Emotions of Diabetes (Even For MANLY MEN)

You may have noticed a lack of posts in the past week, with Christmas here and all. Things have been crazy busy, and the holiday brings more to do at work in less time on deadline, so that's been somewhat consuming this week.

I was pondering a post about my online absence recently, as our own NinjaBetic G has done. I still might in the coming days. (so stay tuned!) I've also written some other, non-timely blog posts for the future, with little revision needed. But it's not the time for any of that.

Today, I was inspired by Crystal (CALpumper) at Randomly Capitalized, who wrote a blog appropriately called Targets. That inspired me to nod my head in agreement, and follow suit with my own along the same lines.

See, what we and many other Diabetic Pumpers share, is a common Lack of Real Estate . We're frequently forced to scour the land for more sites. We scar easily, particularly at times when we simply don't want to change a site within 2-3 days because it's working so well or simply because we don't have many other sites to choose from, and we want to maximize the limited space we have. Sometimes, our infusion sets don't work well and we're forced to abandom them all too quickly. Blood can spurt. It's frustrating. Depressing. Infuriating. Maddening. Overwhelming. WTF-ish?!?!?!

Recently, the boiling emotions of all this craziness bubbled over the top of the pot and spilled everywhere. I broke down completely - the first in a while (ya know, since I'm a MAN...). Sitting at the kitchen table, I found myself searching too long for an adequate site. See, I am a thinner body type and just don't have the excess "pinch an inch" needed for this type of D-Living with a Pump. Some might think that's good, but it can be very annoying in times like this when I simply need more bodyfat to use for a pump site. Legs haven't worked well lately, and I just don't have the body to explore elsewhere. Abdomen works best, but it's becoming more scarred and there's tissue under my skin I can feel preventing some sites and cannulas from getting in properly. At the table, I stabbed myself a couple times before realizing it just wasn't going to work on that side.

I slammed the Silouette onto the table, followed by a fist slam. Suzi was in the kitchen. She looked at me, reassuringly and offered her usual love and support. It wasn't enough this time. Bottom lip started trembling. Tears welled up. Fist clenched, even more. She came over and kneeled down and hugged me. Embraced her, and cried. One of those embarassingly refreshing and needed cries - the kind that men just don't openly admit to, particularly in blogs for the world to see. I could care less, now at least a week or so past that night-time moment in the kitchen. I recall the phrases "Want to be normal" and "not fair" escaping my lips. Hell, even now sitting at work on deadline, I can feel that frustration returning and the tears want to roll. But, it's a time to be strong. I'm by no means what you'd consider a "Manly Man," but hey even for me too much crying isn't called for. You have to approach life sometimes without emotion, with a clear head and your wits about you. It helps having a Loving Supporting Spouse, too!

It's with that clear head and loving support that I approach the question that's been scratching at the door for some time: whether it might be time for a break from pumping. The Paradigm and I have been together (despite a 2-year hiatus when I betrayed Minimed and went briefly to the now-defunct Deltec Cozmo) for almost a decade. It was June 2001, my final year of college, when I switched from injections to pumping. My A1C lowered incredibly, hitting my all time low of 6.1. It's been pretty constant ever since. I have gone occassionally without the pump, maybe for a few hours or even a day while compensating with injections. But never longer, in order to give my body a healing rest. I wonder if any long-time pumpers have done this, and whether it helps?

As I contemplate the purchase of a CGM that would require even more real estate, this may be the time to heal up a bit. Maybe. It could offer a chance to escape the ever-growing feeling of frustration when there isn't an adequate site. No one deserves to live with this chronic disease (yes, JDRF and ADA, I said "disease," and not that watered down "disorder" crap you like to use). But those of us who do live with it, WE deserve to have at least some ability to not fight off obstacles like Toxic Site Scarring Syndrome make it even more difficult. We deserve that, just as much as we deserve a cure.


Crystal said…
Dang, I thought I was following your blog posts already. Taken care of, added to my Google Reader. ;-)

Thanks for the shout out Mike. Wish we didn't have to deal with this crap. Your honesty is so refreshing. Sometimes, it just sucks. Sucks. We get overwhelmed and have our moments. We are only human. We can only take on so much. Sometimes, it just needs to come out, in the form of tears.

Thanks again.
George said…
I was told once that being able to cry is a pretty healthy thing to do. Most guys don't have the ability to cry because they were told it is not manly and they bottle up a lot of crap.

I agree that crying over everything is a little over the top but man, I have had those breakdowns and they make you feel terrible but afterwards, I want to take on the world! Getting that out clears the way for moving on with a clean slate. IMHO.

As for taking a break, I have been thinking it about it myself. And dude, I have PLENTY of real estate but with the CGMS also it is tough.

If you've done it before then maybe it's time for a break like you said, to heal up before CGM is throw into the mix.

That was like 7 cents instead of two but sometimes I get all crazy on the keyboard. :)
k2 said…
Just so your aware- only REAL men cry.
A good cry helps the soul and allows us to let go of the crap that caused us to shed the tears in the first place. Diabetes certainly throws some crap our way, So cry whenever needed dude!
You sir, are a real and awesome man.
Kelly K
Yustian said…
Enjoying life is wonderfull. You have to try!!

Regard ^_^
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Casey said…
Great Honest Post. Thank you for sharing with us. :)

I am so glad that you have Suzi to open up to and get that support you need in real life physical presence.

You know you have the entire DOC that understands and shares your frustrations. Although, I haven't had the real estate issue yet. I have only had a pump for a few months. But this honesty, right here that you shared, has helped me. I know now to be prepared for this. So, thank you.

Hugs for you. You are a Man. You are allowed to feel emotions, and you certainly need to get them out. Same for NinjaG and all the other Men. Glad you guys are sharers. Your wives appreciate it.
Unknown said…
This is the first time I've stumbled upon your blog - but glad I did! This post made ME cry... and I am more of the over-the-top crying variety, but I wholly agree that a good cry is very healthy and often necessary for moving forward with this disease. I'm glad you could let yourself have one, have someone there to hold you through it, and share it with us!

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