Game Changer

BaseballI don’t think he wanted me to hear the test result, because he knew how hard I had been struggling.

“8.1%,” he quietly stated.

The creamy beige walls with the non-offensive beach landscape blurred and dripped when I moved my head to the side. The tears were expected, but they were supposed to be parking lot tears where privacy could be assured. I didn’t want to cry in front of my endocrinologist. I was a strong patient. I was enthusiastic. I was upbeat.

I was defeated.

The words tumbled out. “I’m up to 5 shots a day, taking small correction boluses. I’m testing every three hours. I’m counting all my carbs. I’m doing everything you’ve told me to do. What else can I do?”

He slid a folder across the desk towards me. Bold red letters and happy people wearing sports wear looking…sporty.

“It’s time for you to seriously think about a pump. Other patients have done well with them and I think you could do it.”

The tears burned as they flowed faster down my checks. I hiccuped.

“I don’t want to be attached to something mechanical 24 hours a day. It’ll be a constant reminder that I’m diabetic.”

He smiled. “Aren’t you constantly being reminded right now?”

And that was the game changer.

A month later, I became attached to something mechanical 24 hours a day. My Disetronic D-Tron (may it rest in peace).

I was able to sleep late without worrying that my schedule would be thrown off. I discovered that eating ice cream (in moderation) and bolusing for it relieved me of most of my guilt about eating the delectable morsels of cold goodness. I watched my A1C go from 8.1 to 7.3 to 6.4%. I’m like Charleston Heston telling you that you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. (Um. Charleston. I’m gonna take that from you now, K?)

Fourteen years later, I am still grateful to this doctor’s gentle prodding and suggestion.

For me, the pump is a constant reminder… that I want to be healthy and that I am doing everything I can to live a long and fruitful life.

And that means I get to stay in the game.

Diabetes Blog Week Button

I’m participating in Diabetes Blog Week 2013. This is the prompt:

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

Want to see what other bloggers think of their most memorable diabetes day? Click this link and find out.

  1. Wonderful! I am thinking about getting a pump one day. My thoughts are the same, “I don’t want a constant reminder” but this was helpful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Elizabeth, it was a hard decision for me, but one I am so glad I made. I don’t regret it at all, truly believing it has changed my life for the better.

  2. I love your perspective on the decision to start on a pump – it’s really powerful!

    To think of it as a constant reminder of all the good, hard work you’re doing is a great way to see it.

    I think I still have my little blue “spare pump” suitcase somewhere…

  3. It’s incredible how sometimes it takes another person to point out what should be blatantly obvious. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in things that we just don’t see it.

    I’m with you on the pump thing being pried away. I’d be willing to swap mine out for a different model, but don’t you dare leave me with nothing.

    One more thing… my pump is tethered to ME, not the other way around. It goes where I go. It does what I tell it to do. Too many people (myself included, at one time) fear the opposite.

  4. This is such a great description of the “freedom” that I found with pumping when I started at age 20. I instantly felt like I wasn’t tethered to a schedule. I wasn’t tethered to a dietary regimen. I wasn’t carrying syringes and sharps containers everywhere. I felt set free. Probably a little too much. But my A1c at the time had never been below 9 or 10.

    I love how you turned ‘constant reminder’ into something positive.

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