Where Do I Hide My Insulin Pump?
I had dinner this week with a woman who has been type 1 diabetic for over two decades, like me. She lives in my proverbial neck of the woods, so we met up in Fairfield and hung out for a while. (Read: Almost three hours.) How is it possible to find something to talk about with a complete stranger for three hours? Oh yeah - the diabetes connection!
One of the things we talked about was pumping, and how we handle wearing our pumps. R has been pumping for three years, me for four, so we're relatively new to pumping insulin but veterans to diabetes. R has a 15 month old son whose cute little feet occasionally kick against her pump when it's clipped to her hip, and she also expressed the same "where the heck do you put it?" question when it came to dressing for work.
"Mine? Right now? It's in my sock."
"No kidding? Right in your sock?"
Being the shy and timid human being that I am, I hitched up my pants leg and showed her.
"Here. It's attached at my thigh, the tubing goes down the side of my leg, and my pump rests against my shin bone. The only thing that's a bit of a hassle is reaching down to bolus, but I was over that within a few days of wearing it here."
"Wow. I may have to try that!"
I'm very fastidious about integrating my pump into my wardrobe. I've written about this several times before and am sometimes met with the "You shouldn't be ashamed of your diabetes - you should wear your pump with pride!" response. Please know: I wear my pump with plenty of damn pride. I'm proud to be taking these steps towards controlling my diabetes and I'm proud of the access I have to such progressive medical technology. But be warned: I'm also proud of being sort of incognito about it. "You have diabetes?" they ask, not sure. And I like that uncertainty. I like being healthy to the point where people are surprised when I reveal my diabetes. And also like seeing my reflection and noting no evidence of diabetes unless I know where to look.
Pumping - yes, very proud. And subtle about it - also very proud. This topic comes up so often when I'm talking with other young professionals that I'm always happy to share my techniques, and to learn any tricks from them.
So when I heard this voicemail message on my phone this morning, I laughed out loud.
"Kerri, hey it's R from dinner the other night. I'm calling because I wanted to tell you that I've been doing the sock thing and I'm so, so excited. You've revolutionized where I put my pump. So far, it's wonderful!"
I was barely able to contain my grin. Here's to the power of sharing ideas!