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Re: [IP] Reactions to the pump

I haven't gotten the "you must be so badly off" reaction
about the pump; here in the tech-happy Bay Area, especially 
my tech-happy social circle, the most common reaction is 
"Cool! How does it work? And, um, if you don't mind my 
asking, how is it, um, attached to you?" People are usually 
somewhat disappointed when I tell them that the pump 
doesn't check blood sugar or adjust automatically. Then 
I have to explain why it's still an improvement over MDI.
(Then I have to explain what MDI is. Then I have to do
"Diabetes 101.")

But the reaction you talk about was part of the reason I wrote 
that article for Salon. I think that doctors (and others) have 
been slow to realize that many people with diabetes are willing 
to put up with a lot if it means better control and better quality 
of life. When I first heard of the pump, my reaction was that I 
wasn't sure that I'd want to have a machine attached to me all 
the time. Eventually, I started to think that it would be a good
trade-off, and now I wonder why the idea ever bothered me.
I mean, it's sometimes a nuisance, but it doesn't feel creepy 
or invasive.

It's really hard to get across to people who are basically
healthy how much *work* it is to deal with a chronic 
illness. And as some here have pointed out, not everybody
chooses to do the same amount of work to control their
condition, or has healthcare providers that support them to
try for better control. It may even be true that for some people, 
whether for physiological or psychological or social (family, 
work situation) reasons, control really is easier. So if your 
friends know other people with diabetes who aren't doing all
the things that you're doing (or aren't talking about it), it's 
understandable that they think that you have a "severe case" 
that requires more attention.

It's just that, as is so often the case, it's way more complex
than that....

/Janet L.

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