“Excuse me … your, um, arm? What’s that on your arm?”
Ninety-five percent of the time, I don’t care if people ask about my insulin pump or CGM. More power to them for being bold enough to embrace the awkwardness and actually ask, instead of assuming. (And even in the 5% moments of “argh – stop looking, don’t ask,” it usually ends up being a moment of discussion and disclosure I’m grateful for. I should be more open to discussing diabetes in a public setting. Hang on a second … let me start a blog real quick.)
“On my arm? That’s my insulin pump. I have diabetes.”
I was in line at Starbucks, grabbing an iced coffee (under the gestational lock and key of decaf for just a few more weeks), escaping the blazing summer temperatures for a few minutes before heading back to work. I was wearing a skirt and a tank top, with my infusion set connected to the back of my right arm. My body – thanks to third trimester expansion, has run out of subtle places to stash my insulin pump, so it was casually clipped to the strap of my tank top.
Kind of noticeable, but in a “who cares” sort of way. It’s hot outside. And I’m wicked pregnant. And I have no waist anymore. You can see my insulin pump? Good for you. You can probably see my belly button, too.
“No kidding. Diabetes? Is it because of the pregnancy?”
“No, I’ve had diabetes way longer than this pregnancy. I was diagnosed when I was seven.”
The guy paused for a second, his eyes lingering on the infusion set on my arm. “So you do that thing instead of shots?”
“Do you like it?”
That question always throws me a little. Do I like it? The pump? I do like the pump. I like not taking injections. I like not whipping out syringes at the dinner table and exposing my skin. I like taking wee ickle bits of insulin to correct minor highs. I like running temp basals to beat back hypos. I like people wondering what it might be instead of assuming it’s a medical device.
“I do like it. It works for me.” I paused, already envious of the coffee in his hand. “I like coffee more, though.”
He laughed and finished paying for his coffee. “Can’t blame you for that. Good luck with the baby, and try to stay cool in this weather,” he said.
I don’t like diabetes. That’s for damn sure. That shit is exhausting and I’m burnt out on the demands it places on my life. But the pump? Yes, I do like it. It’s a streamlined delivery mechanism for a hormone I wish my body would just cave and start making again. It handles diabetes so I can go back to trying to put my socks on without tipping over.