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.
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?