So off I skipped (metaphorically speaking, of course) into the February afternoon with a newfound excitement usually reserved for Christmas presents. I was embarking on a new journey now, and I was giddy at its prospect. I was finally entering the territory of Insulin Pumpland; the previous years of uncertainty, always scheduling even the most mundane of tasks for fear low blood sugars would interrupt, no longer abided. All I had to do was wait for my first shipment of Omnipod Pods to travel to my doorstep and things would instantly be easier and better. Just like that. What could go wrong?
I see you smiling. Yeah. I know.
If I could compare it to anything, it would be swimming. You show up at the pool and the water is so inviting, feels so good on a hot summer day. You just want to dive in and be bathed in its blue relief, floating away without a care. But as you get closer to the edge, suddenly the water looks deeper, more foreboding. You second-guess your ability to swim, wondering if that blue relief will turn into a blue mess. You ask yourself over and over:
What have I done? What have I done?
And that’s for something you do to kill a few hours in July. Not one that keeps you alive.
Four days later, the reality of my decision reached me in a brown FedEx box. I opened the box and pulled out two white rectangular boxes, opening them and emptying out ten pods onto the kitchen table. No more NPH insulin, no more syringes. The excitement of a few days ago had now morphed into abject fear. Was this right? Would it be better? Would it actually work?
I breathed deeply and ripped open the first Pod. Remembering what I had learned in training, I read the instructions and inserted the packaged syringe into my insulin vial, then slipped the needle into the tiny opening of the Pod. I pushed the insulin in until the Pod sounded its beep beep into the air, clicking and working to administer the insulin into the Pod. After another beep, I pulled off the plastic tab and unearthed the adhesive taping, matting the Pod firmly to my stomach and smoothing the taping to make sure it was secure. Then I waited for it, the winding metronome before a quick click and the cannula implanted into my skin. That was it. No complication, no mess. Simple enough.
I sat there, staring at the screen on the PDM and its digital updates. Without any pomp or circumstance, just sitting in my house on a Friday afternoon, waiting for my wife and children to come home, I decided that sitting on the edge of the pool would never be enough. You had to put on your swim trunks and goggles. You had to enter the water.
You had to swim.