New Uses for Bloody Fingers

It is always a nice day when you realize that sometimes being type 1 diabetic isn’t so bad. I recently decided to start playing the guitar. I always secretly wished I could play an instrument and one day I decided might a well start now while the gettins good. The first day of  practicing my fingers felt like they were cut off with razor blades and dipped in a bucket of acid, and from what I read and was told this was going to take some time until my fingers built calluses. Well, guess what? day 2 came around and my fingers didn’t hurt so much anymore. I believe this is because I spent 20 some years pricking my finger multiple times a day and I’m thinking I have developed some scar tissue under these babies. Booyah!  This is probably bad for the diabetes, but good for my guitar practicing times! I mean, obviously,  if given a choice I would choose not to have this disease and I would gladly suffer through hurtful fingers and callus building but whatevs. I’ll take what I can.  I’m only into day 3 of this “pricked finger/scar tissue guitar theory”  and it might be proved as a false statement once I get more awesome with strumming and fretting (look at me using these terms!) and what have you, but if it’s  not I’m going to take a positive diabetes day whenever I can.

Diabetes: 1 million/ Emily: 7 (I might be losing the war but I won this battle!)

My Dreams Have Been Crushed

My dreams have been crushed with one phone call tonight. As I was catching up with an old chum via iPhones she told me some devastating news.  I can not fulfill my lifetime desire to be a commercial truck driver… Me, the road, a cold sodey pop in my hand, music  blaring on the radio..it’s just not going to happen. I’ve been banned! Outskirted! Forbidden! Kicked to the curb! Thrown out like yesterdays trash!

While that statement was sarcastic and most definitely not my dream, it did make me look into job restrictions for insulin dependent folks. I only did a 10 min google search,but from what I gather you can’t join the military, fly commercial airplanes, be a police officer (I think this is untrue), drive a semi, and you can’t be an astronaut (Son of a!) Some of the stuff I saw was dated eons ago in 2008, so it is very possible that some of these restrictions have changed. Hopefully! With all the new technology coming out to control type 1 I would certainly hope these rules have changed. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of Type 1’s that are healthier than some of the truck drivers I’ve seen out there….

A few years ago one of my dreams was to join the Peace Corps. I did my research and I saw that they do accept weird type 1 diabetics like myself, but I would be “hard to place.” I pretty much stopped researching joining the Corps after that. It put thoughts in my head of not getting my pump supplies in  a timely manner and dying in a small corner somewhere while rabid dogs gnawed my limbs off.  I let diabetes stop me from pursing that dream. I was too scared to go to a foreign country for 2 years and not have a Walgreen’s nearby on the off chance I ran out of insulin. I regret it now, but life is full of regrets. You deal with it and you move on. I feel too old and set in my ways now to join, but who knows. Never say never, right?

Pros and Cons of a Pumper

Pros and cons of the insulin pump. I am dedicating this to a gal who is still on injections and no matter how hard I try I haven’t converted her to my side of switching to the pump yet. I won’t say her name, but she knows who she is.. 😉 Perhaps this will help in your decision making.

I was on regular joe shots 2 to 3 times a day for 13 years until I got to college and my doctor so graciously allowed me to go on the insulin pump and I’ve been on it since…10 years (wow…I feel old!) I could never go back to shots on a daily basis. I think I would die. I mean if I HAD to, I guess I would go back to shots, but , no…I really think I would die. I would go sit in a dark, damp hole somewhere and die if I went back to shots.

I love my pump. LOVE LOVE LOVE! It does have it’s disadvantages though, and I’m here to tell them to you, but first the good. And in true happy ending stories, good overcomes the bad. Always. I know this to be true, so just accept my knowledge.

Pros

1. It’s magic.

The sooner you realize that the sooner you can start practicing your spells with it. I’m working on a real doozy right now. It’s called “Bolus your face.” You use it for  those times you eat a little something and need a quick unit of insulin. Just pick up your pump punch a couple of buttons and “Poof” your artificial pancreas (pump) kicks in. Magic. No whipping out a syringe, loading up your insulin then trying to pick the spot on your body you will inject.

2. Your fate is in your pump.

Using a pump allows you to have more control over your sugars (for most people). You want to eat more/ eat less you can set the pump up to accommodate that. If you are going to exercise nice jog/ dancing routine/ jazzercise/ cartwheel marathon/ work out with the exercise tape you got talked into from watching late night infomercials or whatever else you do you can set your pump at “temp” rate and adjust accordingly so it will give you less than normal insulin and help you to prevent a low blood sugar.

3. Your fate is in your pump (part 2)

I have all the information I need right in  my pump. If I forgot how much insulin I gave at lunch all I have to do is check my history and it’s right there. It will also let me know how many units of insulin are active in my system right now.

4. “The Wizard”

ooooooo….the wizard……almost magical…. See, there is this thing called “The Wizard” (I’m not even making this up, ok?) in the pump and  you can enter your blood sugar and how many carbs you are eating and it will calculate how much insulin you need to stay within range. It’s nice to not always have to figure out how many units needed at certain times. The wizard takes care of it for you. He is soooo wonderful and kind. If you talk nicely enough to him he might give you some money. Side note: my brain is getting a little wild right now. Thinking I should go test my sugars.  BRB. 61. Second low of the day. I should have done a “temp” rate when I walked earlier. No matter how wonderful the pump is there is still room for human error.

5. Bling

You can decorate your pump. I have a nice little design on my pump to fit my personality and I can change it up as long as I fork over the moolah to get a new design. I get mine on medtronics website. They are called “skins.” I’ve never seen anyone with a decorated syringe…..just saying…pumps are cooler. Deal with it, syringe people.

 

Pump 5 / Shots 0. Woot woot!

 

OK…now for the bad.  If I want to be fair I have to include them, but I’m not happy about it. Boo.

Cons

1. Tubing

It hangs out of my clothes sometimes. It just does. I deal with it just fine, but sometimes there are people that like to tell me my tube is hanging out. I know. I don’t care. Leave me alone. Umm…yeah…I guess I get a little annoyed when people who know nothing about it try to tell me these things. I know they are trying to be  helpful, but I got it. I’ve had it for 10 years, I don’t need anyone to remind me that they can see my tubes.

2. Is that a pager?

Yes, some people think the pump is a pager. I guess people think I’m living in the 90’s . I’ve also had people think it was an mp3 player and the tubes were my headphones.

3. Constant connection

There is no escaping the pump. When you go to a beach you have to clip it to your suit and look like a weirdo…..but really, how often do you go to the beach? 5 days? 30 days? There are 365 days a year. I think you will be ok with your pump for the few days you go to the beach, and you can disconnect for a couple of hours and be ok.

4. Insertion

You have to take 3 – 10 minutes every 3 days and switch out the insertion site and tubing. I don’t like the insertion part. Have you ever tested one of your friends blood sugars for their entertainment? “Wouldn’t it be sooo totally awesome if you checked my blood sugar and saw that I have a completely functioning pancreas and you don’t?” Usually they squeeze their eyes shut and make a strange face waiting for the pricker to prick, yes? This is me every 3 days. The insertion device is a similar concept and even though I’ve done it thousands of times I still stand there with a screwed up face for about 3 minutes trying to build up the courage to press the button. 9 times out of 10 it does not hurt. I have issues. This does not mean that anyone else has the same issues though.

 

That’s all. If you search the web you can find more legitimate pros and cons. I just didn’t feel like doing the standard fair. I’ll think of more when my brain is a little more cohesive, and let you know.

So, do you want a pump yet?