7 things you wanted to know but never asked: WDD 2015

It's World Diabetes Day (and my 100th Blog Post!) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to ask my friends to send in what they want to know about Type 1 with the aim of spreading awareness about the condition. I got some excellent questions! Comment below if you have a question. Doesn't matter how weird or "stupid" it is!

Q1: Can you bling out your pump? Like a vajazzle?
Note: If you don't know what a "vajazzle" is, I'll direct you here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=vajazzle)

I thought I'd been asked everything under the sun. But never have I been asked if I can get a pump equivalent of a vajazzle. You can get cool cases and things! Can we make a show called “pimp my pump”? What do we call a pump equivalent of a vajazzle? Pumpazzle?


Q2: Where do you attach your pump to when you don't have pockets or pants? Do you attach your pump to your undies? If so, does it influence the type you wear?

What’s my secret? I wear shorts or spanx under dresses :) The pump is too heavy for clipping it to your undies. Plus imagine taking it out, you’d flash everyone every time you wanted to take insulin! Some women stick it in their bra. I don't have much going on up there so I feel it would make me look like iron man when it glows... though on second thought that could be cool.

Q3: Why did you choose to use the pump rather than inject insulin? (Is that how it works/ not quite sure?)

Interesting question! I was on MDI (4 injections a day) for almost a year, because that’s a lot more simple than working a pump when you’re new to this whole diabetes thing. To go onto a pump you have to do some training because it’s a bit more fiddly than dialling up insulin in a pen.

Originally I was really anti-pump, because I felt like it was some sign that showed everyone “hey, she has a broken pancreas!” I was really used to doing the injections and it felt normal. Plus I felt like the pump would get in the way all the time. 

However, whilst initially scary I decided to change the pump for flexibility. On needles I had to wake up at a particular time, eat at a particular time and do everything on a pretty tight schedule. I also had to go to the school office every lunch time to have an injection. I REALLY hated dong that, because I had to kick someone out of sickbay every day to do it. It was awkward and embarrassing and I always felt sorry for the sick person. So for me the pump lets me eat whenever I want, do whatever I want and have so much more flexibility in general. I don’t have to plan my meals and injection times any more or worry about people thinking I’m a drug addict when I inject in public.


Q4: Is there any food item that you crave but cannot have? (Carb content?)

I can eat any food regardless of carb content, but it takes effort sometimes. I miss being able to eat a pizza without thinking about it. Pizza is really hard to deal with in terms of blood sugars and I get nervous every time I eat it.
I mostly miss eating small items like chips and biscuits and lollies without thinking about it. I can still eat them but I need to have exact amounts or eat a tiny amount to not have to take insulin for it.
I’m also gluten intolerant so on that front I REALLY miss sandwiches. Gluten free bread is a mockery of real bread :P

Q5: Do you ever feel like giving up managing it? If so, what motivates you?

Hmmm. I definitely get tired of it and my management sometimes slips in the sense that whilst I still check my level a lot I don’t change my insulin settings often. So in a way that’s me not managing it 100% perfectly. My main motivation varies. Sometimes it’s control (ok always), sometimes it’s wanting to “win” against diabetes, and sometimes it’s plain old fear. I don’t want to die, and this is what I have to do to live.

Q6: How different do you think your life would be if you never got diagnosed with diabetes? Pros and cons?

I was always very very cautious as a little kid so I don’t think I would have been irresponsible or reckless. I think I would have been very passive. Diabetes made me assertive, it made me stand up for myself and have a voice. It gave me so much wisdom and life experience so that I don’t need to try a lot of things to make a judgement. For instance, I think I might have been a lot more susceptible to peer pressure without it and might have made some different decisions. Now, I see long term outcomes and have no inclination to do things like try drugs or binge drink. I value my health and I don’t need to learn from experience. 
I’ve become far more social as well. I know that I could NEVER have started uni and introduced myself to people. I was so afraid of looking stupid and never knew what to say or do with myself. Now I have a bit of an icebreaker when I check my level or people see my pump :)

Q7: Do you ever feel judged in some ways for having diabetes? Is there a common stereotype about diabetes that you don't like?

Sometimes, but less often now I’m a bit older. I’m sometimes treated like I’m “sick” or people say I can’t have certain foods. That’s pretty annoying but I know it comes from a good place.
My main issue is the horrible blame that gets put on Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics. As I’ve said before, poor lifestyle and type 1 have nothing in common. Poor lifestyle and type 2 have some connection SOMETIMES, but it cannot cause diabetes. After all, if it did every single overweight person would have it. There is such a big genetic part to Type 2. Regardless, it’s never ok to blame someone for having a chronic illness- regardless of type.





Comments

  1. I was diagnosed shortly after I finished school, which was mostly a good thing. But it was hard because nobody knew that I had diabetes, which made it easier for me just to hide it. But like you, I feel that in the long run having diabetes has given me more confidence, and more of a voice. Happy World Diabetes Day to you!

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    1. I think being diagnosed at that time would come with its own set of challenges. In some ways being diagnosed in the middle of high school wasn't such a bad thing. I'm glad you feel it's given you more confidence, it's nice to look for the brighter parts of having it :) Happy World Diabetes Day!

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  2. Great post Bec!!! I really want 'Pimp my Pump' to happen. Really interesting to see what people question about D.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Pimp My Pump should definitely be a thing, and Pimp my Pens for the MDI folk :)

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