Can You See Me Now?

InvisibleIllness
When I saw this diagram, it reminded me of the iceberg that destroyed the Titanic.  Then I read it.

Wow. That’s me. And like the Titanic, it was the below the surface crap that crippled and nearly sunk me. However – this post is not about me. “What?!” you say.  Yeah yeah.

I was compelled to share this with you, my dear readers, to hopefully educate you about people with chronic (invisible) illnesses. Maybe, you deal with one, but certainly someone you know has a chronic illness, whether you are aware of it or not.

I know about it now. Way too much, to be honest.

If you have read any of my posts under “Being Diabetic” or my “Insulin Pump Saga”, I talk not only about my disease, but how I try to cope with everyday life.  Just telling y’all is cathartic, so I benefit, but I also have my BFF, God, my diary and a dog I can talk to, so these posts are more for those newly diagnosed with a chronic illness, or the people who care about them.

It’s a walk in my shoes to look at how things go, from a person living with one (chronic illness). Live information, instead of all the books, pamphlets and videos thrown at you to absorb. Don’t even think about getting rid of those, BTW!  Mine are filed away in the black-hole under my office files, but they are there when I need to refer to them. Yes, even after being diagnosed 10 years ago, I still need them occasionally.  You can’t know everything!  Not at the same time.

Some days I may seem a little “off”, or not myself.  OK, so most days I seem like that – Ha!  I don’t usually mention it because words of explanation are tough to come by without sounding like a complainer. [Y’all know I’m a complainer, but it’s usually about politics, law, football or stupid people – not all about me.]

Well, it’s time to check my sugars and have a snack (or not) and put my ass in bed – that’s a big job these days…

TTFN

If you have Diabetes (Type I or II) and would like to comment, ask questions, or relay information – PLEASE do so!!

 

 

Day One: Going Live

Well, class this morning was early. Unlike most morning classes I PumpClasshad when I was a full-time student, this class was exciting. Maureen, the trainer, is friendly, and easy going. Even though the subject is life & death serious, we had fun while I learned some things I hadn’t before. And I have dealt with diabetes for 9-years. It is a complicated chronic disease.

Because I was her only student and the training center is a 2-hour drive away, and Maureen lived closer to us, we had today’s class at home. I’m so glad we arranged this because I was nervous enough about going ‘live’ with insulin without a 2-hour drive and a strange place. I did really well and my blood sugar is spot-on (so far).

The only issue I had during the practice phase was my nemesis the syringe. And guess what?  I was not doing something I knew how to do with normal syringes – priming them.  You need to push up and down with the plunger a few times before attempting to insert air/draw out insulin. This loosens up the plunger. Besides feeling like an idiot, I was so happy that it was an easy issue to fix.

Tomorrow’s class will have to be at the facility because I need to meet with my doctor afterwards, to go over my log book and make any corrections to my dose, if necessary.

Meanwhile… the rest of the afternoon/evening/bedtime I must test my blood sugar every 1-2 hours, and from midnight to 6:00am I must get out of bed three times to test as well. If my fingers don’t hate me now, they will after 2-days of this! I get to taper off some, but not much for the first couple months.

Now I am officially “on the pump”. The only insulin I am getting is via the little Pod attached to my abdomen. The Pod is my pancreas, and it is remote-controlled. My granddaughter’s are fascinated, especially the (almost) 4-year old. She wanted to look at the Pod, and constantly touch it. She calls it “grandma’s boob”.

🙂  This thing will take some getting used to, for everyone…

Insulin Pump Saga: Making the Choice

First of all, I want to say that it’s so exciting to see so many companies out there making life easier for diabetics! Easier when you use their products, but not easier to make a decision…

The next step on my “pump-to-do list” was to meet with a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) who specialized in all the different pumps available through my health plan.  There were 5 options for me to explore, and every one of them had features I wanted. However, every feature I wanted was not available in one product. So not fair!!

My CDE said all the pumps were good products, so any choice I made would be OK with her. She sent me home with large packets of information (manufacturer’s propaganda) about each product.  My ‘homework’ was to decide on one. I mulled over 3-days. Deciding, then doubting myself. Re-reading about each one, deciding again, just to doubt again the next morning.

You may have noticed that I have a very hard time making decisions. Even on silly things, like which day do I cook tacos. So this was mind numbing!

I wanted a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) included in the pump itself so I would not have to wear 2 devices on my person. There were pumps that would use wireless technology to gather data from the CGM. But alas, no pump had CGM capability. Yet. I’m sure it is coming soon – but I had to decide now instead of later.

Then, it occurred to me to pay attention to my normal routine and see how each one would fit in.

Which one did I choose?

OmniPod-logo   The OmniPod® by Insulet.  I had to consider the fact that I am extremely clumsy and  uncoordinated. So the thought of having to deal with tubing made me cringe. The more I thought about it, being around grandchildren and dogs that could be playing and… you get the picture.  I realized that I needed to go with the tubeless pump that worked via remote control. You had to stick your fingers all the time, but your remote was your test meter and tells the pump what the reading is.

You fill the little device with insulin (3-days worth) and then you attach it to your abdomen, or back or arm. To insert the cannula, you select and the remote tells the unit to insert.  And later, if a CGM is necessary, it will be compatible. How awesome is that??!

The little “pod” is the easy part. It’s the remote control I will need a lot of training and practice with.

I’m pretty confident that I can handle this. After all, I use 3 remote controls to play a DVD, and the OmniPod only needs one  😉

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If you are interested in exploring pump options for yourself or some one else, these are links to the leading pump manufacturers/products that I had to choose from:

General Information: