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“Do You Like It?”

“Excuse me … your, um, arm?  What’s that on your arm?”

Ninety-five percent of the time, I don’t care if people ask about my insulin pump or CGM.  More power to them for being bold enough to embrace the awkwardness and actually ask, instead of assuming.  (And even in the 5% moments of “argh – stop looking, don’t ask,” it usually ends up being a moment of discussion and disclosure I’m grateful for.  I should be more open to discussing diabetes in a public setting.  Hang on a second … let me start a blog real quick.)

“On my arm?  That’s my insulin pump.  I have diabetes.”

I was in line at Starbucks, grabbing an iced coffee (under the gestational lock and key of decaf for just a few more weeks), escaping the blazing summer temperatures for a few minutes before heading back to work.  I was wearing a skirt and a tank top, with my infusion set connected to the back of my right arm.  My body – thanks to third trimester expansion, has run out of subtle places to stash my insulin pump, so it was casually clipped to the strap of my tank top.

Kind of noticeable, but in a “who cares” sort of way.  It’s hot outside.  And I’m wicked pregnant.  And I have no waist anymore.  You can see my insulin pump?  Good for you.  You can probably see my belly button, too.

“No kidding.  Diabetes?  Is it because of the pregnancy?”

“No, I’ve had diabetes way longer than this pregnancy.  I was diagnosed when I was seven.”

The guy paused for a second, his eyes lingering on the infusion set on my arm.  “So you do that thing instead of shots?”

“Yep.”

“Do you like it?”

That question always throws me a little.  Do I like it?  The pump?  I do like the pump.  I like not taking injections.  I like not whipping out syringes at the dinner table and exposing my skin.  I like taking wee ickle bits of insulin to correct minor highs.  I like running temp basals to beat back hypos.  I like people wondering what it might be instead of assuming it’s a medical device.

“I do like it.  It works for me.”  I paused, already envious of the coffee in his hand.  “I like coffee more, though.”

He laughed and finished paying for his coffee.  “Can’t blame you for that.  Good luck with the baby, and try to stay cool in this weather,” he said.

I don’t like diabetes.  That’s for damn sure.  That shit is exhausting and I’m burnt out on the demands it places on my life.  But the pump?  Yes, I do like it.  It’s  a streamlined delivery mechanism for a hormone I wish my body would just cave and start making again.  It handles diabetes so I can go back to trying to put my socks on without tipping over.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dan #

    Hi Kerri,

    Your honesty was great. The best education regarding T1D is best done by
    T1Ds who deal with the trade-off and choices. Each choice presents various opportunities and challenges. It really is our success as demonstrated by
    outcomes. Thoughts and prayers a with you and as always this too shall pass.
    As always have a great day.

    07/21/16; 11:46 am
  2. Hi Kerri, I’ve been following your blog for a little while now, ever since I found one of your posts during a Google search for something Dexcom related. Thanks for all the information you share!

    I am new to the Dexcom, but I’ve been on a Medtronic insulin pump for about 25 years. Now that I have twice as many devices to insert into my belly, I too often feel like I’m running out of abdominal real estate. Do you mind if I ask how you are able to insert an infusion set into your arm? Is this something you can accomplish on your own, or do you have help?

    07/21/16; 9:13 pm
    • Hi Melanie, just read your comment and thought I’d reply, as I wear my Dexcom almost always in/on my arm and love how accurate it is there. I don’t have any trouble inserting it there, I do it alone and sometimes look in the mirror to get it lined up. (I think i watched a youtube video the 1st time though!)

      My only difficulty is adding strips of tape (Opsite Flexifix works best for me) after about a week when the tape starts peeling. I can do it, but when my partner does it it looks way better (less messy) and lasts longer!

      07/22/16; 1:41 am
  3. Yes, I like my diabetes. I feel about it like my father in law said about me when first met. “It just sort of hangs around and is mostly annoying”. Coem to think of it I feel about diabetes exactly as he always felt about me. Oh well.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes.org blog page for the week of July 18, 2016.

    07/21/16; 10:00 pm
  4. Infusion? Only heard about the shots. I need to research on this.

    07/22/16; 1:54 pm
  5. Daisy #

    I’ve taken to wearing my CGMS on my arm, and have gotten lots of questions. I like freeing up my abdomen, but much prefer being an invisible fatty.

    07/31/16; 12:23 am

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