Dear Diabetes, you suck.

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

Tag: Omnipod (page 1 of 2)

so this might seem like rocket science…

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so the other day I spiked right after breakfast, I had just been to the doctor and I thought “what the hell, I thought the adjustments were supposed to fix this…” pause and rewind for a hot minute… I failed to take into consideration that the previous night at 1am my OmniPod had expired-expired (meaning passed the additional 8 hours it gives you to change it)… did I get up to change it? no. did I think ahead and change it before I went to bed? no. I thought about it and then I was already warm and comfortable and didn’t want to strip down to have to apply/remove pods, I just wanted to go to bed… so first I get woken up with a low alarm, which I ignore, then I get woken up with the pod alarm (which is way worse than the dexcom… ear piercingly loud), only to silence it and go back to sleep, to be woken up and then ignore the dexcom at least once more… so basically, all this technology I wear does not stand up to an idiot who refuses to use it properly… and when I spike after breakfast… maybe it has to do with me not having insulin in my system for the previous 7 hours… just maybe, you know? who knows? that doesn’t sound reasonable? or like science (#sarcasm)… so the answer is… not rocket science… change my pods on time, listen to my dexcom, and only expect good results if I’m putting in good effort… new page, new day, new chance to get it right… one minute, one moment at a time

I’m still here…and so is diabetes.

I keep thinking that diabetes will just randomly evaporate and not be a part of my life anymore. No longer with me when I wake, walk, talk, work, move, breathe, live. I’m so sick of having to consider it as a factor in every decision I make, every thought has to be followed by “do I have my kit? do I need it? do I really need it? have I got everything that I need? do I need extra snacks? do I have extra snacks? are the things I need close enough that it’s not annoying to go get them? will I be walking much? do I need to turn it down now? or should I wait? why is my sugar doing that? do I need to fix it? will it fix itself? shit, what was I going to go do in the first place?”

so seriously… on the front of random evaporation… where are we with that? close? a year? a month? #seriouslyplease

A win at something lame is still a win.

GoldStarSo I hate having to wear a pump. I hate the process of putting on a new one, but the other day I managed to put on a new omnipod by myself without having an emotional meltdown. This is a delayed reaction, but I am proud of myself. I was supposed to go to my friend’s house so I’d have support , but as I was waiting to leave, I thought to myself “this is stupid, I should just do it now so I don’t have to worry about it later…” and so I did it. fairly quickly, but still slower than I know I’ll be soon enough… I just keep thinking how slow and timid I was with the dexcom at first. I remembered to pinch the skin around the site, it didn’t hurt nearly as much as the first time. I even tried a new site, I have it on my upper arm right now — I think it helps that I have more fat there, but I’ve also caught it on door frames a few times… who knew I cut my corners so hard. Another thing down. I can’t help but hold my breath a little bit — every time I think I’ve got something down, a whole new pile of shit lands in my lap. I just don’t think I can take on any more.

Tick Tock

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So I tick now… great. Add that to the list of shit that sucks. like a pest. like a time bomb (that’s an obvious one). worse it’s a reminder. everytime I hear it I feel something different. sometimes it makes me feel like quitting. other times it reminds me that I am bionic. that I’m lucky. that I’m blessed. that I’m sick. I’m dependent. broken. baggage to be handled. forgotten. defective. thankful to be alive. angry. why me. fuck that thing again. I wonder where my numbers are. shit. I still have diabetes. fuck diabetes.

Anytime I feel like I’ve got my shit locked down, I’m at work, or with friends, anytime I’m not thinking about diabetes, blissfully ignorant for a short period of time… tick. and just like that I’m back to reality. the shitty reality of this shitty disease that fucks with every aspect of my life. if anything would convince me to go back to shots… at least they stayed silently in my kit… fuck diabetes.

Phantom Sensors

PoofMoving the omnipod around has had an odd side effect. I am rightly sensitive/protective of my “equipment” … still haven’t found the right word. If either my dexcom or omnipod are pulled/ripped off or dislodged in any way, or even jostled out of place in the wrong way, they will not work — this is not only unsafe for me, as I wear them for a reason, but it’s also expensive if I have to replace the sensors more than prescribed. then there’s also the matter of just feeling the “equipment” on my body. when I roll over in bed. when I put my hand in my pocket because I think my keys are in there, and it turns out it’s my sensor. I catch it on something or I can just feel it when sitting in a chair, or leaning against something — needing to make sure that the way I’m leaning isn’t pulling it away from my body… here’s the thing though… I’m now feeling my sensor in places that they’re not… more than once now, I’ve been sitting and reached back check that my omnipod is okay — and it’s on my arm. I twist one way to grab something and then check that my dexcom is okay… it’s on the other side. Now, not only am I avoid/protecting my “equipment” but I’m also avoid/protecting anywhere I place equipment all the time, whether or not there is any “equipment” there. fuck this. where can I opt out. I’m so done. I hate that this is changing my behavior. I hate that I am having to change my behavior for this disease. or that this disease is forcing changes in my life. or that I have to make changes in my behavior for this device. this is all chicken and the egg bullshit. I’m just mad. fuck diabetes.

