Sunday, November 11, 2012

Double Agent


We have discussed "pumpcations" here , before. And because this is my blog, we are going to talk about them again..dang it.
I have been a pumper since 2004, before I met my hubs, the infamous "Dr. C". I loved my first insulin pump, an Animas IR1250, like pre-color screen and hugeness, Animas. It was silver and sleek and meant I didn't have to take shots anymore: suhhhhh-weeet.
I then transitioned over to a Medtronic Paradigm, and had met my true love in the pump world. The ease of use and having a back button were probably more exciting than they should have been.
Then marked my stent with Schmomni Plod, where I was told I MUST wear their product if I were to remain employed...you know, a totally legal request {insert sarcasm font}. Going tubeless WAS nice, having a tumor under my clothing, not so nice. Plus, at any given moment, a bad pod would awkwardly begin loudly beeping, and is only silenced by a hammer...or defusing it like a bomb, which easily breaks your nails. Rude.
About 2-3 years ago I began my annual pumpcations. A vacation from pumping, where I switch over to multiple daily injections {MDI} for a few weeks or months out of the year. It's so liberating. To not deal with pockets or clips or shoving it in my bra. Not having to worry about my site while getting bussaaaaayyy {yes, yes I just said it like that}...or worry about what my husband thinks of how it looks on my body. Not worrying about what others think about it, feeling stares when they catch site of my tubing or see me bolusing. Don't get me wrong, I'm the biggest pump proponent out there, especially for a Medtronic pump, but sometimes...I just need a break. And that's ok.
I take great care in explaining pumpcations to my patients. That they ARE ok, that they won't get in "trouble" for wanting to switch from time to time. We always have a back up plan for shots. We sit down and calculate the correct basal injection doses, adjust the carb ratio and correction factor, and review the fundamentals of MDI.
I found something surprising, though. People are even MORE apt to make comments about my diabetes management choices when I'm using insulin pens. "Aren't you supposed to be on a pump? Did it break? Why are you STILL on shots, I could NEVERRRR do that...." And so on. Geeze, people. Let me be pancreatically challenged on my own. Calling attention to my injection in a large group of people is awkward and uncomfortable. I will talk diabetes all day, any day {lets get real, that IS my day} but don't be a douche and point me out to the vast majority of folks that don't even notice me!!
I guess diabetes, especially type 1, is something new and unknown to most. Questions, comments, insensitive statements..the general public has no filter. I've seriously heard it all. If someone you knew was diagnosed with cancer, would you ever consider walking up to them and saying "oh! You have cancer?? So did my uncle..he lost his leg..and then died.", uhhhh no. So I wish more common sense was used in that regard.
It's ok to be different. Even if its a different different every week. If you need a break from pumping: take it. Discuss with your team, and take a pumpcation...but use common sense, and have a game plan. Make sure you have long acting insulin to replace your basal rate, syringes or pen needles, adjusted doses {you use about 20% more insulin on injections} and a plan.
And to you non-diabetics: we are people, with feelings, with a chronic disease...use caution when relating your anecdotes to us. We are very sorry your grandmother lost her life or limb, but that is not us. Do we look immobile and unhealthy? Yeah, well we probably won't ever be that way. Ye of little faith. I've had this disease for 2 decades, and I'm pretty darn healthy, diabetically speaking.
Ok..rant over, pumpcation: month 3, set to begin! I am looking forward to slapping on a T-Slim, since I have no current endorsement deals with Medtronic..hint, hint...but also, so I can report back to my public {see: you, lovely reader}.

PS. I have zero plans to censor THIS post...many took issue with my DAD post, and it is now so beyond edited, it is unicorns and bullshit and not me at all. So, I hope it at least informed a few of a growing treatment option. Because that is the LAST time I change who I am so as not to offend.

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