I haven’t had a many ideas lately for writing a Type 1 Diabetes blog entry, but I do today. So here goes.

I don’t think I’d be way off base by saying I am a bit of a free spirit. I don’t like following orders, I don’t like people questioning my motives, I don’t like the rules… wait… this sounds darn right bratty… hmmm. Oh well. All our lives it seems we are taught to do the “right thing.” What is the “right thing?” For a middle class midwestern family I’d say it’s go to college, pick a good major, make sure your future is accounted for by the time you turn 18, settle down, have some kids, blah, blah, blah, rules, rules, rules. None of this is bad by any means. People are very lucky to have accomplished these things, but it isn’t always right for everyone. We are raised to follow our dreams, reach for the stars, all those other cliché sayings. What they don’t tell us is that yes, you should follow your dreams… as long as it’s financially responsible. Reach for the stars, but try to keep your feet on the ground. Now I’m not saying every middle class American family is like this, but in general? Yes. For the lucky ones (what I consider lucky, anyway), they break through and break free. As a type 1 diabetic, I don’t see how it’s possible to break free. Spread the wings and fly… (Is that a song? I think it is…I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky, spread my wings and fly away… oh, R Kelly…) Anyway, We have to have insulin. It’s integral to living. Insulin is not cheap. How could we possibly drop everything and move to a new city, a new country, change our career path, or move to an island somewhere to sell coconuts on a beach? Anything but stay where we are? We have to have a plan, we have to have a job lined up, make sure it has a good health insurance plan, all that jazz. The kind of stuff that clips the wings of any sort of free spirited bird. The whole situation is frustrating.

I am not saying I want to run off to Mexico City and work for an amazing foundation that rescues big cats or anything, but I’m not saying it’s something I don’t want to do either. I want the option. I want to be able to think about my future and not have to consider my disease and limitations. I want to go scuba diving with some dolphins, gosh darn it! Being a free spirit for a healthy individual is hard enough in a small town middle class American society without throwing in an expensive chronic disease to go with it. I just wonder if there are any Type 1’s out there that have broken free of the expected? If so, I sure would like to hear their story!


Leaky Pipes

Random #1: “Do you smell that?”

Random #2: “Smells like….(sniffs)…. a hospital?”

I hear this and I automatically grasp frantically at my stomach. Son of a bee sting. My pump is leaking.

“Sorry, guys. I have a leaky faucet situation going on here.”

My pump machinery is connected to a 26ish” tube that is attached to a little sticky thing that has a tiny tube about as small in circumference as a needle is, which is then inserted at my stomach or hip area for 3-4 days. Sometimes the sticky part can get loose towards the end of the cycle, and in turn can make the tube portion come out of my body and the insulin I should be getting on my insides is leaking onto my skin and a “hospital/medicine” smell ensues. I don’t always catch onto it right away because I’m used to the smell of insulin. It smells like…insulin or a hospital if you so choose. On that note, I hope I don’t always smell like a hospital. I don’t think I do. Do I?

Back to the post… Think of a Band-Aid being on you for a few days. Life happens, it loses its sticky goodness after awhile. My pump sticky thing is stronger than a Band-Aid, but maybe you are getting the picture? I feel like your eyes are starting to glaze over and you are thinking about some random acts that happened to you today. Maybe you are wondering if you turned the stove off or other such nonsense. Well, stop. I’m trying to explain things here in an unintelligent manner. Geez.

This is not me. I found it on the internet and I’m not trying to gross anyone out, but perhaps this gives you the jist…a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

It’s very frustrating when I lose insulin. That stuff isn’t cheap! 3 teeny tiny bottles of it is around $400 and lasts about 3 months…for me at least. Luckily I have insurance that covers it 100% after my deductible is met. Are you starting to see why insurance is so important to me? My pump itself cost around $6,000. The supplies that go with it are probably around $400 – $600 every 3 months, not including the insulin itself. My new continuous glucose monitor thing-a-ma-bobber (I call him “Bob”) involves sensors that are inserted every 3-6 days and they are roughly $42 each. Blood testing strips cost an arm and a leg. It’s crazy how much money this stuff costs. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I’m lucky and have good insurance, but some don’t and I can’t even imagine what they are going through…well, I can imagine I’ve had my fair share of insurance worries. It’s a punch to the gut. Or maybe a good wallop to the face.

Hims just a little guy.