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Pavlovian Diabetes.

It’s that well-worn tale of Pavlov and his crazy dogs, the ones that he trained to expect treats whenever a bell was rung.  And whether or not the treats were offered, the dogs learned to respond by salivating, waiting. 

Diabetes has made me one of Pavlov’s dogs.  But instead of the chimes of a bell triggering salivation, it’s the sound of the Top Gun theme song coming from my insulin pump, making me check the status of my battery.  Or the sound of my Dexcom letting loose with a BEEEEEEEP!, making me reach for my glucose meter.  The sounds of diabetes are so ingrained in my brain that I don’t think before responding.  My reaction to certain sounds is visceral. 

Sometimes the sounds of my diabetes are subtle – the quiet beep of my meter while it counts down to my blood sugar result, or the shunk of the Inset going into my skin on pump site change day.  It’s these sounds that I can hear in a quiet classroom as though they’re magnified,

Or at the airport.  Last week, while I was in at Pearson Airport in Toronto, I heard that unmistakable sound.  A sound that rose above the din of the airport.

Boop beep boop.

Salivate.  I whipped my head around and saw a woman in an orange jacket adjusting something by her waistband.  To anyone else in the airport, it looked like she was checking a text message, or the time, or tucking in her shirt.  But I knew what was up.  I heard the sound.

Boop beep boop.

When we were standing in line to board the plane, I asked her one simple question.

"Medtronic?"

She smiled.  "Yes?"

I lifted up the edge of my shirt to show her my silver pump.

"Animas."

For five minutes, we talked tubing, basal rates, and insurance coverage.  And then we went our separate travel ways, but not without confirming, once again, the poignancy of this community.

Diabetes in the wild never fails to win me over.  I think my Pavlovian response is to feel that swell of kindred spirits. 

Oh, and to salivate a little bit, just for kicks. 

Comments

Love, love, love it. I haven't found a fellow pumper in the wild, but I am ready to pounce! ;)

Meanwhile my friends like to do a little "beep, beep, beep" mimic/dance when I give myself insulin. lol

Awesome story. I am the same way. I love to chat with other D folk. Makes me feel not alone. :)

This is my plan to get my children back to me if we are ever separated... I will simply pull out the tester and make it beep! They will come running:)

Haha funny you post about the beeps - literally just happened to me as well the other day.

Was at the Bruins game came back to my seat with beer and pretzel in hand - bolus up and the guy in front of me pulled his pump to do a double take - We chatted it up after I let him know it was me bolusing.

Hee! I'm the same way. We were at an Omnipod party the other day and all the beeping nearly made my head swivel off my neck! The the same-same of it all...

So true! Happened to me standing in line ready to board a flight. He saw me grab my OmniPod PDM after he heard the beeping coming from me. Feels like you're meeting a family member!

I'm like Pavlov's dog, too!

When I'm at a gathering of D-people and I hear the distinct beep of an OmniPod PDM I turn to ask what the blood sugar was. Doesn't matter that I just asked a grown woman and that my daughter is 2000 miles away. I just can't help myself!

I had a similar experience in a public restroom about a month ago! The kicker: I later found out my fellow pumper with the pink Medtronic was also named Hannah. *Twilight Zone music*

This happened to me just yesterday. I was shopping and I sat on the floor of the communal dressing room to test, and the saleslady walked in and started talking to me about my 87 and her 103. It's special to hear it from someone else for a change!

Not as happy of a circumstance but I was at a funeral once and heard the Minimed beep. It drove me a little bonkers because they weren't turning it off. I kept checking mine because I didn't want to be rude during such a serious occasion, but nope, it was some other pumper.

having only had my pump for 6mths, if i spy a fellow pumper i jump on them (not literally of course!), it makes me realize there are "real" people out there living my life everyday!

A fellow pumper found me in the the wild at the airport the other day as I pulled my shirt up and re-attached my infusion set tubing. We were on the same plane so I introduced him to Dexcom. He's sold. They owe me a commission.

Looking at all the pictures of you, I am wondering where do you hide your pump all the time? I find it difficult in my daily life to do it and want to know your secret!

In 2.5 years, never met another in the wild. I knew of 3 others in the area I last lived. Here I've come across no one in an area population of half a million. Odd. Then again, I'm in Australia and not everyone has health insurance which pays for a pump.

My sound story is not about meeting up with a PWD. Mine is about the dog! I have my pump set on vibrate. Not a single person in the room can hear the vibrate or the beep. But the dog will jump out of a dead sleep and look straight at me. And reacts with "What was that?"

It's funny how one can hear that tell tale chime of the insulin pump no matter where you are or how noisy it is around you...lol.

Well, you'll never catch me -- I have mine on vibrate, because I can't hear it in noisy environments. But on the other hand, you already know what I look like, LOL!!

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