We were at the car dealership picking up my husband’s car after having to have the brand new tire replaced. We were standing in the show room chatting with our salesman and from across the show room, “he” saw me. “He” was a parent of a child with diabetes.
Is that an OmniPod?!?!
He yelled/exclaimed walking over. Clearly he had spotted my completely exposed arm site. I smiled and responded that yes, it’s an OmniPod. He explained that his son, who was diagnosed with type 1 in infancy and is now 9, uses an insulin pump. They had another year with his current pump but were starting to research other options for their active boy. He asked me if I could wear it swimming and if so did I have to cover it with a patch of sorts (Yes and no). I was wearing it on my arm, they only use midsection sites so he can clip the pump on his waistband. I explained my pod/CGM dance to him (eight rotating sites with plenty of space between the two devices) and confessed that I’ve never worn a different type of pump and that I was much newer to diabetes than his son. We chatted for awhile longer then my husband and I left with a brand new tire.
I am never ashamed of my insulin pump. It keeps me alive after all. But I had a functioning pancreas growing up and my identity and self-confidence were already established before all of this. I wore my pump on my arm in a sleeveless shirt after all and from that, I was able to help someone with their research and I secretly wonder if my attitude about the visible parts of diabetes helped this man feel like his family isn’t alone. I hope.
One thing that he said to me in our conversation made my day, he said that his son can eat anything that he wants since they started using the pump, including chocolate. He could eat like a normal kid as long as he took enough insulin. We left the dealership to go pick up a pizza and share it with friends.