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Re: [IP] Stigmatizing (long)

I also wanted to respond to this thread, and specifically back to Kristen
who so bravely explained her feelings and fears.

First, you should keep in mind that this list is biased towards pumping.  It
is a pumping newsgroup after all and the members all have pumps, have a
family member with a pump, are getting a pump, or are researching getting a
pump.  Notice the pump bias?  :-)  Keeping that in mind, I don't think
anyone was saying that a pregnant diabetic without a pump was a horrible,
bad person.  The comments were from people who have been on the list for a
long time and have read countless stories of mothers who had children before
pump and after pump and found that the pump made things a little "easier".
In fact many doctors put diabetic women on the pump when they become
pregnant.  I have heard a lot of stories, locally, of women who were put on
the pump at the local hospital when they became pregnant, and then refused
to give them back post-pregnancy.  :-)  But please don't feel that the
comments made about pregnancy and pumping were to make you feel like a bad
person if you didn't have one, they were meant in good faith from people who
meant well.  Or at least that was how I read the messages.

Second, you mentioned in your email that:

"There are times when I forget I am diabetic (not for long mind you but long
enough). Like when I am lying in bed on Saturday morning with my husband and
my dog, or when I am taking a nice hot bath, etc."

I was diagnosed in 1980 at the ripe old age of 4.  I don't remember not
being diabetic, but then again that makes it easier for me because my life
is what it is and I don't have anything to compare now back to healthwise.
That said, my life when I was on shots was horrible.  I was constantly on a
rollercoaster and my life revolved around when I took my insulin and when I
could eat.  Mind you most of this 22 years was without fast acting insulins
like Humalog or Novolog or stable longer acting insulin like Lantus.  I felt
like S#%T all the time and my mood seemed to follow my bgs.  When I was low
I was LOW.  I mean I would get horribly depressed and sob for hours.  When I
was high I was MEAN and very SHORT TEMPERED.  I'm amazed that my now husband
stuck around through years of all that drama.  I never felt like a normal
person, even if I wasn't attached to something physical.

Ironically, now that I have the pump, I forget all the time that I am
diabetic.  (Please no flames on this).  Since my blood sugars are much more
stable, I feel SO much better.  I actually feel happy.  I have days where I
sleep in until noon and wake up to have a late brunch with my husband all
with a bg around 120.  Never could have done that on shots.  I also take
long baths but I disconnect from the pump for these because heat causes me
to run low.  The downside to feeling so much better is that I occasionally
forget to blood test and bolus for meals.  After 20 years of having the "I'm
crashing", or "I have super dry mouth" reminder of my bg before meals, I now
feel "normal."  The other day I was watching T.V. with my husband and
started to have high bg symptoms.  I was confused and went to test thinking
that my set must have failed after dinner.  It was then that I realized I
hadn't tested or bolused at dinnertime.  I just ate and sat around watching
T.V. like a "normal" person.  Scary.

I also have many panic moments on my way to work when I think I forgot to
reconnect my pump after a shower.  I keep mine clipped at the waist but I
don't really think about it, see it, or feel it unless I am bolusing or
checking an alarm.

All that said, the decision on getting a pump HAS to be your own.  You will
only have a positive experience if you are aware of what it can and can't do
and you are willing to take on those responsibilities.

I wish you the best,
dxd 8/80, pumping 12/99 MM508 (blue)
Graduate Student who has one big project left to finish by Saturday and is
obviously procrastinating.  ;-)
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