It’s day two of Diabetes Blog Week and I’m turning to a wildcard. (Today’s actual prompt asks for poetry about diabetes, but I can’t seem to come up with anything under pressure.) Here’s the wildcard prompt:
Write a short story personifying a diabetes tool you use on a daily basis…Give it a personality and a name and let it speak through you. What would it be happy about, upset about, mad about?
***My insulin pump, creatively named “Pump,” has decided to write this post today. It’s more of a letter than a story, but who am I to argue?
It’s funny now to think of how scared of me you were initially. When I arrived on your doorstep, you were cautious taking me out of the box. You had shaky hands as you picked me up and felt my buttons. I was hoping our friendship would start right then and there, but you tucked me away for training day, not quite ready to bond.
I sat in my dark box and counted down the days for our next meeting. Finally, the trainer arrived and I emerged again. How glorious it felt to get that jolt of battery energy and be primed for the very first time. You were hesitant as you prepared our first insulin cartridge and infusion set, but you did it. You were pumping! I wanted to yell, “You did great! Keep it up!”
I remember the excitement you felt when the trainer left that evening, but I also remember the fear. Even though it was three days off, you were terrified of changing our next infusion set. You were scared that I was going to accidentally give you too much insulin and you were going to have a devastating low. You were anxious about if you’d get used to being connected to me. “Don’t worry,” I wanted to tell you.
I’ll admit it: the first few weeks were challenging. I was practically bouncing off the walls with excitement wanting to show you how much better your life was going to be with me. I have a hunch you knew, but you were restrained. Your fear of changing our infusion sets persisted and you became frustrated by the necessary tweaking of insulin rates. One day in defeat you cried, “Why am I having so many highs? Why can’t I get my settings right?” I wanted to answer, “Be patient. It takes a little time.”
Slowly you began to warm up to me. You gained confidence in me as you saw how much flexibility and stability you were gaining. You were grateful for my discreet insulin delivery as you bolused in public. You were thankful for my temp basals as you conquered a hike without a hypo. “You’re getting the hang of it,” I wanted to tell you. “Keep it up!”
I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point it happened: you began seeing me as a partner. Your fear and anxiety were replaced by confidence and trust. I was thrilled knowing I had finally crossed the barrier from machine to friend.
You may not think about those early days now, but I’ll never forget them. Not because I like to dwell on how far our relationship has come (although that is pretty wonderful), but because I like to remember just how far you have come. You, who could hardly take me out of my box on arrival, faced your fears head on. You fought through shaky confidence, just as you have with every aspect of diabetes, to become a successful pumper. You know there is no looking back now. To that I shout with joy, “See? You can do anything you set your mind to! You. Are. Awesome.”