A fellow Type 1 Diabetic told me he did not want to get an insulin pump because he did not want to have a hose and it’s attachments coming out of his body 24 / 7. He was ashamed to be seen by others wearing an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor.
I get it. I was once that person too.
I obtained my Medtronic insulin pump in 2001. Prior to then I had frequent extreme cases of low blood sugar and would pass out in the streets or worse, the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, I had a friend that read every national newspaper published in the US as well as others abroad. He learned about insulin pump treatments and how it improved the quality of diabetics’ lives and demanded I speak with my doctors about obtaining one. He said if I did not, he would no longer be my friend – it was too stressful.
Not wanting to lose his friendship I obeyed. It wasn’t the technology that scared me. It was wearing an external representation of my chronic illness that freaked me out. As a professional who was paid to improve the aesthetics of people’s homes, I was always very conscience of how things looked -including me. As a diabetic, even before the pump, I was highly prone to body image and self-esteem.
The Medtronic pump could either be worn in a device attached to my belt, or, with a longer hose that I could put in my pants pocket. I chose my pants pocket because it was the less obvious choice. That was 19 years ago. My A1C came way down and of that I am proud and much healthier.
Last Summer my endocrinologist prescribed a Libre Freestyle continuous glucose monitor. It was another device that got inserted into my body. I loved it the minute she put the test monitor on me. I no longer had to test my blood glucose by sticking one of my fingers.
My pump and continuous blood glucose monitor have greatly improved the quality of my life. For those reasons I am less self- conscience and ashamed to wear these devices wherever they may be attached to my body. The technology is awesome and should be shown off.
Michael J Fox said, “My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance.” I understand and agree wholeheartedly.