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."
"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."