Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Standing on the edge

"Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew." - Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

Today is a strange day for me.  It's the last full 24 hours that I'll be medicating my diabetes with multiple daily injections (MDI) for the foreseeable future.  Tomorrow afternoon I'll be switching to an insulin pump as part of a two year clinical study aimed at determining what is more effective at treating people with Type 1 diabetes.

I won't go into too much of the detail about the study here.  I'll be writing a blog for Diabetes UK about that later this week (and I'll post it here as well) so if you're curious, you can read that (or drop me a line on Twitter @Broomowl).

This blog is more focused on that greatest of intangible things - feelings.

I genuinely don't know how I feel about it to be honest.  Overall I'm pretty positive about it I think.  As I understand it, the pump will allow me greater control over my condition and allow me to alter my medication much more proactively around things like diet and exercise.  There's also some altruistic benefit I guess as it will help determine whether or not an insulin pump is truly beneficial for people with diabetes.  This should mean that, in the future, people being newly diagnosed with the condition will receive the best treatment possible.

If you've read a few of my blogs before, you're probably familiar with the concern I have that at some point, my daughter will also develop diabetes.  I think the odds are roughly around 1 in 7 so I suppose I'm partly doing this for her as well as me.

The other side of the coin is the fear and the doubt that accompany any lifestyle change.  For the most part, I control my condition pretty well.  I don't struggle to understand what to do or how to comprehend the science behind it all.  I struggle with self discipline.  I'll have some chocolate because I'm feeling a bit down, or I'll forget/not bother to test my blood as often as I should.  It's lazy and there's no excuse for it - I'm my own worst enemy.

But when all that's said and done, with the correct discipline, I can manage my condition pretty perfectly, which is something to be proud of.  But it's taken me a number of years to get to that level and from tomorrow I'll have to start from scratch.

Thinking about it rationally, the principles aren't going to change overnight and the science will remain the same.  I'll just have to learn a new way to practice it.  I don't think it can be quite as terrifying as it was nearly 12 years ago.  I'm also going to be part of a group of people all in the same boat, so I know I'm not alone.

My only other concern is how it will affect the day to day stuff I take for granted at the moment.  I haven't figured out how I'm going to sleep with the pump attached to me yet (though I suspect "not very well" would be a good answer for the first few nights).  I also don't want it to stop me playing games with my daughter because that's obviously a hugely important part of my life.

I think that overall this will be a good change for me once the learning period is over.  There's a chance I might take to this blog a little more frequently to 'think out loud' about it but as a mechanism for ordering my thoughts a little, the blog really helps.  I'm also lucky that I've got a group of close friends that I know I can rely on to help me when I need it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Andy was useful to read that someone has the same concerns as me I'm currently having 1:1 with a dietician to get my carb counting up to scratch and will be getting the pump in the near future. I'm 27 and had type 1 for nearly 25 years, the thought of new technology has always been daunting to me but on the flip side i'm excited.

    I wonder whether you have had the same issues as me with your carb counting? I'm struggling to weigh everything prior to making a homemade meal and always resort back to estimating.

    I can't wait to see more of your blog :-)