Ripped back to reality

Generally, I’m overly grateful for the many benefits that diabetes technology affords me, such as the ability to engage in sports with limited risks. Last Monday, I was not. Instead I was cursing the very technology that I normally praise.

Last Monday started so well. Despite my concerns that my pulled tendon from the previous football/soccer game would act up, it stayed quiet from the start of the 5-a-side game. Moreover, we were beating, by a comfy margin, a team that had previously trounced us, even though we had no substitute players and they did. It was all going so well, until the second half of the game when I lifted my shirt to get some air and saw my insulin pump adhesive looking askance. Upon closer inspection, I realised that it had completely detached from my body meaning that I was receiving no insulin. And to make matters worse, I had taken a very large glug of very sugary Lucozade during the half time break.

I wish I could say that my first instinct was to hightail it out of there, but it wasn’t. My first instinct was, in fact, to pretend I didn’t see it and keep on playing – a very dangerous situation that would have likely landed me in the hospital. I wanted to pretend I didn’t see it for a┬ánumber of reasons: I was thoroughly enjoying the game and didn’t want to stop and I didn’t want to let the team down, especially as we had no subs and my departure meant that they would be down to four, very tired, players. But the most powerful reason, I believe, is that the diabetes technology I have at my disposal can lull me into a sense of ‘normalacy’ and when something goes wrong, I realise how conditional this normalcy is; it’s ephemeral and I can never, ever, ever, take it for granted. In my more generous and mature moments, I’m able to appreciate that this serves as a lesson for life writ large and reminds me to always be appreciative for all I have in life.

However, I was not in a generous and mature mood when I first realised that my pump had ripped out. That it happened during a team sport, in which the importance of the group trumps the importance of the individual, made it that much more painful for me to accept that there was something fundamentally different with me than the other players on my team. Fortunately, my self preservation instinct quickly trumped my righteousness and anger and I did hightail it out of there just in time to get home to my pump supplies before my blood sugar got dangerously high.