Insulin Pump Demystified

Friday, September 01, 2006

One year ago...

...I was 37 weeks pregnant and watching CNN obsessively, trying to understand what was happening to Hurricane Katrina victims. Granted, I couldn't sleep so well because of my size and getting sucked into the Katrina drama held me at a safe distance from the anxiety around the fact that I was going to give birth very soon, but my obsessive watching came from a deeper place than just needing to escape. As someone living with Type 1 diabetes, I'm pretty damn grateful to be living in a more or less safe environment, in which I can depend on getting the insulin, medical supplies, food and water that I need to live. I can't imagine having my very life (including pump supplies and strips) swept away in flood waters like that or being one amongst the thousands horded into the Superdome, desparate for insulin. Seeing scenes of horror like that on our very own US soil threw my sense of security compeletly out of whack. Add being so very pregnant into the mix and forget it. Every time a couple came on TV talking about being separated from their baby who was being held in the NICU of a Lousiania hospital, I became a total and complete wreck.

But Katrina was very far from Philadelphia and my daughter June Elizabeth was born, healthy and pretty happy, in a lovely, suburban hospital where we both recived the best of care, on the 6th day of September, 2005. When we sent an email to our friends and family, Fred & I requested that people send in donations to benefit Katrina victims in lieu of gifts for June, who was truly already so rich in so many ways. It was a small gesture, but feeling so helpless in the face of such great devastation, I took comfort from it and felt it gave June's life a beautiful karcmic beginning.

And now I am here, getting ready for June's birthday this week, watching Spike Lee's brilliant documentary on HBO "When the Levees Broke", remembering exactly the feelings that I was holding just one year ago. The word that comes closest to describing the feeling is "vulnerability." To depend on insulin to live is to be vulnerable. To be 37 weeks pregnant is to be vulnerable. To have faith and hope and trust is to be vulnerable.

I am still holding onto small measures in my daily practice of trying to show humanity and compassion. It feels like there are so many forces in the world right now that are about war, violence, greed and destruction. I look at my small children and want to make a better world for them. It sounds cliche, I know, but it is real for me.

With peace to you,


  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger Scott K. Johnson said…

    Yeah, watching all of that made me feel really vulnerable too.

    I have long had subliminal fears of being cut off from my supplies - nothing justified, of course, but it's there.

    The situation was very scary indeed. I hope to never see anything like it agian.

  • At 8:43 PM, Blogger GabrielleK-M said…

    I think it's just daunting to think about living through something like Katrina, while trying to manage diabetes. It just sets us up to be in a more vulnerable position.

    I'm going to do a web search to see if anyone with diabetes who endured Katrina has written about their experiences...


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