Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I would like to thank the academy . . .

I thought I would share some history for today's writing prompt.

A month or two before I moved back home to student teach, I was on the phone with a Type 1 diabetic stranger. She knew my mom because they were both RN’s together at the same hospital. My mom had arranged the phone call because the nurse had an insulin pump.
I had heard about these cool little pager sized boxes that pumped insulin into diabetics. Beats the heck out of “shooting up” four times a day, which I was doing at the time. Humalog for meals and NPH to stick to my ribs and stay in my system working side by side with the “fast acting” Humalog.

This nurse was nice and briefly explained the benefits of the pump. The one thing that stuck out in my mind was her saying that diabetics that use the pump have to be willing to answer a lot of questions about it. Since junior high I had been telling people about my diabetes on a strict as needed basis. Now I was going home to ask my doctor for a neon sign announcing to the world my addiction to insulin! I just didn’t realize that most people would simply think it was a pager or a cell phone clipped to the top of my pants.

The Mini Med representative set up an appointment for me at the doctor’s office. Then at the last minute he canceled on me so I canceled my appointment with my doctor. He was not happy that I canceled to take a substitute job for a teacher I was hired to replace when he moved to another school district.

The cancelation was serendipitous because I met my husband for the first time between the canceled appointment and the rescheduled appointment. My husband has been my biggest support from the moment I met him. Well, maybe not. It was not love at first sight for us but that’s another story.


We started dating and at some point I told him I was diabetic. He didn’t even flinch. His mom had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes not long before we met. His interest in the disease was real. I told him about the $5000 worth of pump equipment and supplies 100% paid for by insurance that was sitting in a closet at my mom’s house. I admitted I had not seen the video yet. He eagerly told me he would watch it with me.

He is a gadget guy. A real guy’s guy. My pump was another toy to him. He helped me set it all up. I could not have been more grateful for his love of technology.

I remember we went to the park for a picnic dinner. We grabbed Subway on the way. Counting carbs was not a new thing for me nor was guessing how many carbs were in a fast food meal. I looked at my sandwich and did some math in my head. Then I held my thumb down on the up arrow key so the bolus units would come up faster than one tenth of a unit at a time. The love of my life watched me for a second before saying, “It’s not candy!” My appreciation for his quirky sense of humor would come later.

I share these stories because this is where it all began. Yes, I have always had family supporting me with my diabetes. I have had the rare friends I actually confided in about my diabetes. I have so many people in my corner ten years after these stories. Family, in laws I am extremely close with, friends, Internet friends (I met Shannon aka Mommy Going Crazy recently when I went home to visit my family. She and I met through blogging just months after her 4 year old was diagnosed with diabetes. A year later her youngest was also diagnosed with it.), I of course have met several people on Twitter and through this blogging week. But my biggest support has always been my husband.

He is the one who talked me into getting a CGM. He tries not to take it too personally that I still hate it. When I was doing my second trial with the CGM, for insurance purposes, I had to write down everything. What my BG’s were, what I ate, how much I ate, when, why, my height, weight, bra size, and every time I moved. I hated the exercise part of it. I wasn’t doing formal exercise at the time so I counted cleaning my house and trips to the playground with my kids. It was just hard to determine whether it was low, moderate, or high levels of exercise. My husband said I should write down intimacy every night for a duration of three hours each time! He said, “You know, just to give them something to read and talk about!”

My husband lets me cry about diabetes and he picks up the pieces when I’m done. He lets me rant about my endocrinologist, who I don’t like. He helps me analyze my data because my endo doesn’t do it effectively. Too bad we don’t know more than we do.

I’ve already mentioned how he pushes the button for me when I change my infusion set and he also inserts my CGM sensor in my arm for me.
My husband and I both wanted to have babies. He was a huge emotional support. He knows first hand what a challenge diabetes was in that process. He also supported me, without fully understanding why at the time, when I refused an amniocentesis to find out if our last baby really did have Down Syndrome or Trisomy 18. My reasoning was that she was our last. I could not tempt diabetes again with another pregnancy and I was not going to risk miscarriage just for piece of mind. She was born perfectly normal.

Karen said to gush and I have gushed till you’re all puking, if you’re still reading. My husband is an incredible support to me and the never ending demands of Type 1 diabetes.

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