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Re: [IP] recent diabetic

email @ redacted writes:

<< Wondering if those who are pumping have been diabetic for a long time. OK, 
 long time is relative, but I was diagnosed just last July and I think my 
 hold up is that I just went through all the crap you go through when you 
 first find out and I'm afraid to go through some of that again after getting 
 the pump.  So I guess my hold up is being afraid of the psychological 
 What are the psychological aspects of going on the pump? Did going on the 
 pump bring back any emotions you had when first diagnosed? >>

I was diagnosed with diabetes twice: in January, 1997, I was 
diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; in November, 1997, I was 
re-diagnosed as type 1. The two experiences were very different 
in many ways -- part of my reaction to being told that I was type 
1 was relief. Relief because there was actually a treatment that 
had a chance of working for me; relief because I no longer perceived 
having diabetes as being my fault -- and neither did my doctors. 
But in one way the two experiences were very similar: they led 
to a big shift in my self-image. For me, getting diabetes led to a 
massive, fullscale identity crisis, partly because I lost a lot of 
weight when I was first diagnosed. I looked different, I felt different, 
I acted different, I saw my life differently -- who the hell was I 
any more? To a much lesser degree, something similar is happening 
now that I'm on the pump. It's making me think a lot about who I 
am, how I fit into the world around me, where I'm going, what I 
want to do with the rest of my life. Ultimately, I think this will 
be a good thing, even if it's tough to go through it.

I am absolutely convinced that going on the pump is one of the best
choices I've ever made. It's made a huge, positive change in my life.
But it *is* taking some adjustment. Some of this, as you suggest, is
on the level of habit. But oh, how wonderful to break some of those
old habits! The first few times I sat down to a meal after going on the 
pump, I felt *really weird* about eating a whole meal without giving
myself a shot! 

  << Are there any 
 "new" diabetics who are on the pump and how was your experience? I guess I'm 
 wondering if one has to be ready to make the leap to the pump and maybe it's 
 better if the day-to-day aspects become routine first?  Do they become 
 routine?  I still hate all the crap that we have to do, I still do it, but I 
 hate it. >>

This is a tough question. I have found that some parts of managing
diabetes have become routine to me. I can practically count carbs in
my sleep, and I'm so used to carrying my diabetes gear around with 
me that I've accidentally forgotten to take my meter with me only 
once in the last two years (less often than I've forgotten my keys or
my wallet). But I've never really gotten to the point that it all 
*feels* routine to me. I don't want to scare you by saying this, 
because I also hoped that at some point managing my diabetes would 
become something that I didn't have to think about consiously any 
more. Even with the pump, that's not true. There are times when 
diabetes stuff takes a back seat, but it's always there.

So I guess what I would say is -- don't wait to get used to it before
you do something that will (probably) make things easier for you.
If you really want to go on the pump, there's no reason to wait.

/Janet L.
pumping with Castor & Pollux since 11/00
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