Invisible Illness Awareness Week

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.

4 thoughts on “Invisible Illness Awareness Week

  1. I tried it so that I could explain my resistance of the pump with actual experience…..and trying it only confirmed what my gut was telling me!

  2. I’m am so glad to hear that someone else did NOT enjoy being on the pump. I started pump therapy last year (was done with it within 3 months) and my BG’s were the highest they had been in 12 years. Everytime I meet someone and they say are you on a pump and I say no they look as if I’m not taking insulin at all. I see nothing wrong with MDI’s. Besides it’s what works for me.

    Andrea

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