Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Diabetes x3

If you live with diabetes, you know that it never takes a break, even if you want it to.  Even when it is on its best behavior, I'm still thinking about it.  Due to Saturn, the snow storm, I was at my gym at a time I usually don't go because school was cancelled.  The following conversation happened in the locker room:

Lady: Are the roads bad outside?

Me: No, not really.  They are a little slushy but completely drivable.

Lady: Are you diabetic?  I see you have an insulin pump on.  

Me: Yes, I am.  I have diabetes.

Lady: I work at a hospital and a man was trying to tell me he isn't diabetic, when clearly, he is.  His A1C was 7.2, and he said it was because of the steroids he was on.  And that is not true.

Me: I know steroids make blood sugars go higher (side note: only because of reading Marcus's blog do I know this).  However, I have type 1 diabetes.  

Lady: Oh, my niece has that kind, too.  But she is in high school now and refuses to wear her insulin pump because she doesn't want anyone to see it.  

Me:  I completely understand.  I didn't get my insulin pump until I was in college for that reason.  

I was ready to go run by that time and said bye to the random lady.  But, that conversation really made me think.  Before I went to the gym, two diabetes-related things happened to me today.  First, I watched a video put out by the Diabetes Research Institute that more or less said they are close to coming up with a cure by translating islet cells in an artificial pancreas.  When I watched the video, a few questions came to mind.

  • I don't know if it will actually work.  I've had diabetes for 23+ years, and have always heard "you'll be cured of diabetes in your lifetime."  However, I feel like very little progress has been made to coming up with a cure that works and doesn't involve my entire body going through a massive surgery.  Yes, I want a cure, but isn't there just some kind of pill that they can create instead?  It would work a lot better for me, as I am terrified of needles and surgery.  
  • I'm really leery of them putting an artificial pancreas in my body.  Plus, from the diagram in the movie, it looked incredibly high.  I do have ribs that I use quite frequently.  
  • What if it malfunctions?  And, what is the cost?  

On to happier things.  Today was the FIRST time in 7 (SEVEN!!!) years that I did not insert my insulin pump site in my stomach.  I've abused my stomach for 7 years, never giving it a break from a pump site.  I have wanted to move my site for a few years, but never had the courage to do so because:
  • My legs would not work.  Even when I gave myself shots, I never used my legs.  They are too muscular and all of the shots would hurt a ton.  Plus, a leg site doesn't work with running.  
  • My arms are also out of the question.  Although I didn't mind giving myself shots in my arms, it is not realistic to put a site there.  I buy the short tubing and there just isn't enough of it to make it work.  Plus, I move my arms a lot because I run and workout.  
  • I refuse to do it in my butt.  I have never given myself a hot in the butt, and refuse to pump there as well.  I have plenty of fat so that is not an issue.  It is more of a psychological issue.  I don't want a site in my butt.  It just seems incredibly awkward.
Therefore, the only option was my side.  This morning, I put my site in my side.  And it feels so strange to have a free stomach.  I think I have almost pulled the site out only about 10 times today, so I am not sure if it will last through tomorrow, but so far I am loving it.  More importantly, my stomach is enjoying its first taste of freedom in 7 years.  I'm not sure what will happen in the future, but I hope this spot continues to work, but I'm sure my stomach would like a 7 year vacation.    


  1. here is a random bit of info...near the mid point of my pregnancy I had severe problems with the site in my stomach....the skin was so tight and felt paper thin...anyway I put in the side of my breast...sorry TMI. The first time my endo saw she almost fell out of her chair...but hey it worked

  2. wow. 7 years in your stomach?
    I hate legs and butt too. I loved arms until I started getting too many failed sites.
    I'm not pumping right now but lower back was good and my favourite was.... wait for it... boobs.
    Yup. Boobs.