Saying Goodbye to Gizmo (My Insulin Pump)

As much as I love Gizmo, I’m kind of tired of my insulin pump. I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain. Having a $6,000 piece of equipment attached to me 24/7 has been an immense help in the management of my disease over the past four years.

But I am starting to understand why fellow Type 1 diabetics take a break from the pump every now and then and sometimes forever. It’s not easy having something attached to you 24/7. Right now I carry three devices around with me to manage my disease: my insulin pump (aka Gizmo), my continuous glucose monitoring receiver (aka Cosmo), and my glucometer. That doesn’t count my phone.

Gizmo is about the size of a pager. I usually conceal it clipped to my bra strap or waistline of my skirt or pants. The clip is currently taped together with duct tape, and the Medtronic label is practically worn away. I’ve had Gizmo for four and a half years. I’ve only had to replace it once when the battery container froze shut. For the most part I have no complaints.

But lately I’ve been more annoyed with Gizmo than happy. Take for example: Continue reading

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Taking a Break But Not Forever

Much has changed since I started this blog on September 11, 2013. My nonfiction grad school cohort can tell you how much I didn’t want to write about diabetes for my MFA thesis – the book that became the start to this blog. And in the six years since I’ve been diagnosed, I am still learning new things about myself with this disease.

I wanted to share those experiences with the world and contribute to a community of Type 1s. And maybe I wanted to prove to myself that I could manage life given this short end of the stick. What I didn’t expect when I started this blog back in 2013 was where it would take me and what kind of content my readers would inspire me to write.

I cannot tell you much I value your readership and support these past two years. You are the reason I keep this blog going. You are the reason I continue to write. And although this blog has kept me writing and contributing to this online community, I must now re-focus my priorities and take what little time I have to write to devote to other publishing opportunities. Continue reading

Drinking to Undo Diabetes

I hadn’t been drinking that long before I was diagnosed with diabetes. Suffice it to say I was a good girl who usually followed the rules. But upon turning 21, my friends started winning late-night happy hours at downtown Cincinnati bars. I attended many of these happy hours, and with the first two drinks being free, it didn’t take long to make it to five.

Two weeks before I was diagnosed at 22, I was at a downtown bar with my boyfriend at the time, Reed. It was crowded for a Thursday night, mainly due to these happy hours. Reed and I had just returned from attending church with his family – it was the Thursday before Easter, and even though I no longer practiced Catholicism, I adored his family, calling them my own, and willingly subjugated myself to the torture of mass to spend time with them. I even wore purple (the color of lent, a season of repentance for Catholics).

I was nursing my second beer when Reed returned from the bar with two White Russians (he was a huge Big Lebowski fan) and two Bud Lights in hand.

“Thirsty?” I said, raising my eyebrows.

“Happy hour ends in 10 minutes, had to make the most of it,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. I wasn’t planning on getting drunk that night, but you know how the story goes …

Two weeks later, on April 24, I was admitted to the hospital for a severely high blood sugar (690). I was supposed to spend the evening with my boyfriend and his aunt and uncle. Instead, I was alone in a cold hospital bed with a dead cell phone and a disease. Within 24 hours, the doctor and nurses got my blood sugar down to 200. Although I was advised to stay another night, I pleaded with them to let me go, promising them that I was responsible and would take care of myself. Continue reading