Welcome back for Day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week 2011! Today is Letter Writing Day! Here’s the description from Karen:
Letter writing day – Tuesday 5/10: In February the Wego Blog Carnival asked participants to write letters to their condition. You can write a letter to diabetes if you’d like, but we can also take it one step further. How about writing a letter to a fictional (or not so fictional) endocrinologist telling the doctor what you love (or not) about them. How about a letter to a pretend (or again, not so pretend) meter or pump company telling them of the device of your dreams? Maybe you’d like to write a letter to your child with diabetes. Or a letter from your adult self to the d-child you were. Whomever you choose as a recipient, today is the day to tell them what you are feeling.
So… Here goes!
To my friends:
I know you know that I have diabetes. I know I like to ignore it. I know you ignore it because you’re following my lead. The problem is, ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Sometimes I just need to take a minute to take care of myself. Sometimes my head is spinning and I’m trying to take control of my downward-spiraling bloodsugar and I can’t think clearly enough to explain what’s happening. And so I run off and scarf everything in sight. That, my friends, you can ignore. :) Just give me 15 minutes or so and I’ll (usually) be ready to rock.
The truth is that I love when people ask me about diabetes or what’s involved in the care of a diabetic. I could talk about it for hours! I love explaining the differences between a Type 1 and a Type 2. (I’m a type 1 in case you didn’t know!) And, the more you know, the less I feel I have to explain when I might actually need help or need to be ignored. :) No questions are off limits with me. Here’s the short-n-sweet version:
My pancreas no longer produces insulin, so I have to take it. I could take multiple shots everyday, but I use an insulin pump instead. It’s attached to me like an IV: a needle is surrounded by thin, flexible tubing. I insert the needle and tubing into my skin and pull the needle out, so just the tubing remains. The pump is programmed to give me a little bit of insulin throughout the day, and I tell it to give me more when I eat. I have to refill the reservoir and change out the tubing every three days. The pump only gives me insulin. I still have to check my bloodsugar (at least) 4 times a day. I sometimes wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). It’s really cool! It checks my bloodsugar every 5 minutes and reports to my pump. It helps me stay in better control, since I have practically constant bloodsugar information at my disposal. And, speaking of control.. No, I am not in the best control. I’m not awful, though, either. There’s definitely room for improvement, and that’s just how diabetes is. No matter how hard I try to control it, it will always have a life on its own. It’s my job to try to outsmart it! Suffice to say, it’s complicated. Like, really complicated!
But there’s one thing. When I’m adjusting my pump, there’s no reason to make a “funny” comment about it. I know you think you’re hilarious (“oh yeah, *beep beep* just bump it up a little more so you can eat that!“) but, really, the comments are just annoying. And terribly insulting. When I eat, I have to tell my pump to cover the carbs I’m having… no matter how large or how small. So, see me eat an apple? I’ll be telling my pump. A cupcake? Same thing. So save yourself the effort and save yourself from looking like an idiot… Just let it go. Pretty please??
And a reminder: insulin is not a cure! If you are interested in funding research to cure diabetes (and make my day in the process!) please consider making a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It is my birthday month after all! :)