I suppose it might be different for people diagnosed as children, who can hardly remember what life was like without diabetes. But for me, diagnosed in my mid-30’s, it still shocks me sometimes…
Sometimes lying in bed at night, I think maybe it’s all a mistake — maybe I could just stop taking all the meds and using all these devices, and my body would just go back to doing what it used to do. Maybe it was just a blip, like a bad cold or rash that hung on so long you almost believed you’d have it forever.
Sometimes when I have a really bad day (like this Saturday), where my blood sugar plummets to 60 and later soars to just under 300, the frustration is hard to reign in. I know it’s the disease making me moody, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. I’m just so GD mad and sick of it all!
And here I am, one of the incredibly lucky ones: nearly two months ago I started on the new OmniPod tubeless insulin pump, generally considered the state-of-the-art insulin therapy at the moment. And it is amazing. From a design standpoint, this two-part system is in a league of its own. The little insulin pod that you attach to your body is controlled wirelessly from a compact unit that looks and feels similar to any consumer PDA, and uses simple English language for commands.
I call the OmniPod my little miracle machine, since it’s made life so much easier and more pleasant than when I was on shots. Talk about frustration: the newspapers like to report that pumps replace (gasp!) “up to 4-5 injections a day.” Hell, with my crazy schedule and all the corrections, I was up to more like eight. And trying to “fine-tune” my dosing was like playing pool with a blindfold on.
So I’m fortunate and deeply grateful to companies like Insulet…
But then it hits me: pending the miracle of a cure, this thing isn’t going away. And when I consider living the rest of my life with this XL half-kiwi lump on my abdomen, I don’t feel so lucky. Every time that unit on my belly presses against something and it hurts, or I wear it on my arm and it catches on the door jam and nearly pulls off… Every time I look closely at my overloaded purse, containing at least 3 separate and distinct digital devices (don’t get me started on packing for travel with diabetes!), I pray silently for further innovations and convergence.
The time has come for those of us living with these devices to stop quietly accepting what we’re given, and rather make some noise about what we really want as these products evolve.
Just some additional thoughts from one of 20M+ Americans living with diabetes… FWIW.