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[IP] Re: IP Stigmatizing

Kristen, after reading your last post, I felt I just had to write you.  I
was diagnosed Type 1 in March of last year at the age of 37.  I started
pumping in August, exactly 5 months to the day after my diagnosis.  The
whole experience was traumatizing to say the least.  I can remember
wrinkling my nose at the idea of pumping when my first CDE mentioned it to
me.  Of course, at that point, I was still getting over the horror of being
a pin cushion and doing MDI's.  I thought my life was over.

After doing as much research on the subject as I could, I returned a week
later deciding I wanted to start pumping, but was told I couldn't yet and
would first have to learn how to do everything involved with MDI's.  I was
disappointed, but what could I do?  So I started on MDI's and began to think
of it as a "manual pump."  I was on Lantus and Humalog and thought why
couldn't I achieve the same kind of control with shots as the pump, without
having to be attached to something all the time?  I worked really hard at it
and did really well.  The more time I spent on shots the more I thought I
could have the same benefits of the pump without the pump.  Even though my
A1c was great, I was still on the daily blood sugar roller coaster.

One day I met a CDE who convinced me that being a Type 1,  I needed
something that worked more like my pancreas, and that was a pump.  One of
the best things about being on a pump is the precision you can get over the
amount of insulin you need.  No matter how many shots a day I did, I
couldn't do shots in 1/10th increments.  I can remember counting my carbs
and having to decide if I would do 3 or 4 units to cover my meal, when what
I really needed was maybe 3.6 or 3.2.  I was always rounding up or down and
consequently not getting the results I really wanted.  Sometimes 1/2 a unit
is way too much or not enough when you're sensitive to insulin, which you
typically are in the beginning.

Anyway, I didn't mean to go on so much here, but I just wanted to let you
know how much finally going on a pump has made me feel more normal again and
able to "forget" about being diabetic at times.  Eating out at restaurants
is soooooo much better.  Not going low at work in the afternoon and having
to eat sugar all of a sudden.  Not having swings in my blood sugars with
unpredictable drops.  Lying in bed with my husband at night and not fearing
going low during intimate moments.  Before pumping I was worried about that
aspect.  I thought, "Oh that's real sexy.....being attached to a machine."
But I have to say, having done shots for 5 months and then going on a pump,
the pump has "almost" given me my former life back.  It's the closest thing
I can get to feeling non-diabetic again without a cure.  I think the
peace-of-mind it gives you along with the more even blood sugars helps you
"forget" sometimes.  Having something attached to me doesn't remind me I'm
diabetic either, but quite the opposite.  I look at it and feel so
appreciative for the difference it has made.  I think everyone has concerns
about being hooked up all the time, but amazingly, I haven't found that
particular aspect to be much of an adjustment at all, especially compared to
the adjustment of having diabetes.  Sometimes I even forget about my pump

I just felt I had to tell you how much more "normal" I feel since I started
pumping.  There are so many people on this list who have had diabetes for
most of their lives, but like you, I've only had it a short time, and my
entire life changed over night.  I think I initially had some of the same
concerns you have, but I found the pump to be the best thing I could do to
have the most normal life possible.  My only regret is that I vacillated at
all for the few months I did, and didn't start pumping sooner.

I know this is a decision you have to make on your own, but I just had to
share my ten cents worth :->.

dx'd 3/02, pumping 8/02 clear Paradigm
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