Today I realized that I am often doing a disservice to the Type One Diabetes community. How? By publicly acting like everything is ok, all the time.
I went out to dinner with my husband Saturday night. I faced a common problem, where to put my pump when I’m wearing a dress, without a belt. I decided to clip it to my bra, towards my back, under my arm. I had a cardigan on, so I could easily access it but wouldn’t have such a noticeable lump.
As most Type One diabetics know, going out to eat can sometimes present a problem. Dining out for me means unpredictable eating times, foods that raise my blood sugar unexpectedly, etc. Because of this, I was checking what my blood sugar was, on my CGM, often. Each time I had to pull my bra strap a little to get the pump’s display into view. If I needed to use the buttons, I had to pull it completely out of my dress. Putting it back was another story..basically had to reach down by dress (via the armhole) to clip it back into place. Add on that my Rheumatoid Arthritis had me so stuff it was difficult to turn my neck. I was so self conscious. God forbid anyone saw me using an insulin pump!
At the table next to me, a few feet away, was a young man in a wheelchair. I couldn’t stop noticing him. Why? Because he was so relaxed, having a great time, while I was going to ridiculous lengths to hide my disease.
Type One Diabetes isn’t something to be ashamed of. I didn’t cause it, I definitely don’t want it, but it’s part of who I am. It’s been part of my life for over 26 years. I shared what else I hide in my post for Diabetes Blog Week. I have to make a conscious effort to stop hiding. I love seeing someone with an insulin pump on and now they’ll be able to spot me too.