Friday, May 18, 2012

My Pancreas Runs on AAA Batteries

I have been a diabetic for almost 7 years. In the beginning, I had to deal with what doctors call the "Honeymoon" phase. Honeymoon my butt. Let's just say this was a tough period (not all type 1 diabetics go through it). My body was now being introduced to small doses of insulin (given orally) because apparently, I still had some insulin producing cells. Here is why the honeymoon phase sucks, it is unpredictable how much insulin those last few working cells will produce. Through this lovely phase, I experienced what it feels like to have low blood sugars for the first time in my entire life. Luckily, this phase was short lived.

Post honeymoon phase, all of my insulin producing cells have been destroyed and I will have to begin insulin injections. WHAT??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I am terrified of needles I almost gave up in this entire diabetes thing when being introduced to finger sticks. With insulin shots I have two types of insulin one called Lantus (to hold my baseline insulin) and Humalog (for when I eat). Oh, and did I mention the minimum amount of shots is 5 a day. YIKES! But, I will admit this method worked for the most part and the needles I'll admit not so bad. The downside to giving yourself daily injections though weighed much hire than the perks (basically meaning treating my diabetes). Carrying needles in my purse, awkward. Not only awkward, but made a police officer think I was a heroin addict and shove me against my car and search me in the parking lot of my work... but that's a whole other story. Having to keep my insulin cold, learning to carb count, I could go on and on... but we'll leave it at that for now.

Then a miracle happened. I was introduced to this thing called an insulin pump. I'll admit I was a little hesitant at first, I mean really this thing is connected to your body at all times, like an extra extremity. "Oh, hi! Oh this, yeah thats just my pancreas hanging outside of my body".

For those of you who don't know what an insulin pump can do, it literally is your pancreas. It gives you small doses of insulin throughout the day to cover normal daily glucose fluctuations. And for your when you bolus you set it up to know your insulin to carb ration and it literally does the carb counting for you! Blows my mind and makes me the happiest. I have the Medtronic Minimed Paradigm it holds 300 units of insulin, has basal and bolus delivery to 0.25 unit increments, and is small enough to hold between my boobs.

Yes, not only is my pancreas outside of my body, but it is also easy to wear! Most of the time I slip it into my back pocket because its easily accessible. But being a girl, pants are just one variety of clothing we keep in our closet.  Because of this, I usually had to come up with some clever ways to wear my insulin pump. Slipping it into my bra happens a lot during the summer, but sweat does become an issue there. If you place your pump in a baby sock, the sweat won't hurt your pump (I have to say I have been bad and lacking the sock though) and clipping it your underwear is also another suggestion, however, I am not going to lie when I say pulling this thing out from your cleavage is weird for people to see, but even more awkward when you pull it out from under your skirt. Needless to say this suggestion does not happen very often.

Being on the pump means I have to have AAA batteries on me at all times. That's what my pump runs on and without it, I may not run. Having needles handy is still apart of being diabetic whether your're on the pump or not. Some days my pump may malfunction, or I may not have any batteries on hand and needles are always my Plan B. When swimming my pump can't join me.  Sadly mine is not waterproof. So when I go to lake during the summer I can only be in the water for an hour at the most before I need to hook myself back up to it.

But on a positive note, It's been 6 years since I have had my insulin pump and I am still loving it. My pancreas runs on AAA batteries and I like it!







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