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Re: [IPk] Re: ip-uk-digest V2 #236

Barbara wrote:
"The diabetes nurse said that Danielle will probably be asked to go in to 
off the pump.  I won't do it unless it is her usual visit to the hospital
unless she really wants to.  I will see how the land lies when it gets

My experience ofgoing on the pump at age 14 so radically improved my quality 
of life that I wanted to tell every person with diabetes I met how wonderful 
it was. Being able to _feel_ high and low sugars for real, being able to 
exercise when I wanted, being able to eat what I wanted (when I wanted it), 
and having improved HbA1cs all made me eager to educate my non-diabetic 
peers and anyone else who would listen. As most list members will have 
heard, I started my American BA early; in my second year, at age 15, the 
coodinator for teacher training at my uni asked me to give seminars that I 
called 'Diabetes in the Classroom' . For the rest of my degree course, I 
made four or five presentations per year to undergraduates completing 
teacher training on campus and to mature students pursuing master of arts in 
teaching (MAT) degrees through my uni. Having to 'teach' diabetes to 
teachers was great: their questions made me curious about things I hadn't 
yet learned, and feeling like I had specialized knowledge that could help 
others was intensely rewarding.

I would hope that within several months of starting the pump Danielle will 
be able to explain what insulin, carbs, fat, and exercise have to do with 
diabetes management; how her pump works; why it's better for her than 
injections; and what could possibly go wrong (i.e., a kink in tubing, a 
wonky set, battery failure), and how she would handle any of those things 
(i.e., respectively, recoil the tubing, change the set, have spare batteries 
on hand and know how to change them). If she is shy and does not want to 
talk to strangers about the pump, that is certainly her prerogative. 
However, if she's ever in a situation in which she must explain her pump to 
a poorly informed medic, practice telling people with diabetes and, 
especially, people who *don't* have diabetes, about it will be good 
preparation. I once had to see three doctors to get a site infection (the 
only one I've had, 5 years ago now, and in Virginia) treated properly. 
Telling the last doctor I saw--when the site had abcessed--that the pump was 
connected to me 'via a subcutaneous Teflon cannula' helped him to figure out 
what was going on; had I not known the 'technical' language I might have 
gotten even worse. The other doctors had been too conservative with the 
antibiotics they had prescribed because I was young and, I suspect, they 
didn't really get the 'subcutaneous Teflon cannula' part. Oh well; at least 
I got better before I got totally septic!

Seize every teachable moment,

IDDM 8+ years; MiniMed pumper 6+ years; 'It's not a pager, it's an insulin 
pump. It means I don't have to take injections. Yeah, it is connected to 
me...right here...' 6+ years too

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