Dear Diabetes, you suck.

a front end developer who also happens to have type 1 diabetes

Every 42 days

Date tearI did the math. if I replace my omnipods every 3 days, and my dexcoms every ~14 days, I will have a small window of time to be device free once every 42 days. In reality it will probably never line up perfectly, but my first pod change was one of those nights.

My omnipod was the first to go. After it hits the 8 hour mark it goes off with a loud piercing noise that sounds like a fire alarm designed for dogs… so that was lovely/not. But, at least I used the tac away the omnipod rep gave me, sooo much better than just ripping it off, I will be using that from now on. Pitched the omnipod in the trash. Then I decided that I might as well change the dexcom out at the same time. Off came the dexcom. I was free.

I sat for probably close to an hour… what felt like an eternity… just sitting in my desk chair with no devices on, pondering what life would be like without them. remembering what life was like without them. mourning my loss of whatever that is. netflix in the background playing my latest binge series, diabetes paraphernalia strewn across my desk like a half done arts and crafts project.  knowing that I wasn’t receiving an insulin, and that this much time without any would probably fuck up my overnight numbers… which it did, or the chocolate I stress-ate. Around 10:30 or so I realized that I would have to stay up for the dexcom to prime, or be woken up by that super annoying beeping — so all this needed to be done for the sake of sleep, or at least that’s what I told myself in order to bolster my resolve. I put together the needle to fill the omnipod with insulin, by far the most “medical” feeling part of the process, I was able to follow the instructions on my PDM and got the two beeps telling me I had filled to the minimum insulin requirement, all I need at this point. Pressing the button to prime, I zoned out again for a bit. To this point I had been holding my shit together. It was done priming, it was time to take the backing off the adhesive and stick that intrusive declaration of sickness on my body. I lost it. I threw a full scale tantrum, to myself, complete with crying, pacing and the desire to beat the shit out of things… thank god I keep my lacrosse sticks in the garage, otherwise I might be looking into patching drywall… after a bit I was able to compose myself. The adult part of my brain rationalized that I just need to do this. I peeled the backing and, with a bit of contortion, was able to apply it on my back where I thought it would be least bothersome… then the PDM wants me to push a button to allow/direct the pod to insert the canula… a nice way to say that a mechanical device is going to jab me with a needle — I don’t care what fraction of a second it is, the fucked up part is pushing the button. I pressed the button, I waited… and oh fuck, that hurt like a bitch. that did not at all feel like my dexcom. they lie. it doesn’t help that I don’t have “enough” fat — I learned later that pinching the skin around the pod would have helped… too late for this time around. the stabbing of the canula… yes, that’s what it felt like to me, set me off back to the tantrum. Every single “why me?” “this blows.” “this isn’t fair.” “fuck this.” “I quit.” “this can’t be real.” “why does this have to be my reality.” “what did I do to deserve this?” “can I find my way out of this?” “there has got to be another solution.” — even the passing thought of ending everything hasn’t occurred to me in a long time, but in that moment anything sounded better than being in my own skin. dealing with my own reality. and then just like it came on, I was just done. shook up, but done.

I sat down again, the thought occurred to me that I probably should have done the dexcom first b/c of its set-up time, but whatever, too late for that. I took care of the dexcom installation swiftly, at this point it’s not a big deal… as I type this, I hope and know that eventually the dexcom installation will be like that too. And just like that I was done… ready to find two hours of entertainment to wait out the priming of the dexcom. back to my new reality. Me with two devices and a puppy on the couch.

With just the dexcom I could/did take a bit of time in between wearing the sensors — it sometimes resulted in disastrous lows, but it was still possible. It is not possible for me to take time off of the omnipod… I mean, I can take it off my body, but I have no long-acting insulin in my body anymore, so I would immediately be on my own… with a busted pancreas.

So basically, every 42 days I will be teased with the idea of freedom — I think I’ll just re-up my dexcom and avoid it altogether… no sense in temptation for the sake of temptation. Who am I kidding… I’ll probably do it anyway, 10 minutes of freedom is better than none at all.

2 Comments

  1. Allan Parachini

    August 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Sophie, for those of us who aren’t in your situation, what is an omnipod?

    • Hey there 🙂 the omnipod is a wireless/tubeless insulin delivery system… i.e. an insulin pump, but without the traditional tubing. For me this means that every three days I stick on a “pod,” about the size of half of a credit card and roughly ~3/8″ thick, which delivers insulin to me for 3 days… both a “basal” or daily drip rate, and additional insulin based on what I’m eating, which I control/enter through a PDA type device… all in all it’s pretty cool, for me it’s still the emotional adjustment to being dependent… on something else… again. Just another reminder that no man is an island… even if he is lucky enough to live on one 🙂 xo

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