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Looking Back: If You're Going to Stare ...

I'm working to get my body back in shape after BSparl (ha ha ha ha ha - I hate the gym), so I think it's a fitting time to rerun a gym post from January 2009, when I was still living in CT. Happy Memorial Day, all!!

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Last night at the gym, I put my bag in the locker and took off my sweatshirt.  Wearing my black yoga pants, sports bra, and a tank top, I went into the bathroom section of the locker room to put my hair in a ponytail.

Two other women were at the sinks, chatting in Spanish and washing their hands.   They were standing to my left and as I raised my arm to put the elastic in my hair, I noticed that both women had stopped talking for a minute and were staring at my arm. Staring like I had moldy peach stuck to my arm, or maybe one of those bizarre happy spiders

Then I remembered that the Dexcom sensor is comfortably resting on the back of my left arm.  Facing them.  

I had a quick surge of "Grrrrr," as in "What are you staring at, woman?  Never seen a CGM sensor before?" ... then I had to check my attitude.  No, they probably haven't ever seen a continuous glucose monitoring sensor before.  Just because it's something I'm used to doesn't mean it's something they are used to.  After yesterday's post purge and your wonderful and inspiring comments, I felt ready to cast off some of this anger and try, instead, to help.

So I decided to smile instead.  

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to notice that you're staring."  Gestured to my arm.  "This thing - it's for my type 1 diabetes.  It's a glucose monitor."

"Oh my goodness, I did not mean to stare," said the woman in the green shirt.  "I was like, 'Is that an iPod thing or something?'  I have never seen that kind of thing before."

Her friend with the glasses leaned in.  "For diabetes?"

"Yeah.  I know it doesn't look completely natural, and I would stare, too, if it wasn't something I was used to." Glasses and Green Shirt smiled back.  "It's cool.  I just didn't want you wondering if I was some kind of cyborg or something."

Green Shirt laughed.  "Cyborg?  No, chica.  It's interesting looking.  I was waiting for, like, the music to come out of it or something.  But I didn't mean to stare.  Lo siento, my friend."

"Not a problem at all.  Have a good workout!"

I left the locker room and went to do my workout.  After I was done, I went back in to grab my sweatshirt and saw Glasses and Green Shirt getting their gear together.  Flashed them a quick smile.  Glasses smiled back.  Green Shirt tapped her left arm and gave me a knowing nod.

Some people can try to bring you down.  But others, even strangers, can raise you up.  


Wow! This is really inspiring! I'm getting my CGM in the mail this Tuesday and have some worries. I hope I can remember your attitude during my future trials and tribulations with the CGM! Thanks for the re-post!

I'm having trouble stomaching that anyone familiar with diabetes would have the audacity to criticize another person and their care. What nerve.

Hi Kerri,

i wear my navigator on the back of my arms and recently had the idea of drawing stuff on it. it is relativly large in comparison to the dexcom and has a plain, grey backplate...perfect for some black marker action ;)

my ideas so far:

- cartoon-eyes, so they know how it is to get stared at (angry eyebrow version when im not in a good mood..)
- my cellnumber, for going out .. maybe that will raise a conversation ..have yet to try that ^^
- numerical keyboard to make it look more like a cellphone
- a red cross to make it clear it's a medical device
(red marker apparently..)

the drawings survive for about two weeks and then i clean it with some alcohol to get rid of the rest and then get creative again ;)

Yipes! I've tried a couple of times locating the Dexcom sensor on the back of my arm and have had some kinking issues that caused it to flip out.

I wish I could put it there because I'm getting ready to go on vacation soon and I don't want have have what my wife calls a "battery pack" showing on my stomach with my shirt off!

Dreaded robot syndrome.

Good luck getting back to the gym. You can do it!

Kerri - I liked this post the first time and I like it just as much if not more the second time around! It just shows that by not jumping to negative conclusions about people you may actually be able to change their perceptions in a positive way! Good work momma. :) hope motherhood is treating you well thus far. BSparl is such a lucky little one!

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