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No Moral Lifeguard on Duty?

How can we help?I'm refraining from using the words that are REALLY flying around in my head regarding this discrimination issue.  But believe me, Yosemite Sam ain't got nothin' on me this morning.  My whole brain is "frick-a-frackin' ..."

Here's the story that was posted on TuDiabetes by "ShipAddict," a woman who wears an insulin pump.  This copy is taken directly from her posting, without any editing: 

"Has anyone besides me ever been kicked out of a pool for wearing a pump? I received a letter from my HOA board to refrain from using the pool because they consider my pump to be a port and I will infect our entire community for using the pool. Also they think that the wound site will spread infection through out our community. They photograph me using the pool or send a board member down to the pool to stare at me or will have our community attorney sit down at the pool to intimadate me to stop using the pool. I am recovering from a stroke and need the pool to help my paraylis. Also my heart is bad and the stress they are causing me makes me literally sick. But I own a share of the community and pay 245.00 a month for a maintance fee that gives me access to the pool. Any ideas what I should do? Animas 2020 is my pump and on page 95 of the user guide it reads that it is safe to use the pump while swimming. I have removed the pump and capped it off just so no one will yell at me or send me another letter."

This woman was kicked out of the pool because she was wearing an insulin pump?  She's recovering from a stroke and using the pool as part of her therapy, she's wearing a waterproof Animas pump, and she's minding her own business?  But she's being intimidated by the community attorney (by the way, what kind of community has an attorney prowling around the pool?) and photographed using the pool, as if she was doing something wrong?

I know I live in a bubble.  And I know that not everyone understands the medical devices that we wear to manage our diabetes.  But would you tell a child with a cochlear implant that they can't use a pool?  I am really tired of people assuming that our efforts towards good control and good health are something to ridicule, judge, and persecute.  I'm not sure what to do about this story, but I want to lend my support, and I'm hoping that we can help ShipAddict feel the support of our community as a whole.  What can she do to protect her rights? 

Hey Animas - this lady is using your pump.  Anything you can do to rally behind her?

Hey Media Outlets, interested in doing a story on this to help raise awareness for the rights of people with diabetes?

Hey ShipAddict, we've got your back.   

(And hat tip to Jeff, who let me know about this story.)

Comments

*speechless*

And totally on board. I'll post tonight and if there are any good ideas, count me in for help and/or moral support.

!@#$%^&*

I know ShipAddict was offered some great advice on how to handle the situation.

Hopefully she will get some good people behind her, where she lives, to help her through this.

So frustrating. So annoying. So awful.

Where do people get off making judgments about situations they know nothing about? If this woman is not causing a health risk -- and it sounds like she's not -- they should back off. What ever happened to due diligence? Informed opinions? Or how about general compassion and willingness to help others? Absurd.

As the president of my HOA for the past 5 years, I can tell you that the board is WAY OUT OF LINE on this one. They should be more concerned with people depositing "other bodily fluids" into the pool, than a capped off insulin infusion set. Anyone with open sores, rashes etc.are at issue here. I would advise her to ignore the board activities and if their intimidation tactics escalate,seek out an attorney. She has terrific grounds for a lawsuit. Just a letter of warning to this ignorant group of condo commandos could stop them. The board is not entitled to her medical information. She should ask the board to show her specifically where in the condo documents, it prohibits insulin pump users from using the pool. If they pass the rule, then she has a great ADA lawsuit.

My advice, tell them to BRING IT ON.

If she is in Florida, tell her to go to the website of the Dept of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and file a complaint with the condo ombudsman. Give her my e-mail address if she needs assistance.

Nothing ititates me more than wacked-out condo boards

Clearly ignorance has no limits.

It looks like the comment thread from that post has a lot of great suggestions to help fight the good fight. Of course fighting for our own "equality" requires all the work, while the uninformed just make wildly inaccurate assumptions. Bathing in their incompetence.

Ugh.

The legal team, at the American Diabetes Association, needs to get involved. Either that, or I can personally show up and kick the crap out of those who are intimidating her.

You know me...I'll do it. :)

OK, so also anyone with piercings shouldn't be allowed to swim. And I hope everyone is checking for papercuts and bandaids too. This post makes me so angry - I can't believe it is not national news. Replace diabetic with gay or black and people would be furious. I feel that this is the same type of discrimination! I am also so tired of people's ignorance of diabetes being acceptable. We need more education and diabetes awareness, especially for Type 1! Grrrrrrr!

I got your back!!!!!
These people are a 5lb sack of stupid.

I remember reading this story on TuDiabetes. Kerri, I was PO'd! How can someone tell someone something like that?!?! I hope the media jumps in!
Kerri...I'm upset all over again!!!

INSANITY on every level!
I just emailed Animas about this!
Kelly K

I second the suggestion of calling the ADA. The organization has plenty of flaws, but their legal and political wings do fantastic work.

Cannot.believe.what.I.just.read.
How infuriating for her! Is there even a right thing to do dealing with something so wrong?? She has my support 100% and hope that this nonsense discontinues and fast.

Shall we send the ninja in?

I have your back 100% and have been furious about this since I read it on TuD.

As much as this makes me angry it also makes me sad. How many people do not know they have support and just take crap like this?

I am sharpening up my ninja stars.

Absolutley INFURIATING.

The mind-numbing short sightedness of this policy is deplorable.

