14 Responses

  1. Lee Ann Thill
    Lee Ann Thill June 25, 2009 at 6:50 am | | Reply

    That’s a tough one since there isn’t really any way of knowing if someone will welcome the “Hey, I have a pump too!” conversation. I said something to a woman who worked for the same agency I did, a woman to whom I had never spoken previously so she was essentially a stranger, and she looked at me like I had three heads. This was maybe 4 years ago I think. It never occurred to me that someone wouldn’t be thrilled to meet another diabetic “out in the wild” because at that time, the few diabetics I knew were online, and I longed to know people IRL. Since then, I’ve been reluctant to say anything to others – not that I run into others very often – but when it has happened, I usually mind my business. I can’t imagine not being thrilled if someone approached me, but that’s how I am, and I can’t expect everyone else to feel the same way.

  2. CALpumper
    CALpumper June 25, 2009 at 7:00 am | | Reply

    It’s always a tough call. Always.

    And hooray for wearing whatever you want! ;-)

  3. Kim
    Kim June 25, 2009 at 7:59 am | | Reply

    I always say something to a person wearing a pump. I’ve had nothing but good experiences, and I find that the other person is kind of excited to meet another pumper. I am always a bit giddy when another pumper notices mine and says something to me about it. The best was when I was giving a tour of our robotics lab to a group of elementary school students – as they were leaving one girl, about 8 or 9, came up to me and asked if that was an insulin pump on my waist. I said yes and asked if she had one too – she was sooooo excited and whipped out her Cozmo and we compared pumps. Her mother was with her and told me that although she loved seeing the robots, getting to compare pumps with me made her day.

  4. Lili
    Lili June 25, 2009 at 11:54 am | | Reply

    I’m usually pretty open about it, but I did get a bad reaction a couple years ago. This was from a woman who wore her pump out in the open, which is why I noticed it. I didn’t say anything about her diabetes or anything, just mentioned something diabetes-related that was very relevant to the class we were in, during the break. I guess I just assumed it was OK, but I was wrong. Since then, I’m not really sure what to do.

  5. landileigh
    landileigh June 25, 2009 at 12:35 pm | | Reply

    I believe that we D-bloggers of the D-OC got into blogging and talking and tweeting about diabetes, so that we would be connected and not feel alone. Yes, because we have our community WE are not feeling alone. But maybe that young child or her parents is. The opportunity for them to see someone who is LIVING with diabetes, might have been an opportunity of a lifetime for them. So often this world is misinformed about diabetes, but if I had the ability to connect with someone who knows exactly what I am going through, I’d take it in an instant.

    landileigh

  6. Shamae
    Shamae June 25, 2009 at 1:11 pm | | Reply

    Hi Amy–

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. It is always fun to hear from other’s who share similar T1 experiences. This is an interesting post and I can’t comment from the perspective of having diabetes but I can tell you how Sydney, my 5 year old T1 daughter, would feel.

    Sydney has often felt a little insecure about Daisy, her plastic, pocket pancreas that travels with her day in and day out. She gets “the stares” and “the comments.” Generally if people ask about it, I take the opportunity to tell them a brief synopsis of T1 and why she needs her pump. I figure if they are nosey enough to ask, they should be kind enough to listen while I advocate for my daughter. Syd has had T1 for a little over a year now and a pump for the past 9 months. She is getting better at answering the questions and stares on her own and that is a great joy to see.

    That being said, when she sees another kid or person who is wearing a pump, her eyes light up. It makes her day to know that someone is right in front of her who faces the same challenges she does. One man actually saw her pump, whipped his pump out and did a little “pump bump” with her. She thought it was pretty cool. She likes the type of immediate camaraderie that comes from seeing a fellow Type 1.

    I would imagine you did neither a service nor a disservice to that little girl by staying on your towel and not engaging her in conversation. Her day was fun without finding a fellow pumper. Her day would have been fun even if you had chosen to talk to her or give her a “pump bump.” I think, for the moment, both of you were just enjoying the carefree-ness that playing at the pool brings.

  7. June S.
    June S. June 25, 2009 at 2:12 pm | | Reply

    Amy,

    I can see both pros and cons to bringing up the “pump” subject while on the beach. I work as a teacher, and know how overjoyed a newly-diagnosed Kindergartner (and her parents) felt when they found out that someone else at school had diabetes, too. Of course, you were dealing with a complete stranger.

    I recall taking out my BG meter on an airplane once. It turned out that the guy next to me had another health issue (not the big “D,”) but he told me, after our plane landed, that I had been an inspiration to him and that he was going to work on taking better care of himself because of what he had witnessed me doing.

  8. Lyrehca
    Lyrehca June 25, 2009 at 7:36 pm | | Reply

    Ditto to what Kim said. I’ve never thought twice about approaching someone who is wearing a pump and I’ve always had good experiences with it. Usually both of us are thrilled to talk to each other.

  9. tMAc
    tMAc June 25, 2009 at 8:03 pm | | Reply

    The fact that you considered talking to her, and then ultimately chose to let her simply enjoy her day at the pool; both demonstrate the same thing. You care. And that says more than about advocacy than any amount of verbiage ever could.

  10. Leighann
    Leighann June 26, 2009 at 11:31 am | | Reply

    My daughter who is almost 5 is thrilled to meet another diabetic. When someone sees us checking her finger or giving an injection and asks if she knew that they too are diabetic, her eyes light up and she says “You are?!” I think it’s comforting to her to find comrades.

  11. Chris
    Chris June 27, 2009 at 11:15 am | | Reply

    Amy-

    You did the right thing at the right time. Next time the situation may be a little different. Sometimes when I see a fellow pump wearer, particularly an adult, we just signal each other and wave. In some ways it’s like meeting someone at a party wearing the same dress. One person might love to talk about where she got it and the good memories related to the outfit. The other might avoid you for fear some social faux pas is afoot.

  12. Jan
    Jan June 29, 2009 at 7:44 pm | | Reply

    No. You did the right thing. The child was 7. Children do NOT like to be “interrupted” with diabetes care (they want to get it over with as quickly as possible and go about the business of playing) and advocacy places another burden on them. If you were in the mood, you might have approached her parents. You do enough. You are not on call 24/7. You and your family deserve some “down time” too. Hope you enjoyed the sunshine.

  13. chrisk
    chrisk June 30, 2009 at 5:34 am | | Reply

    Hi Amy,

    I remember reading Kerri’s post and something dawned on me while reading yours. The two of you are both diabetic celebrities. It is your JOB to talk about diabetes. Many of us have the opportunity to talk about our diabetes with another diabetic maybe once a year, and another pumper far less than that.

    I understand both you and Kerri’s desire to not be advocates all the time. But, please, if you ever see me out and about and notice some pump tubing hanging out from my shirt, don’t walk away without saying anything for my benefit!

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