diabetes has found a home

Well, it’s happened. My diabetes officially has it’s own (GIANT) shelf in my bathroom. No longer are things scattered around where they “make sense” — space was made and my dear Diabetes has a visible home… even though I hate that I need it, it is nice to have everything in one place rather than shoved in different cabinets and drawers all over the place… once again a physical/tactical win and an inner tantrum. looking for acceptance, haven’t found it yet.

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cherishing sensor free time…

pigs-fly.517.416.sI know that I’m not supposed to do this… but I just feel free. I took my dexcom off last night. and I felt like going to bed. I didn’t want to jarred awake two hours later, so I made sure my numbers were alright, and I went to bed with no sensor on, I feel free. I can soap up in the shower without worrying about bumping it and messing up the adhesive. My dog can jump in my lap and I don’t have to worry about where her paws are landing. I just feel better, natural, the way I’m supposed to be. I can’t convince my self to put it back on… I keep thinking “do I really have time right now? what will I be doing in two hours? will it work? no… I’ll do it later.” and it keeps getting pushed off. rebellious teenager or tired diabetic… maybe a bit of both. I have to replace my ominpod tonight too, so maybe I’ll just do them at the same time… you know what that means though… I could have total device free time… I told myself I wouldn’t do this… but I’m so excited… I know it will just be for a few minutes (as long as I behave), but I am so excited to be device free even if it’s for such a short time… I know it’s not a good idea. Lunch is hitting me right now, and I really wish I could just know where I’m at — I’m so used to having the dexcom. even though I hate my devices, they are so damn helpful. oh well… we’ll see what happens… maybe I’ll be responsible, I mean eventually pigs will fly, right?

no pants, no tubing…no problems

a diabetic twist on a Kenny Chesney classic

a diabetic twist on a Kenny Chesney classic

okay, so maybe some problems. but I hate wearing pants and omnipod works with that. I’ve been working from home a lot lately, and I’ve found that I really enjoy not wearing pants all day. it makes me happy. this is only possible because I have no tubing. I suppose I could tuck a tubed pump in my bra, or clip it to my underwear, but I love not having to think about that. I hate sleeping on it, or not being able to sleep one way or another because the omnipod makes it uncomfortable, but at least I don’t have to worry about kinked tubing. last night I suspended my insulin based on my own judgement for the first time. I felt like I was in control. and it worked I woke up in the 90s. I’m still yo-yo-ing a bit, but I can feel the better numbers just out of reach, but getting closer.

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.

Omnipod induced hibernation

Casey's take on hibernation

Casey’s take on hibernation

A few days ago I realized that I had stopped writing… for me that is not a good sign. It means that I am stuffing down my feelings and ignoring the pain, or taking the joy for granted. Writing, here or anywhere, helps me process life, whatever it may be at the time.

The biggest thing I have been denying lately is the omnipod… all aspects of it.

I basically told no one. my way of lying to myself. the short list was on a need to know basis — a friend I had dinner with (had to bolus), my parents (because they asked me direct questions and I didn’t want to straight up lie to people who care about me), a few others… but only in unavoidable situations. My first two insertions on my own were terrible. The third I did with a friend there and it was oddly okay. I felt like maybe I was getting the hang of it. I’ve even started to feel hungry again, still battling with avoiding food as to avoid messing with my numbers, but even being hungry is progress.

My numbers are good — even when I’m not eating… and thanks to the omnipod basal rate, I am receiving insulin all day, even though it is a very small amount, that is what is keeping me well. It is inescapable, I need this insulin to be well. even if it’s 1 unit, I need it. I have diabetes. If I didn’t have diabetes I wouldn’t need any additional insulin to be well. even though it’s small, it’s there… and I need it. I have diabetes. I didn’t even know that this denial was still in me until I started writing this. I feel like the kid in school that is forced to write lines as punishment… I have diabetes. I have diabetes. I have diabetes. maybe a few hundred more times and it will get it into my head. I am never going to function without help — even if there is better and better technology or a cure, I will not get better or live well on my own. that thought needs to die. I will not be able to move forward with caring for myself if I’m still holding out hope that this will all just disappear. like magic.

Maybe omnipod isn’t my biggest source of denial after all.

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