The Beginning Era
I became a type 1 diabetic at a young age just before my eighth birthday. I struggled with the concept of not being able to eat what I wanted and when I wanted without being poked and prodded. I was not fond of needles as much as I hated using the word hate. It was hard getting me on track, and I didn’t particularly appreciate going to the Endocrinologist because I didn’t want to disappoint him and Nurse Practitioner.
I went to a diabetes camp two years in a row, and my eyes were open to many incredible things and some traumatizing stuff. I enjoyed hanging out with other kids my age, who shared the same fears and complications that I had. The structure helped me a lot in improving my diabetes while I was there. I remember the day I was introduced to the insulin pump world, and I was amazed by the beauty of the new technologies that they were coming out. There were pumps with tubes that connected to anywhere you were able to use a syringe. There was this one insulin pump that just had a pod that you filled up and was great for people who are more active and wanted the freedom from being attached to tubes. I loved it! Learning how to count carbohydrates and all the basics of a pump and how it could save my life.
Now all good times must come to an end. I quickly learned this when walking into the medical cabin. I was there to get my blood sugar check and started to look around to check out my surroundings. As I turned my head to a room on the right, I saw nurses try to hold a kid down and open his mouth with a spoon, so he didn’t swallow his tongue. It was traumatizing for me as a young kid myself. From then on, my diabetes management got worse because I was afraid of my blood sugar, dropping to a point where I would have to have nurses open my mouth with a spoon.
I returned home and started to feel depressed and defeated. Some of it was my daily environment and family issues, but a lot of it was the fact that I was a kid with a chronic condition and felt alone managing my health. Now, unfortunately, I did not have the family structure and dependency that a lot of people had, but I struggled here and there until I started insulin pens, and life felt a little easier. But I still wasn’t quite where I needed to be with checking blood sugars and keeping a log. I would always have snacks and forget to bolus.
It got to a point where enough was enough. It was time to be on an insulin pump, and I was not taking “No” for an answer...
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