Friday, March 1, 2013

Pumping with a $7000 unit

Three 90 minute classes.  Well, actually, it was more like two 150 minute classes and one 40 minute class.  (But, then I've always been a clock watcher)   But, that's all it took for me to learn how to use and operate a $7000 (that's right I said seven thousand dollar) insulin pump.  I guess the thought process is that they put a lot of money in you now to save bigger money in the long run (i.e., kidney dialysis, limb amputation, that sort of thing)
You see, I've been struggling for years with my blood sugars.  It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I just could not get my sugars under control.  And I did try.  There were times when I would bike for miles and miles and there were days years ago that the three of us would go on day long hikes and hike for miles and miles and still my blood sugars were so out of whack, I would just be so stumped.  And then two years ago, I woke up one morning and I could barely get out of bed, could barely move, let alone put my slippers on.  I remember the exact day.  It was a day in August of 2011.  A day that would forever change our lives and how we see and do things.  A day that made me seek help for all sorts of problems.  A day that started a whole barrage of testing from doctors and specialists and then I started to seek help from the government and I ended up getting one of those handicapped tags for my car and had to get a cane to help me to walk from point A to point B. 
Isn't it weird how life works?
Anyway, that day in August of 2011 has led me to this point right here. 
I took three insulin pump classes. 
And now, I know a lot about how to use and operate a little unit that is supposed to help control my blood sugars better.  This unit will be giving me little fast acting shots throughout the day (basal shots) and at meal time I'm to bolus (put in the carbs and my blood sugar) and then go on through the rest of my day.  The site is to change every couple of days.  I guess I'll keep it attached to my abdomen, just switch sides of abdomen and go higher and lower in my stomach, that sort of thing...
I'm to remove this unit when I shower, swim, or have sex.  The three "S's"...  Ok.... easy enough.
My doctor just signed me up for aqua therapy.  As it stands, I am going two times a week for ten weeks.  So, I'll have lots of practice "disconnecting" from my unit to swim. 
I am a little concerned about sleeping with this unit on.  And I did mention it to my instructor.  I am (to say the least) a very violent sleeper.  I thrash around ALOT in bed.  I yell, I hit, I scream, sometimes I even get up and move around in my sleep.  But, my instructor says it's fine.  She says it's no different than being awake.  She makes a good point.  What she means is, I walk around when I'm awake, so what's the difference if I'm doing it while I'm sleeping? 
Anyway, in a few weeks, I'm going to Philadelphia.  My new neurologist is sending me there for some new testing for my neuropathy.  I'm pretty sure she's trying to rule things out, rather than rule things in, but, hey, good.  I'd like to know as well.  Her concern is with my incredible leg pain.  And let me tell ya, it's bad.  There are times when my leg pain gets so bad, I actually consider sawing it off.  I'm not kidding.  It's incredibly painful!  I'm anxious for answers.  And apparently, this big wig doc in Philly is the man to see.  I feel as though I'm seeing the Great and Powerful Oz, the way she was describing him.  He's the best of the best.  So, we shall see. 
Let's see... Anything else??
Oh yeah...
I recently went to an ophthalmologist.  She says I now have mild retinopathy in my left eye.  That makes sense.  For a little bit, I've been seeing little black (tiny) specs in my left eye, but they always went away quickly.  She said, it's mild and for right now, it probably won't get any worse and that  it's a good thing I'm going on the pump.  So, she'll keep an eye on it (hahaha!!!  she'll keep an eye on it)  and monitor and make sure it's not getting worse, but if it does continue to worsen there are things that we can do to try and correct it. 
The many problems I am facing are because I spent many years as a type 1 diabetic with no health insurance.  I couldn't afford to see doctors and a lot of times couldn't afford my medication.  Thanks to the freakin' high cost of pharmaceutical companies supplies, I couldn't even afford my testing strips.  So, when people look at me and say, you should've taken better care of yourself, I just wanna slap the crap outta them.  How dare you judge me.  You try to get private health insurance as a type 1 diabetic.  Let me know what it costs. 
Anyway, that's what's been going on....
Till next time dear reader...

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