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Yesterday, my daughter and I went to the beach (with my mom and my aunts and half of the state of Rhode Island) and I wore a bathing suit.  I also wore a CGM sensor on my thigh and an insulin pump infusion set on my arm, connecting to the insulin pump clipped to my bathing suit.

There were a few glances, but nothing too awkward.  (Except the older kid who was sitting on the steps heading up to the bathrooms who, after staring at my diabetes cyborg stuff, nudged his sister in the shoulder and said, “What’s wrong with her?”  To which I replied, “Plenty,” and kept walking because honestly, I had to pee.)  It always surprises me, though, that I’ve never seen another pump or sensor on the beach.  All these people who are supposedly living with type 1 diabetes – where the hell are they?

It reminded me of the lady who was so concerned about the cell phone she thought I was about to ruin at the beach … hey, there happens to be a video discussing that very topic right here!

I’m rarely self-conscious about diabetes, and thankfully I have a small child who doesn’t leave much room or time for me to be stressed out about beach-borging.  But I am reminded regularly throughout the summer that my tan lines are a little different from that of my insulin-producing counterparts.

(Yes, I’m ready for Friends for Life, where borgs are the norm.)


8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tim Steinert #

    The best way to get sand out of your car is to trade it in or sell it.

    06/25/15; 2:11 pm
  2. I always try to talk to people when I see their pumps, but the 2 from last summer weren’t that talkative. One was at a water park, sorry but it was so cool to see another one “like us”, but she only shared that yes she has a pump and likes it. One was at a local park and he wasn’t interested in talking though I did pester him with questions (turns out he’s a friend of a friend so I felt OK about it). He answered reluctantly and then made a quick exit.

    I dropped my daughter off at camp then was getting gas and the lady at the next pump started a conversation. It turns out that her daughter’s friend has a pump that talks to her smartphone! I didn’t correct her that it’s probably a CGM, not her pump that talks to the smartphone. 🙂

    06/25/15; 5:05 pm
  3. Abbott Smith #

    Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated (or at least hugged).

    I love the Borg meme, particularly for my Dexcom transmitter. It injects a bit of humor for both me and the person I’m talking with. At the end of the day, these devices make my life so much better. Whenever I get exasperated I try to remember what my grandfather’s life was like with LADA T1d and it grounds me.

    06/25/15; 8:24 pm
  4. Lisa #

    Feel free to come to the beach we frequent! Yesterday there were three pumps visible in a 20 foot radius of my beach chair! One was my teenage daughter and the other two were adults.

    06/25/15; 8:32 pm
  5. Jim #

    Oh, Kerri. I respect the way you make the most out of the opportunities you have to educate others! 🙂 Now I’m second guess whether the fact that I don’t go to the beach is due to a suppressed fear of appearing borg-like….


    06/25/15; 8:58 pm
  6. Jim #

    “second guessing” that is… sheesh, typos.

    06/25/15; 8:59 pm
  7. Sandy T #

    I’m not normally self conscious when I wear my pump and sensor except at the beach or lake. It’s just so in your face then. And oh man the funny tan lines or its day five of the sensor and the tape is awful. Or it’s all red. Yeah not fun to share with everyone. But I try to figure everyone else doesn’t go out of their way to hide their pancreas it’s just conveniently hidden for most, and then I go to the water. Stinks though.

    06/26/15; 5:11 am
  8. Keith C. #

    I guess I am either “thick skinned” but the odd looks don’t really bug me at all. Since I have been on the pump and CGM for only a few months, I suppose it might change, but so far at the beach or the pool at a resort we belong to, I have gotten far more purely inquisitive questions vs. awkward looks. The folks who have engaged me in discussion, all seem very interested and come away with a “wow technology is cool” attitude. Several folks I have known for years never realized I was a T1D, but they sure know now!

    I think anything that gets people more aware of T1D and what we have to go through is a good thing. But, I am not a very “private” person, and I could not possibly care less what others “think” of me!

    06/26/15; 3:36 pm

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