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Insulin Pump on the Beach.

"Oh, it's like what Cindy has!  That's what Cindy has!"

The lady was about twenty feet away from me, stage-whispering to her husband. 

"Is that the pump?  The insulin pump thing?"  her husband asked, gesturing toward me.  

I lifted the beach blanket by its corners so it would spread out nice and flat.  "It is an insulin pump," I said to them, waving, unaware until that moment how obvious my insulin pump was, clipped to the bottom of my bathing suit, the tubing tucked in kind of haphazardly; it was a diabetes Bat Signal.  "It's nice to meet you!" 

The woman came over, her hands fluttering and her mouth talking and smiling all at once.  She was so excited ...

"... to see a real insulin pump!  My daughter went on one a few years ago, but I've never seen anyone else with one.  And at the beach!!  She's going to love hearing this. Your pump looks different from hers - is it?"

(I loved that she automatically assumed I knew what kind of pump her daughter was on, as if there was a community of people with diabetes who are in constant contact with one another and comparing notes ... wait a second ...)

"Mine is an Animas pump.  Is hers Animas or Medtronic?  Does it have tubing?"

"Yes, it has the wires.  Hers is the Medtronic one.  She really likes it.  How long have you had diabetes?"

"Twenty-five years.  How about your daughter?"

"About twenty years.  She's 31.  She's trying to lose weight and be in better control.  I don't know half of what she does, but I know she's always trying to do better."  The corners of her mouth tugged into a brave smile.  "She doesn't know I worry but I worry all the time."

"My mom does, too."  My mother and Birdy were a few yards away, building a sand castle.  "She worries.  But she knows I'll be okay."

Beach blanket Birdy"Is that little one your daughter?"

"Yes.  She's two."

The woman smiled.  "My daughter would like to have a baby.  That's part of why she went on a pump.  You know."

Birdy came running toward me, her ponytail bouncing and covered in sand.  "Ocean, Mama!!"  The bucket of sand in her hand spilled as she lifted her arms excitedly.  "Sand!  I has sand!"

I gave the woman a big grin as my daughter tornado toddled up the beach, her arms outstretched. 

"I do know."

Comments

This made me smile :)

This is my first year going to the beach with my insulin pump...a little nervous but I'm sure I can handle it. I love that she felt drawn to you since you had a pump...there is something comforting about seeing someone else with a pump that makes you not feel so alone.

Sniff. This made me tear up. *HUGS* to all of us who have diabetes and still are able to become moms, despite the challenges. And even more *hugs* to those who desperately want children but struggle to have them.

I LOVE how many pump sightings you have (and provide to others.) I'm still waiting on one to happen, and when I do, I hope it's something like this. :)

*sniffle*

Great story! Made me smile and tear up at the same time. :)

Tearing up here too. As a non-D mom of a D 9yr old girl, this will be me one day: worrying from afar as she lives her life not knowing that I've got a constant knot in my stomach. Someday I won't be as intimately involved in her care. Some day they'll have brand new stuff out that I know little about and will have to trust my daughter to take care of herself and share my concerns with strangers I spot on the beach wering the latest D gadget. Kerri, you know that your own mom looks at you the same way you look at Birdy. That never stops. I should call my mom now.

At first, I felt a litle funny at the beach with both the infusion site and the Dexcom patch showing. One guy pointed at my abdomen and said, "hernia surgery?" I just nodded and smiled. After that I quit worrying.

it's awesome when you see someone with a pump, but it's even more awesome when someone notices your own!

I have been thinking about starting my own blog about type 1 life. I am so glad I found yours I think I will be reading it every day. I have only started reading some of your entrys but already I love it.

I think you made a big impact. A quintessential meaningful coincidence. (There are no accidents.)

And THIS would have been the conversation (or close to it) that you had if you'd met MY mother on the beach. :P

It takes all I can to keep my mouth shut when I see a pump -- even in airport lines, I want to sidle up and say "hey-- let's talk pumps!" But I don't ... most of the time :-)

Awesome story :) thanks for sharing!

I have definitely been that person with the insulin pump, getting excited about seeing other people wearing them, many times. My friends never seem to notice the pumps on others but it's like we have radar. I'm on shots now, and I don't get as much of an opportunity to explain what I do to people because they aren't constantly asking me why I am wearing a "beeper," which is nice and easier but also a loss, in some way.

As a mom of an 11 year old T1 who dreams of a big family of her own: This made me smile and tear up. Awesome story!

I think that is such a cute story... It's funny how d-people are all like, OMG pump! My math teacher has a pump and I'm getting one, and when I said I was getting a pump, he was like, when are you getting it?

Thanks for this post, Kerri. I read your blog every day. I've had T1D for 9 years, and am 8 months pregnant (best control of my life during pregnancy! - thanks to my Minimed pump and a sometimes very boring, predictable diet). I can't wait to meet my little guy in 6 weeks or less. He will make the 15 tests a day and constant worrying over my blood sugar absolutely worth it.

Tearing up in Vermont.

Beautiful! Your posts are always so soothing and hopeful.

I am so happy you are you and that you write! (And you must be so happy to be you too.) Thank you for sharing your life. You're such a bright spot in all of this.

I just visited the PA at my Endocrinologist's office this morning and I was firm in the fact that I would be switching back to my Lantus and Novolog pens during my upcoming beach vacation. This post has convinced me to take into consideration that I can educate people about this disease, and I believe I might stut my stuff, tubing and all. Thank YOU for being an inspiration.

Totally get this! I get so excited when I see someone around my campus with pump tubing sticking out, it's a little weird! Thanks for the great post!

Kerri, I always enjoy your blogs. It seems strange to me that I have had only one person ask about my pump, when I was in the public eye. A young fellow, about 10 years old, asked me what kind of games I could play on it? Lol! He was disappointed when I told him what it was. I used a Minimed 522 for 5 years, and have now started the Minimed Revel. That young man is the only person who has asked me about the gadget on my waist.

You made that Mama's day!!! :)

Might just be my hormones but this blog brought me happy tears. I am 13weeks pregnant with T1. What a crazy roller coaster pregnancy and diabetes but your blog brings me hope. Thank you :)

This story made me smile, too. It makes me want to wear my pump out in the open rather than concealing it, so that I too could discover (or be discovered by) other PWDs.

By the way, the Medtronic has a couple of grooves in it that are real beach-sand magnets - I needed a toothpick (or a used introducer needle) to get it out. I hope the Animas does not.

We're at the beach right now, and there's a woman that wears an insulin pump vacationing. I can tell my dh wants to talk to her - and I'm trying to keep him away. haha!! There's is a level of excitement and wanting to connect when you see another pumper. :)

Love your post! Did make me tear up. My 3 year old (dx 4/3/12) started on his medtronic pump today! :) so excited to see how much better things will be on the pump

Love your post! Did make me tear up. My 3 year old (dx 4/3/12) started on his medtronic pump today! :) so excited to see how much better things will be on the pump

And thank you for sharing! :)

Wonderful as always. Benny loves to show off his pump - the TSA guys were great our last plane trip, but they thought it was a cell phone! Mary O, my 7 yr old son went on a pump at 2 1/2. Not perfect but we LOVE it. Reach out if anyone can help in your transition!

Great Story. Good pick me up after a long week. Thank you!:)

also tearing up in ohio!

A little unsure the first day, I wore my pump throughout the entire beach vacation! My boyfriend can't stop telling me how proud he is that I didn't switch to my insulin pens. I even have pictures to prove it. :)

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