I grabbed the Dexcom receiver from my purse and gave the button a quick click while I was standing in line for coffee, checking the graph and noticing the single “What UP!” arrow pointing my blood sugar up from 146 mg/dL.
A moment of mental math took place: I was rising, but I had some insulin on board, and how many carbs was I about to consume? After a quick calculation of the insulin I had on board already, I reached underneath my shirt and grabbed the insulin pump off my hip. Buttons pressed, bolus delivered, but whoops – ended up a bit tangled when I went to clip the pump back to my hip and I ended up flashing the infusion set on my hip by accident.
The guy behind me in line was there with his son, who had started first grade a few weeks ago. (How do I know this? Because when they got into line behind me, the little boy smiled at me and said, “Hi! I started first grade last week!”) It wasn’t until I had successfully untangled my pump and returned the Dexcom back to my purse that I realized the little boy was staring at me with wide, blue eyes.
“I learned a word last week in first grade,” he said to his father, tugging on his sleeve insistently.
“What did you learn?” the father replied absently, as he foraged for his wallet.
“‘Droid.’ It means you have robot parts. Like Luke Skywalker’s arm after his dad cuts it off! And the yellow C3PO guy! And that lady!” He pointed at me.
“What?” The father was paying rapt attention now.
“She has droid parts. I saw them.” He smiled, sticking his tongue through the hole where his front tooth should have been.
“Ethan, that’s not nice. Apologize to the lady – she’s not a droid.” The father looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry! He’s watched a lot of Star Wars. Like, a lot.” while he put his hands on his son’s shoulder.
This is where I should have given a nice, concise speech to this little boy and his father about diabetes and the hardware involved. This is where I should have said, “Oh, I’m not a robot. I’m wearing an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor and I wear these devices because my body doesn’t produce a hormone called insulin.” There are many things I should have done at that moment.
But instead, I grabbed my coffee from the counter. I smiled at Ethan. And I leaned down to whisper “I’m not the droid you’re looking for.”
His whole little kid face lit up and his words came out in one, single, excited breath. “Oh-my-gosh-Dad-she–knows!”