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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guest Post: Another Bionic Woman

Today's guest post comes from Adriana who blogs and tweets.  She's channeled her inner bionic woman and blogged about when she went on the pump 18 years ago and had to be hospitalized.  Wow!  Thanks, Adriana for sharing this story. 

Hey! I’m Adriana and I blog over at Living Life with Diabetes. I’m excited to be guest posting for Holly while she is off at the beach. I’m so jealous!

While I was thinking about what to write about for this blog post the idea of “bionic woman” kept coming to mind. Holly has talked a lot about being the bionic woman what with Arnold her trusty pump and now Constance her new CGM.

At age 7, in 1988, I was diagnosed with diabetes.  It came as a huge shock to the family but we all adjusted as best we could. In July 1992 at age 11 my endocrinologist put me on an insulin pump. At the time I was the youngest person in the area to have been put on the pump. This meant that I didn’t know anybody else who was on the pump. In fact it would be a few years until I met somebody who also wore a pump.

I remember pulling into the hospital that would be my home for the next week while I adjusted to the insulin pump and learned how to use it. Yes, I was admitted into the hospital! Looking up at the hospital all I could see was a jail. In my 11 year old mind that was what the hospital was. I wanted to be hanging out at the mall with my friends instead of being in hooked up to some machine 24/7 and spending a week in the hospital. You could say I didn’t have the greatest attitude.

Over the course of the next week my mom and I learned all about carb counting (such a new thing at the time,) basal rates, infusion sites, and all the blood testing involved. One day I was given a get-out-of-jail-free card for 2 hours so my mom and I went to Michael’s and bought arts and crafts supplies. Standing in the parking lot I felt different. I felt like I belonged in the hospital.

That feeling of belonging in the hospital took a long time to go away. I hated and loved the pump. Sometime in my early twenties I started to feel like my insulin pump was just another body part. Up until November of last year I only wore my pump hidden away in my bra so nobody could see. I would stick my hand down my shirt wherever I was to pull it out to bolus but never felt comfortable wearing it anywhere else. For some reason since November it is on my belt or pocket all the time. I don’t care anymore.

I wish I could tell my 11 year old self that just because I wore an insulin pump it didn’t mean I belonged in a hospital. The insulin pump has been amazing for me and I’m so glad and proud I’ve been on it for 18 years. I do wonder what 11 year old me would think about my CGM?

Adriana's pink Animas Ping insulin pump.  Pretty!

2 comments:

  1. Totally awesome story. So many kids stay on it for a week or a month and go off of it because they don't like how it's connected 24/7. Kudos to Adriana for sticking with the pump. :-)

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  2. Adriana: Thank you for sharing this valuable story! It's amazing the changes we go through from kids to adulthood, and how we change our ways in displaying our diabetes. And no matter what or how you display, hope that feeling of "belonging in a hospital" has gone away and doesn't return. Your story is just one of so many of ours that shows we don't, and we have the tools to make it so we don't end up there. Thanks again!

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.