Monday, June 2, 2008

When it's not shiny and new.

Eight months ago I was more than ready. I was sick of high blood sugars, waking up at three AM in the hopes of staving off morning highs, correcting all day, lows that I could not predict, and A1c’s that had never been anything lower than 8. I was a little nervous. What if I couldn’t deal with site changes? Bleeders? What would it be like to have such a huge part of this disease in my pocket, instead of stowed away in my purse? Would it be worth it? I wasn’t quite sure, and I’m still not certain that I have all the answers. I know I love the fact that I see good numbers more than bad ones. Going days without a number over 200 isn’t a surprise, it’s the norm. Having A1c’s under 7 make me feel great not only physically, but emotionally. I’ve never been prouder of how much control I can have with disease. It’s almost as if I’m playing a game, except the only person I’m trying to one up is me. A new trick with a meal bolus, lowering my averages, lowering my A1c, basal rate shifts, anything to win this never ending match between myself and this disease. But it can’t always be a game and it’s not always perfect.
There another side to this story.
I find myself holding off on site changes because I don’t want to look for a spot that isn’t scabbed and puffy. I hate the scabs. The patterns are like constellations, but instead of resembling a fearless hunter or a great bear, they just show me what my body isn’t capable of. The pump companies talk about how a pump makes your life easier with Diabetes, but I don’t think this is always true. Before I was on my pump I wondered if it would serve as a constant reminder, and for the first few months it didn’t seem that it would be. Now I know I was wrong. I can’t help but feel self conscious of the tubing, or the little glances someone will make at an infusion set on my arm. I feel different from everyone else. The responsibility makes me feel older and less free. There are even days when I seriously think about taking a break, giving it up. I know I won’t, but sometimes my mind wanders to what it was like when I didn’t pick outfits based on where my infusion set was or make plans based on infusion set changes. Some days are harder than others, but all I need to do is think of that first A1c of 6.8 to remind me that it’s worth it even when it doesn't seem that way.

(I wrote this entire post without knowing that today was the actual eight month anniversary of my pump arriving. Crazy.)


Lea said...

I know the pros of pumping outweigh the cons, but I hear what you mean. It sucks in ways I don't know, and I'm sorry you're feeling down. If it's any consolation, your post has actually made me realize that Noah may one day feel the same way as you're feeling right now- something I hadn't given much thought to before, and I need to ready myself for it.
My only advice (and I know that this is going to sound wicked mother-y) is that you only get one life, one body. You have the strength in you do to what is healthy and right for you. Noone else can know how you really and truly feel but you, so be very honest with yourself and never make a quick decision when it comes to your well-being.

Jillian said...

Hitting that point where logical and emotional meet is never fun. I know that for me pumping is really going to be the only way to achieve anything close to good control, but some days it just stinks.
I'm glad to provide the insight.
The fact that you used wicked makes it way less motherly! Thank you so much for the support.

Malyssa said...

Well said. Pumping can get to you sometimes. It can get bothersome trying to find out where to put the pump, or the infusion site. I know how you feel, but like you said, the improved control is totally worth it! I'm sorry you're feeling this way though. If you ever need to talk, I would be more than happy to give you my screen-name and email adress. Keep your chin up! Lol! :) Hope to hear from you soon.


Colleen said...

So I'm so far from knowing much of anything about a pump - but - As I was reading I thought to myself, "Hmm, sounds like a pump slump."
I'm impressed that you're writing about it. I think that has to help you. And, knowing all our friends here, I'm sure many are going to tell you that they've had similar feelings.
Do something nice for yourself - as a treat - You deserve it!

Jillian said...

Malyssa, thanks. It's definitely just one of those things that comes with pumping, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Colleen, pump slump is exactly the right phrase! I though writing about it would help, and it already has. Thoughts like these are not constant, but they are still there so I thought I should share them.

Anonymous said...

I feel this way almost every time I think about wearing a dress or a skirt, and how I'll wear the pump with it. However, you are right-the pros do outweigh the cons- which I personally realized when I went without my pump to my prom and got a taste of life with shots again. Not fun, as I'm sure you know. I still do want to take a vacation from the pump sometimes, but you're right again in saying we just have to keep reminding ourselves of the good being on the pump does for control. Are you on the omnipod though ? I feel like maybe wirless might be less frustrating because, for me at least, the tubing always causes the most problems.

Bernard said...


Are you using one side of your abdomen or back for a week or two and then switching to the other? That's lets each part recover. I'd learned (recently) that it's best to place the new cannula fairly close to the old one. I used to switch sides each time and never really knew what I'd used a few days before.

If you do this it will at least minimize the damage.

I wonder if a skin cream would help the old insertion sites recover quicker. Maybe someone on TuDiabetes would know.

I hope you're enjoying the summer so far.

PancreasMom said...

wanted to share a tip we use on my sons infusion site scabs... Neosporin (or polysporin for those in Cananda) a little dab l' do ya!

it has really reduced the itching and scabbing that bothers him (he uses his stomach) when the scab is gone, the is minimal to no scarring.. so there is our tip to you, Your writing helps us, and I hope this tip helps you :)

Herbal Remedies said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.