I feel like word “transition” has defined my existence for the past three or so years.
At first, it was the transition from high school to college. This was marked by several sub-transitions that resulted in my greater independence and sense of responsibility. Next, the reality that I’m finishing college next semester hit and that will most certainly be another major transition in my life. And today, I realized that my next transition will be upon me in a matter of weeks as I am looking to go on an insulin pump for the first time in my life.
I’ve had diabetes for 17 years now. Over the course of that time, the technology has radically changed. As time went on and medical devices grew in number and capability, I remained staunchly in my past. I was reluctant to subject myself to the physical and mental changes associated with using these new diabetes tools – just ask my parents, they’ll tell you that I’m stubborn as a mule when it comes to this stuff. I didn’t care about the newer, sleeker, or faster models of this or that coming out at a rapid pace. I figured if what I was currently using was still in working order, then I would be, too.
But then I went on the CGM for a week-long trial period. It took some coaxing from my parents and endocrinologist, and I only gave in to appease them. And I was shocked by the outcome. The CGM completely rocked my world because I gained exposure to something I might be missing in my diabetes management. Slowly but surely, I began opening up to the idea of introducing myself to more technology.
This came to a screeching halt, though, when my mom went on the OmniPod pump. She started using it a couple weeks before a family vacation in Maine, so the timing of everything wasn’t great. She wasn’t used to it yet, so it was no wonder that she had a couple of breakdowns on our otherwise-relaxing beach getaway. Her struggles frightened me, and I asked myself, is the pump worth it? Diabetes itself takes enough of an emotional toll on me. If I didn’t need the pump, then I wouldn’t get it.
Mom’s pump experience happened a couple years ago, and she stuck with it despite her initial problems. Recently, I asked her if it really did make a difference in her A1c, and she wholeheartedly said yes, it did. Then, I couldn’t help but think about all the other people with diabetes I know: The number has increased dramatically between my affiliations with the College Diabetes Network and ASweetLife. The majority of those people use some sort of pump, and all of them seem to be doing well, if not flourishing.
With all these factors in mind, I told myself, maybe it IS worth it. I could be missing out on something that might make diabetes care significantly easier for me. You never know until you try, right? With this attitude, I went to see my endocrinologist this morning for a regular appointment. She couldn’t have been more supportive of my decision and the ball is now rolling. I will be seeing someone on the last day of June to talk about my options.
I’m excited and nervous about this change. It’s not something I take lightly; in fact, just the other day I told my mom (half-jokingly, half-seriously) that “my body is a sacred temple, I want to treat it right!” I’m hoping that the pump can help me continue to treat myself in the best possible way.
I’m looking forward to sharing this experience with anyone who reads ASweetLife. Stay tuned over the next few weeks and I’ll write updates about how the transition is going. And if you or anyone else you know has words of wisdom to share with me, I’d love to hear anything you have to say.