Full Circle

When I created this blog (almost 8 years ago!!!), I was looking for social and technical support. Rather, I was desperate for help. My insulin pump and its related infusion sets were fundamentally failing me at every turn, not delivering the life-sustaining hormone of insulin properly and leaving me stranded in the desert without water (i.e., with high ketones). I was terrified to make the leap from the pump to multiple daily injections (MDI), but eventually, it was the only real choice. I needed my quality of life back, and that meant sacrificing the fine-tuning capabilities of an insulin pump, namely, basal insulin rates, for the assurance of watching the insulin actually (and successfully) enter my body via the old-fashioned syringe method. Injections may not be fancy or perfect, but they certainly eliminate the bent cannula worry inherent to pumping.

Alas, flash forward to now, and I’m strongly considering making the opposite switch in diabetes management- something I never thought I would say again. I’ve moved mountains to change my own relationship to anxiety and become able to forge forward, regardless of fear, knowing that I am capable of handling difficult situations. (This is all due to hard-fought access to resources- learning powerful new skills, which I know many others sadly do not have access to. I will never stop fighting for each of us).

I’m able to embrace the uncertainties an insulin pump introduces, again. Cannula problems are sure to occur occasionally, but I’m hopeful this will truly be rare, rather than weekly as I experienced in the past. Notably, I am switching to a totally different brand of pump than what I previously used to gain a fresh start. Yes, I’m purposefully being vague about the pump brands here, for now.

Friends from all walks of life (and A1cs) have raved about the infusion set improvements in current pumps on the market, and how their daily interactions with diabetes feel more doable. Conceding “control” to diabetes technology- a huge fear in the past- is now a welcome change to me. After 31 years of type 1 diabetes, I’m open to giving this tech a shot (See what I did there?) and allowing it to alleviate some of the individual’s constant burden of T1D management. I know it will not be pretty every single day, and that there will be an enormous learning and readjustment curve with this new tech. But I also know that I want more in life. There are too many days where diabetes has me feeling physically crummy, especially after interrupting my sleep all night. This translates to having very little patience for the everyday hurdles in life- diabetes aside- and consequently being stuck on an emotional rollercoaster.

The financing of a new pump, alone, is daunting. I know how to navigate, and thankfully I can afford this although the cost makes me wince. Yet I’m aware that so many elements of this process are far out of reach for many people with diabetes, locally and globally. My privilege is never far from my mind. Now is the right time to take this bet on myself and my own health, and I acknowledge I am blessed to be able to do so. (Don’t even get me started on commuting for all of the healthcare appointments leading up to this while juggling work, etc. It’s all overwhelmingly exhausting before it even begins. But again, I feel fortunate for this acute mess, simultaneously.)

Perhaps the next time I post here I will officially be back in insulin-pumping, robot mode. It’s been a very long journey, but I’m ready – and dare I say, excited- to embrace this change.

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