be the only good thing to ever come out of MySpace.  I was browsing through my friends' friends one day, and came across a picture of a guy with a huge beard who was playing bass guitar (and seemed to be having a lot of fun doing so).  I thought "Hey, this guy looks like fun.  And he's cute.  And he plays guitar.  Friend request!"  A and I chatted online for a week or so, and got along really well.  He invited me to come see his band play, I did, and we were inseperable from pretty much that moment on.  He has an infallible knack for getting me to burst into giggles, he's the most patient and easy-going person I've probably ever met, and he gives one heck of a great hug.  How could you not love this man?

By the end of that first year, I finally started thinking that an insulin pump might be kind-of okayish.  I knew that my A1C needed improvement (I had been consistently hanging out in the 8's and 9's), and I was told that a pump could help me with that.  I still didn't like the idea of being attached to something at all times, but I knew the benefits would probably outweigh the inconveniences.  On a few occasions, I’d brought up the idea to A, and he always said that “If it means you’ll be healthier, I think you should do it”.  (That's how you know you have a keeper!) 

I worried about what others would think of it.  Would I get stares?  Would people even know I was wearing one?  Was I being too paranoid about this?  (In most cases, the answer to that last question is "yes" for me, but I still think it's a valid concern.)  I didn't have anyone else to talk to at the time, to ask real-life questions of.  Having someone like that to talk to probably would have coaxed me into trying an insulin pump sooner, but that's just how it went.  I finally caved, my doctor did the footwork required, and I had my Deltec Cozmo insulin pump.

My next issue was... where the heck do I wear this thing?

1 comment:

  1. I know it seems silly AFTER you get your pump and realize it wasn't such a big deal. But you know what? How can you possibly know that beforehand? It's a real important question for a lot of people. So, I'm right there with you in feeling that it is a valid concern. :-)

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