Classical Conditioning

Last night, my pump cartridge ran empty at the same time that my Dex sensor failed.  So, logically, I pulled off my infusion set and the sensor, and immediately stepped into the shower to enjoy an elusive detached shower.  I know I am not the first D person to do just this; in fact I can recall a few occasions where this exact topic has come up.  The thing is, ideally, this detached shower should allow me to lather up without having to maneuver around various ports but, nonetheless, I found myself reluctantly running the loofah over my common points of connection and cautiously scrubbing my skin at the places where I just pulled my sites.

I’ve noticed this same phenomenon when, after a week of wearing my sensor on my left arm, I find myself pulling that arm in when I walk through doorways or shifting awkwardly when I roll over my left side while I’m sleeping.  Or, after having an infusion site on my thigh for a few days, I remove it but continue to pause before taking off my pants for fear of snagging my waist band on the plastic connection.

Diabetes has conditioned me to make these strange movements to avoid the pain of bumping my infusion site on a door frame, or the annoyance of having my adhesive fail prematurely from scrubbing it accidentally in the shower.  I am like a dog who salivates at the sound of a bell.  It makes me wonder: how many other strange tendencies have I developed because of D that I haven’t even noticed?

Maybe my right eye twitches at the sight of moist chocolate brownies? Or, when my Dex receiver has gotten away from me, maybe I spin 900 degrees counter clockwise and tap my right shoulder with my left index finger before remembering where I left it.  Who knows?  I wonder how much of what I do everyday is influenced by my subconscious which has been trained by my diabetes.

What I do know is that, even when I am fully detached, I am still subject to the habits I have developed as a result of being attached 24/7.  It means that my pump and my Dex sensor are as much a part of me as my leg, even once removed, I continue to wear them like phantom limbs.

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One thought on “Classical Conditioning

  1. Pingback: Diabetes is Annoying | Dex and the City

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