Last Thursday I made the switch from my sad Deltec Cozmo to my shiny, new, (PINK) MiniMed Paradigm 722 and so far, so
good awesome. My BGs have been so close to perfect it is kind of ridiculous and, of course, I have my doctor and my new basal rates, etc. to really hold responsible for this but I must admit part of it is due to this new pump. New supply glee has been a factor but I really just like how this pump works much better.
I had been using the Cozmonitor with my old pump which was one of the main reasons I initially chose the Cozmo - I thought having it all-in-one like that would be convenient and would equal less stuff to have to tote around with me. In theory this made sense but the truth of it was if I had my pump securely, tediously, and discreetly hidden underneath my clothes I was definitely less likely to dig it out (especially in public/semi-public places) to check my BG. As we all know, if you don’t check often things can get pretty bad pretty quickly and this slacking on my part has definitely caused my health to be less than great for a while… I don’t even want to mention my past few A1Cs…
I think the other big factor in my slacker tendencies has been denial. I’ve been working my way out of it for the past few years but I think I have finally gotten over it and decided to just own it. It was never an intentional thing but my diabetes has been something I haven’t been quite so forthcoming about for most of my life. Most of my close friends in high school probably didn’t even know about it. Once I started college I joined a sorority for a brief period primarily because their philanthropy was the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. I thought this might push me to be more open with the people close to me about my illness. As it turned out this social organization was just that and really didn’t help me in the ways I’d hoped. Finally, after two hospital visits for diabetic ketoacidosis over a period of three years I decided to get a pump. This was a big step for me because I was literally tethering myself to my illness and the control I could take over it. I was making a tangible admission that yes, I am diabetic and I wear it clipped to my waistband (or, more commonly, hidden in my bra ). This first real step helped me gain some control over BGs and forced me to be upfront with people close to me. It is pretty impossible to be intimate with a new boyfriend, for example, without him noticing you are a cyborg. I’ve had a few people get a little weirded out which, I suppose, was part of the reason I was afraid to be honest in the first place… but, you know, screw those people. We all come to this party with our own this-that-and-the-other so those who can’t deal with my Game Of Life (as some of my friends and I now refer to my pump) probably have bigger issues to deal with than I do anyway.
I’ve never wanted to use diabetes as a crutch - “Oh I can’t, I’m diabetic” etc. I guess I don’t like to think of myself as damaged in this way and I’ve overcompensated in some ways which in the long run has just jeopardized my health and hindered me more than just being upfront would have.
I feel like I can finally just accept that this is who I am and being diabetic does not define me but it is a significant part of what makes me… me. I’ve spent foolish time being angry and thinking about all of the decisions I would have made differently had it not been for this illness. The truth is I probably just would’ve been more reckless or impulsive when I was younger so perhaps this caution I’ve adopted because of diabetes is a good thing.
I feel pretty good about things now. I think my health is going to improve and I feel good about being more diligent about it. I have a close support system in my family and friends. My boyfriend even insisted on going to my new pump training class with me so that he could get a better understanding of how things work. I also want to say thanks to the people in this community who have been so welcoming and kind to me so far. I am glad to finally be able to participate in a dialogue about diabetes with others who have it as most of my life the only other diabetic person I’ve known is my mom. So, thank you… and here’s to our health!