As mentioned, it would be a good step to inform and involve the American Diabetes Association. Likely they've dealt with wrongful discrimination cases before and likely would love to dig into this one.

Regardless, the damage is done for this poor lady and her feelings on the community. Hopefully some common ground can be had.

Me and da good fellas from Fildefia can goz down dere and make dem an offer dat dey cant refute.

Dat dere Ninga guy and dat dere other guy Mark dey can come wid us. Dey sound like dey is stand up guys.

We'll ask dem dere HOA guyz how dey feel about swimmin wid da fishies wid no knee caps 'casue dey aint gonna have none, see.

Unfortunately this is happening all over florida . I live in Tampa and I told her to contact a wonderfull woman over at channel 28 by the name of Jackie callahan and she is the consumer reports reporter and she is awesome . ship addict needs to contact her . this lady gets things done . This very thing happened to me and a friend named Wendy who was asked to remove her pump at Tampa international airport , Long story we got apology letters big deal . it stinks and in Florida this is happening all over the state . I think Governor Charlie Christ is going to get a nice little letter from me asking him what is going on in this state . How many are with me ?

This is horrible!!! I can't even put words to what I'm feeling right now. I would be flipping out if this situation was happening to Tristan.

I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure that this is ground for a lawsuit.

Some people are so ignorant. I'm also offering my support for whatever is needed.

Shock and awe. This is ridiculous! Thank you to the entire D community for standing behind "ShipAddict"... our HOA is ready for battle.

This is amazing (and by amazing I mean sickening and idiotic!)....I've I shot out an email to the ADA - their Managing Director of Legal Advocacy knows about this!

One other item to consider: will fighting this issue cause the woman in question to get booted from the community overall? Do the covenants give the community the right to seek eviction if she does not toe their line? (While eviction may be illegal -- and if it is based on discrimination, her case against the HOA would stand in court -- the harassment involved in instigating legal procedings may be more dangerous to ShipAddict's health than submission.)

This is insane! I work in a community very similar to this and I am a diabetic who wears an insulin pump. My community happens to be 55+, but we do have residents who wear insulin pumps, and never have we ever had a problem like this. I've never heard of an attorney hanging out by the pool - how strange and threatening! I would suggest that she goes to the property manager or the next open Board Meeting and show them what her pump actually is and what it does. People are very intolerant, but there is absolutely no excuse for this.

OMGWTFBBQ!!!1!!11!!

I am SEETHING!!! Ok, I don't pump, but I do inject, and I thought that I had it bad when people ask me to "do that in the bathroom" ...oh, ick. I want to make a hole in my body in a room full of poo germs?? I don't think so!

I have been considering going to the pump, and this kind of thing makes me scared to do so. That, and the young autistic kids I work with possibly pulling something out during a meltdown.

But there are no disabled kids attacking her here. This should be a safe environment for her! Why are they not paying that attorney's per hour fee to RESEARCH their dumb-ass prejudice and realize that they are opening themselves up to a HUGE ADA lawsuit???

This is why I hate people.

Horrified. I truly am having difficulty forming words here.

One of her followup posts says that she has stopped pumping in the interim due to the necessity of her swimming in order to recover from her stroke.

Did anyone else see where she said that she feels this is in retaliation for her complaining about mold in the pool in the past?

She should call 1-800-DIABETES and ask to be put in the queue of the legal advocacy section.

Are they going to start questioning and photographing by invading the privacy of all by checking other swimmers/bathers for bodily fluids, menses, mosquito bites, yada yada yada. I remember the elderly asking at my parents' FL condo pool if my child was potty trained before getting in the pool, and respectfully biting my tongue wanting to know the same of the inquirer.

If anyone is at risk from an opening for infection, it would be the pump wearer, not the others swimming in the heavily chlorinated pool.

Just when you think the ignorance can't surprise you, it does!

Ehy, we'll send the Chicaahgo posse down wit' Bennet's boyz. See how dey feel abouht gettin' the heat both ways. We know dey don't wanna go see Da Boss over dis...

Well this hurts me, I just started wearing the pump last week (getting ready to have kids) and I have yet to go to the pool with it. (I also have an HOA). I have gotten strange looks and people trying to figure out what I have on when I have walked around the mall recently. Stories like this make me worry.

freakin' abSURD!

I feel extremely sorry for the people who are so ignorant and don't bother to take the time to educate themselves about someone with a disability. I think that the best course of action for ShipAddict would be to check with the ADA and find out what her rights are in this manner and how she should go about taking action.

It's not exactly mature, but if I were ShipAddict, I'd be tempting to invite everyone I know with a pump for a swim party.

Can anyone say Pool Party?

I'm game

Fear and ignorance go hand in hand. So sad to live in a community where fear and ignorance over-rule fact and commonsense. Tell her to get a hold of the American Diabetes Association and they will help her or at least point her in the right direction. Fighting back will be far more healthy than just taking it.

Ridiculous! My daughter is on swim team, it is such a great help to her bs levels to swim. IF they ever told me she could not swim they would not know what hit them.

Stupid can't be fixed!

Stupidity is not a disability, if it was then could the Board and their lawyer be banned too ?
Ignorance CAN be fixed, but if they're too high and mighty to admit they are wrong, and seek to save face by getting all legally tied up (no one wins except layers making $$ there) then I second the recommendations to get ADA support.

Kerry,
Will you keep us posted on what happens with this?
Thanks.

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