Clean It Out – #DBlogWeek Day 3

Clean it out, well I guess depending how you approach it this could be interpreted two different ways.

1. Cleaning out the emotional pa-lava that seems to accomplany T1D

or

2. Clean out the stash of diabetes paraphernalia, medicine, devices and god knows what else that every PWD seems to have hidden somewhere.

To attempt to ease myself into this weeks blogging I have gone for the later (and for your sake too as I am sure neither of us would cope too well if I unlocked that other closet!).

So here it is, the ‘diabetes stuff’ from my draw, cabinet and a banana box under my bed, everything that I could find that was diabetes related that I own…must say I am slightly embarrassed.

Here’s what we have: 3x novorapid pens (from when I was on MDI and in case I ever need to go back); 1x humalog pen (since when did I use humalog?  I mean I have reactions to it! Well the three packets of humalog insulin in the fridge state it was at least 6years ago and yes for some unknown reason I still have those vials of insulin too); 5x blood glucose monitors, 1 from about 9years ago, 1 from 8years ago (that I didn’t like), and three from the past 8years, 1 that I am using and 2 back ups (you know in case one dies and the other is eaten by a hermit crab, or the company goes out of production!); 6x finger prickers (I think I have hoarding issues with these wee gadgets); 2x packets of lancets (surprisingly enough I am steadily working my way through these, as I change the lancet every two-three days); 3x boxes of pump cartridges; 5x boxes of pump infusion sites; 2x boxes of pen needles; 7x boxes of ketone strips; 1x container of ketone sticks (thats right, when I was younger if you got sick you had to pee on a stick to find out if you had ketones! As if being sick needed to be worse!); 5x boxes of testing strips (I have a serious fear of running out of these!); a heap of emla patches and cream (I had a huge fear of needles and it took every numbing agent and nice talking nurse out to get me to have a blood test and even then it ended in an anxiety attack, I have managed to overcome this paralysing fear in the past three years but for some reason I still hold onto these, whether it is to remind myself of how far I have come or in case I ever go back I am not sure); 4x manuals (I think I flicked through one once to find out what the reading E-3 was, seemingly it means my meter is too cold to function hehe); heaps of these little red ‘I have diabetes’ alert cards that my Mum is always trying to get me to carry with me; a container of insulin that has surpassed its used by date (I always feel so guilty when this happens 😦 and I never know how to dispose of it safely so it just gets kept); 80+ alcohol swabs for site changes; hyperfix (a medical tape for creating safety loops with my pump tubing…turns out I’m allergic to the stuff); another form of medical tape (same purpose but so far no reaction); 2x glucagel (for when I go really low and cannot eat jelly beans or drink coke); a bag of jelly beans; a packet of gingernuts (these are my post hypo carb); my blood kit (this contains enough of everything to keep me going for probably a week hehe, you kknow just in case we get invaded by zombies at school and I don’t get home for a while or something); and I have a fridge compartment full of insulin and glucagons.

Do I need it all? I mean really? It seems like a ludicrous amount of stuff to keep one person running, doesn’t it?

So I went through it all, sorted out expiry dates and removed things that I haven’t used in years or is not a backup/will be needed within the next three months (and still be in date when it is needed). I amanged to dispose of a box of used site inserters and three boxes of out of date ketone strips. Thats it! The rest I will use within the next three months or will need should something break, die, explode, be dropped etc etc.

It’s confronting, to me, a PWD (someone who has been a PWD for 18years), that this is what it takes to keep me standing, to keep me breathing. And all because my immune system decided to wage civil war on my pancreas, one tiny act and the life of life support needed after is this. I admit, I try not to look at it all very often, that is probably why it is stored in different places all over the house and why things run out of date without me realizing. I don’t like to see it all because it reminds me of what I have to do every day to stay alive, reminders that I can do without and often have wanted to hide away from the world. But this is it, this is my life and I will embrace it, run with it, collaborate with it, fight with it, live with it and love with it. It is not all that I am but it is a component. One thing I will change however is making sure I regularly check my expiry dates and throw out or giveaway what I am never going to use or what is expired hehe.

So there you have it, I’ve cleaned it out and done a bit of reorganizing as it went back in, but some of it is getting biffed and is staying out permanently 😛 Have a great day guys!

Hope

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Deciding to Move From MDI to Pump

*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 🙂

Hope