“Gut Reactions”. See what I did there?
You’re probably thinking this will be an overall review of how my first week with Dexter (trying out this name for my Dexcom, seeing how it feels, meh). Well, you’re wrong!! This blog post is sort of on the topic of “Stupid stuff people say” to diabetics, but with a twist. Let’s call it “stupid reactions to my medically
neccessary really-nice-to-have device”. That fits.
Upon showing a coworker my receiver and explaining how it all works, including holding my shirt down so she could see the small bulge of my sensor/transmitter on the bigger bulge that is my belly, she asked to see it. I’m not terribly shy so I lifted my shirt up right in her cube. (Hopefully HR wasn’t walking by). Her reaction: visible disgust followed by an “Oh girl, why’d you have to gross me out?!”. Gee, thanks. You asked!!
I was telling a friend (via email) about my CGM and how the first few days have been. Mentioned that I can’t wait until I get my new insulin pump so I can more easily correct my off-target blood sugars. She responds that she thought my CGM did that. Now, I’ve explained the difference to her dozens of time and this is someone who’s been in my life for years (including during my prior stint as a pumper) and she still doesn’t get it.
Yes, I know that non-diabetics don’t fully understand the disease (who does?), but how annoying is it that I’ve explained it to her 900
million bazillion times, and she has been following along with me as I’ve gone through the process of getting my CGM so it’s not like this is new to her? So I politely explained it for time 900 bazillion and 1 (I don’t know how many zeros that is) and included a picture in my email, showing that the CGM and pump are, indeed, 2 separate things…
Said friend responds with “I could never do that”. Well, it’s not fun to have a dead pancreas but you do what you gotta do. Not exactly what someone would choose in life. And really, I didn’t ask if you could do it…I have to do it.
I sent my mother a very lengthy, very detailed email a few weeks ago, explaining the CGM and why I was going on it, and why I think it’d be a great option for my father (Also a T1D who can no longer feel his lows). I included links to the Dexcom website, videos, blogs, etc. She responded with a curt “Thanks for the info.” (Well, Thanks for the support, Mother. However, that is another blog for another day.) After inserting my sensor and transmitter, I sent my mother and my sister a text message with a picture of it, along with the caption “Partial cyborg!”. My sister responds in a supportive manner. My mother, however, responds that it looks “Indented” and she “doesn’t get it.” Obviously the email I previously sent had zero impact on her and she did not take the time to watch the videos or explore the links I sent. Le sighe.
Another coworker has Type 2. I was showing him my CGM and he was so excited about it. Told me I am “one strong woman”. He’s my favorite.
All in all, the people who matter have been 100% supportive, asking questions, not reacting in a negative way, all that good stuff. I just wish sometimes people would fake it a little better. If you are grossed out, don’t show it. If you don’t know anything about what I’m telling you, do a quick google search. If I explain my new course of treatment to you in great detail, maybe listen just a bit. I didn’t ask for this disease, but I do ask for support.