*Deep Breath* where to start?
I guess a good place would be when I was first offered an insulin pump. About 6years ago (it may well be linger than this) I was told I would be an ideal candidate for an insulin pump and did I want one. I did some googling and found out that Nick Jonas (my icon for that month) had one, so of course I wanted one! It was after saying yes that I was told it would be $8,000 to purchase one and some other crazy number per month to keep it running. At that point coming up with $8,000 just wasn’t going to happen so I did a bit of inquiring into various foundations around and whether they would be able to help or not, I wasn’t met with enthusiasm and so didn’t proceed in any of my investigations. Basically a pump wasn’t going to happen so I began hating the idea, purely because I knew it wasn’t going to happen.
Over the years the suggestion of a pump came up frequently but I was still bitter at the fact that it was so expensive and I now had the added attitudes of my school peers, who, at the time felt that my having injections was ‘gross’ and treated me horribly for it. To me the idea of having something implanted in me 24/7 was just an added extra that they could tease me about. So I continued to refuse.
This continued in a varied fashion through to my late teens where, even though I was without a boyfriend, I worried constantly about what boys would think of my T1D and how they would react. I didn’t want to make myself even less attractive by having a machine attached to my hip. So still refused the offer of a pump, even though by this time they were finally funding pumps in New Zealand.
Finally last year (2014) I began to get involved in online groups for people with T1D. Those involved in these groups were predominantly from the USA and other countries were pumping is a common form of insulin therapy. I began reading posts about insulin pumps and seeing photos and memes popping up all over the place. The thought of an insulin pump became normal, not strange or weird. I began to feel like I could actually manage having one of these things. Later that year i had an eye examination, of which the results were not good and included leaking in one eye that was affecting my vision. My bloods were also all over the place! I was having 12+ injections a day to try and prevent peaks and troughs in my sugar levels but it just wasn’t working. While discussing this with the Prof, my Diabetes Nurse came in and I lost it, burst into tears and started begging for help because I was doing everything that I could and that they were telling me. (I think as a last desperate attempt) the Prof suggested a pump and too the surprise of him and the nurse I said yes, anything if it would make things better.
I think the combination of a pump now being viewed as a normal thing to me, not having a boyfriend and therefore not worrying what someone might think about me being rigged up to something 24/7, my feeling so sick all the time due to swinging BG levels, the bruises and literal pain of 12+ injections a day, and the damage occurring to my eyes had lead me to the point that I really was willing to try anything that would help make me better. It just turned out to be a pump.
So my nurse applied for the funding via the government funding department (I think that’s what it is) Pharmac and once I was approved all I had to do was wait for the next available training day to get fitted and learn what I needed to know to get pumping.
Moving from MDI to a pump is not a decision that I took lightly, a lot of thinking went into it before I went to visit the Prof that day and a huge amount of research and talking to people all over the world went on after receiving funding. I think I’ve made the right decision, but only time will tell.
I am now pumping but I will keep all of that for the next post so as not to overload you 😛 If you are considering a pump and want anymore information please feel free to ask, I’m more than happy to answer and attempt to help if I can 🙂