A funny thing happened on the way home from my bone density scan.
I know — I should have realized that bone density scans are not a great match with Dexcoms and OmniPods. But for some reason, it wasn’t until late last night that I thought, “Um, am I supposed to keep those on? Will the machine hurt them? Will they blow up?” (Remember, this was late last night, a time when my brain was drifting rapidly into the dark side. )
So as I ambled into the testing room, I asked the technician, who took a look at the placement of each of my devices — stomach for the DexcomG6 and upper thigh for the OmniPod, and said, “Take them off.”
I pulled back the tapes on each and stuffed them into my purse. Did the test, then started towards a bathroom to put on the OmniPod that I always have in my testing pouch. At least I’d have one device back on, and I’d deal with the Dexcom when I got back home.
And then I thought — wait. What’s the worse that could happen if I actually walked home WITHOUT ANY DEVICE on me?
Now, I realize, this was probably not the best move I’ve made diabetic-ally peaking in the past 28 years. Sidebar: diabetically auto corrects to diabolically. Just saying.
But I had caught a glimpse of my blood sugar before I’d pulled the Dexcom off (5.5) and knew that I’d be walking home for a half hour at least and had my OmniPod stayed on, I would have adjusted my basal levels, etc. etc. etc. I exited the hospital, pulled down my mask quickly, and devoured a small granola bar. I’d walk home, free of tech: What’s the worst that could happen?
Even though my devices are pretty much hidden, under a sweater, on my leg, out of sight, I felt surprisingly free. It’s not that I hide my devices — in the summer, they are out there for the world to see, thanks to short sleeved shirts, shorts and skirts. I embrace my devices, and love to put stickers around them that are designed for my inner 8 year old.
And yet, when I’m wearing my Dexcom or my OmniPod, I feel this weird sensation, as if everyone else can see my diabetes.
Yes, diabetes is for the most part, an invisible “disease” — and I hate that word disease. Is “condition” or “chronic illness” better? I don’t know – that’s a conversation for another day.
But walking home along a busy downtown street, i felt like shouting to anyone who would listen that I am “device free”…. I didn’t shout at strangers, for obvious reasons.
This was a big thing for me. I sometimes think of taking a “pump break”, but decide not to, because the fact is, I love the convenience of the pump. I don’t miss five-a-day injections, which is where I was at, by the time I decided to move to the pump.
So today, I embraced that technology break. I took a deep breath and savoured these few moments of feeling completely un-diabetic.
Then I snapped back to reality. What if I got low? Would I feel it? Was I pushing my luck? Which is why i’m definitely not encouraging this behaviour in others.
Thirty-minutes later, I got home, opened my diabetes drawer, pulled out a new dexcom sensor and OmniPod, and within five minutes, I was back to the usual me. The one who depends on technology; the person who loves the technology.
(Please remember, I’m not a doctor or an educator. Just a person who has had type 1 diabetes for the past 28 years. Please follow me on instagram at @grownupdiabetes.)