Stigma

Is it just me, or is there a negative connotation that comes with using certain diabetes products – even if they are legitimate products used in certain ways? It’s like there are “special accommodations” being made for those who have “something wrong with us” — something even more “wrong” than diabetes itself?  (As if the Food Police weren’t enough!).

SureT-boxTake, for example, the Sure-T. I’ve written before about how I much I love this infusion set. But here’s what Medtronic has to say about it.  From yesterday’s Loop Blog:

This infusion set can be used if you:
• Have had reactions to infusion sets with plastic cannulas
• Have a history of bent cannulas with other infusion sets
• Are pregnant (recommended for up to the second trimester, and then the MiniMed Silhouette)
• Are a small child

Unlike all of the other sets listed, there is nothing listed about comfort, activity, convenience, or personal preference on this one. This set is indicated, quite simply, for people whose bodies are not like most others. If you aren’t fortunate enough for your body to accept the latest-and-greatest of infusion sets, then you can always dust off this older, primitive model and give it a go.

At least that’s how I perceive it. It seems like the Infusion-Set-Of-Last-Resort. And every time I tell someone that I use it, I feel like I’m admitting that something’s wrong with me.

* * *

DelicaI also feel like something’s wrong with me when I need to increase the depth setting on my lancer. The numbers range from 1 through 9, and typically I use a setting between 1 and 3. When I notch it up to 4 or higher, I start to think that something’s wrong with my fingers. Maybe my circulation is deteriorating and the blood doesn’t get to the surface. Maybe my once silky-smooth fingertips are now becoming tough as shoe leather. Whatever it is, it gives me a feeling that something’s going wrong with me. (In all honesty, maybe I just need a new, sharper lancet).

* * *

These are  just two examples of the stigmas that I personally feel that are associated with diabetes products which I feel go unrecognized.

Sadly, there are other examples – false examples – which are propagated through out the healthcare-system which are much more harmful.  Like the one that says Continuous Glucose Monitors are only for “uncontrolled diabetics.” That’s the one that leads to insurance denying this vital piece of equipment to those who’ve demonstrated a desire and ability to take control of themselves.  Then there’s the one that says that Type 1 Diabetes is “the bad kind” – but Type 1 with an insulin pump; well that’s really bad. In the Type 2 world, the word “insulin” alone often finds itself in the context of threats or failure.

It shouldn’t be that way. And if you’re new to this blog and don’t know me well, know that I don’t believe any of those so-called conclusions expressed in the above paragraph.

* * *

But despite being well-educated on the topic (as I like to consider myself), it’s still hard to shake those first two. I’ve got to get the thought that “something’s wrong” out of my head.

About these ads

Posted on February 1, 2013, in Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I know the feeling about the lancent issue. My daughter has type 1 diabetes (diagnosed about a year ago). I do feel bad when I have to increase the lancet depth….like something significant has changed from the previous glucose test. You’re right…it is a false stigma. Thank you for posting about it! I just wrote a post about my daughter and how I have managed her diagnosis on my blog. If you are interested, please feel free to read. Family Food Week

    Like

  2. I have the same lancet you do and have noticed recently that I need to adjust the depth settings more frequently than I previously recall. Usually I only need a shallow(er) depth after the gym (while still in the warm locker room) and if my hands are really cold I may need a deeper setting, those make some sort of sense to me. When absolutely nothing noticeable has changed, I can’t fathom why I might need a 4 setting and then on the same finger in the same spot, I may then need a 6 or vice versa. If you figure this out, let me know ;)

    Like

    • I can’t quite figure it out, but sometimes I stick my finger with the lancer’s last-used-setting and end up with enough blood to completely drown a Chemstrip bG. Other times I come up empty.

      Like

  3. You are right about stigma there are so many levels of it.

    Like

  1. Pingback: What excites me | Rolling in the D

Here's the best part-- your comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,458 other followers