A mom from my son’s school was surprised to learn that I was diabetic. “But you don’t look sick!” She said and I laughed. Of course I didn’t, because I’m not sick, not really. I eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and run 5 times a week. Just because my beta cells don’t produce insulin doesn’t mean I’m sick. Or does it?
When I was pregnant for the first time I decided to try going on the insulin pump. I wanted to be in as good control as possible for my pregnancy and I felt like a dinosaur still taking injections. I had always been anti-pump in the past because I didn’t like the idea of something attached to my body, diabetes had always been something I didn’t have to talk about unless I wanted to…but with a pump, even if it was tucked away in my bra, it would still be out there, not invisible, inviting people to see, what I thought was private. I also figured being pregnant, my body would look different so maybe a pump wouldn’t bother me quiet so much.
So, I took a few days off from work and checked into the hospital. I was in my first trimester and just starting to show. I spent a frustrating night in the hospital, I hate hospitals, learning how to use the pump and was released the next day. I hated the pump. But I told myself I would stick with it for at least one week before I quit. I disconnected the pump on day three. I hated having something attached to my body, it made me feel like I was walking around in my hospital scrubs, dragging an IV behind me. The pump was not, “Just like a beeper!” like the nurses had promised. (This was before cell phones) The pump was a piece of medical equipment stuck into my body and I was aware of it every second of the day. The pump was not invisible.
So I wasn’t completely surprised by that Mom’s comment about not looking sick. I continue doing multiple injections instead of jumping on the pump bandwagon even if it makes me feel like I’m clinging to the past. I do shots because they allow me to think of myself as a writer, a mother, a wife, runner, reader and a diabetic. Doing injections allows me to see myself instead of my disease.