Friday, December 23, 2011

Not Pumped Up


I had a big emotional break down a few nights ago. After weeks of being more attentive to my diabetes than I have ever been, I think it all caught up to me and I felt incredibly overwhelmed. It was probably the first time I had overtly/wholeheartedly/unabashedly felt sorry for myself, which is ridiculous considering the horror stories I see at work on a day to day basis. Every fiber of my being felt heavy with the burden that is managing this disease. Over the course of an entire day I grew teary at random intervals, with no real trigger to be recognized. 
It is odd the way it started, considering I had been so very positive in the days preceding the collapse. I felt so good in fact, that I actually wanted to wear the trial Omnipod pump that my diabetes educator had given me. This alone is a huge accomplishment -- a few months ago I couldn't have been paid to even consider wearing one. So I stuck it on my abdomen and wore it proudly under my scrubs, almost bursting with pride that I had taken this decisive step. I soon forgot it was there, wearing it throughout an overnight call, sleep, and showering. No big deal.
But it was a big deal on the third night, when I had to change from scrubs into real clothes in order to meet my old college roommate for dinner.  After trying on the outfit I had originally planned to wear, I looked in the mirror and could only fixate on the small alien life-form attempting to rip itself from my abdomen from underneath my tank top. I threw a cardigan over it, but each move in the mirror seemed to accentuate the pump's presence. I quickly changed into a second outfit, then a third and a fourth. Feeling dejected, I put on the first outfit and walked downstairs. I looked at my husband and burst into a torrent of tears. He, of course, did not notice the pump. I blamed this on him being a typical male who doesn't notice anything, and was still convinced I looked like I was growing a second head from my torso. I was devastated that this Omnipod, the one pump I was excited about using, had let me down. The Omnipod felt omnipresent -- I was unable to escape it. I hated it all of a sudden, and had to fight the urge not to rip it off before going out to dinner.
I pulled myself together enough to have a really nice time at dinner with my old college roommate, one of my very best friends. We a great talk and I shared with her that I have been going to therapy in order to get a grip on my diabetes. She thought it was a great idea, as she recalled what a stressor it had been for me in college when I had to talk to my parents about my lack of control or in the days leading up to a doctor's appointment. After all of this, I mentioned the pump and how I had completely lost it before meeting her, and she confessed that she hadn't noticed it all at. I will not tell my husband this, as it would be admitting defeat :) But I was happy to hear that my pump hadn't become the giant plastic elephant in the room. Even though my loved ones hadn't noticed, I learned that the Omnipod wasn't as idyllic as I had hoped and am now considering other pumps that are a bit easier to hide. I know I do not need to hide my diabetes anymore, but I would still like to wear a form-fitting outfit without feeling like a walking diabetes billboard.
Despite the fact that my night made a bit of turn-around, I found myself very sad and teary the next day at work. I think maybe I was just tired - physically, mentally, emotionally. The holiday weekend brought along some vacation days and I spent a large part of it sleeping. I feel better about things again, and know that I will keep moving forward with it all. I just have to take it one day at a time.

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