Tuesday night was hot. (Not in an exciting, sultry way - it was hot in a sweaty, too-warm-for-April, don't-know-how-to-dress kind of way.) I was heading to Fairfield County, in Connecticut, for a meeting with their local JDRF chapter, and stopped at a gas station in Rhode Island to fill up my car before heading out.
"Three ninety-nine a gallon? Holy crap," I said as I stood outside of my car, holding the gas nozzle while it filled up my tank. The sun was hot on my shoulders, even though it was already three in the afternoon.
"Miss? Your seat belt is stuck to your ... hold on now ..."
The guy on the other side of the gas pump leaned in and peered at me while I was gassing up my car.
"I'm sorry?" I asked. "My seat belt is stuck?"
He was talking to me, but staring directly at my arm, where my insulin pump infusion set was nested into the back of my arm, the tubing snaking underneath my sleeve and to the pump on my hip.
"I thought it was your seat belt but it appears that you have a ... a big thing on your arm?" He smiled, bringing his eyes back to mine. "I'm assuming you know about this ... thing already?"
I laughed. "I am familiar with it, yes. It's an insulin pump. I have diabetes. It's okay." (I don't know why I always add that caveat of "It's okay," or "I'm okay," to every moment of disclosure.)
"Ah. You must have it bad, then."
"I don't know anyone who has it 'good,' but I use the insulin pump instead of taking insulin injections. it's good for me." I answered, finishing with the gas nozzle and capping up my gas tank.
"Well that's good, then." He finished up with his truck. "I didn't mean to pry - I just thought you were stuck to your car by the seat belt, and I didn't want you to hurt yourself walking away."
"Thanks. Have a good day!"
"You, too. And just remember - if you eat well and exercise, you might be able to come off that pump sometime and be less of a burden on the healthcare system."
And he drove off before I could grab him by the throat.