Ok, I know this looks like a gratuitous shot of my backside, but trust me, there is a purpose to this photo. This, my friends, is a testament to diabetes technology. This is an illustration of just how far we have come from the days of glass syringes and glucose meters the size of generators. You see folks, I am wearing my OmniPod insulin pump under that swimsuit. My life support, hidden discreetly beneath mere square inches of fabric, motoring away as I enjoyed a weekend of good friends, good weather, and good diabetes management.
I spent the greater part of the weekend in that swimsuit as I am currently in West Palm Beach, Florida. I came out for the bachelorette party of a dear friend, and have stayed an extra day to do a little work here on the east coast. Knowing the weekend would be spent at the beach and pool, and would also include lots of food and drink, I was struggling with a diabetes management dilemma days before leaving for the trip: Wear my insulin pump, even though I would be in limited clothing in front of several people I had never met, or switch back to injections for the weekend, knowing it would be tough to manage food and cocktails using manual delivery.
I was on the fence, but weary from my redeye flight and anxious to relax for the weekend, I chose the option that would give me the greatest ease of use. I stuck a new pod on when I arrived in West Palm Beach, signing off for three days of use as I activated the unit. I chose a spot that would be covered by my bathing suit, and even though the lump the pod caused seemed obvious to me, I pulled my suit over it and mentally prepared myself to give the “Diabetes 101” speech to the first person asked “what that thing on my back” was.
Except that no one asked. Not a single person could even tell I was wearing my pump – not my close friends and not the girls I had just met that weekend (old friends of the bride to be). Sure, the topic of diabetes eventually came up and I revealed my wireless pump location, much to the shock and surprise of the girls. “I didn’t even notice it,” “I never would have seen it if you hadn’t shown me,” “you’ve been wearing that the whole time?” “Does it connect on Bluetooth?” were the statements I heard. Turns out, the only one who had noticed it in the first place was, well, me. Just another awesome reminder that even though I sometimes feel like diabetes dominates my brain and my being, no one defines me by my disease alone.