Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Most of the time I keep my pump stuck in my bra or clipped to my underwear (if I am wearing a dress that comes out around that area). No one really sees my insulin pump unless I am giving myself insulin or if it is tucked in my pocket - which is becoming less popular than when I first got my pump. I feel like the majority of the population probably doesn't know what it is, and therefore when I don't want to 'look' diabetic I shove it in my bra. I guess I just feel like sometimes it is an accessory that doesn't always go with my outfit.
However, as soon as you're around other diabetics with pumps you begin to want to pull yours out or wear it proudly. You feel like wearing a pump is just accepted as wearing glasses or braces. It is something that is there to help you, but it is also something normal. Since insulin pumps are rare to the general community - it is easy to feel different when it is hanging off your hip or the back of your shorts.
Today, just before I was about to leave for the grocery store I decided I was going to go out wearing my insulin pump proud. I clipped it to my pants and didn't cover it with my shirt. I decided it was sort of like a social experiment - and yes I have worn my insulin pump visibly before, but I had never worn it with the intention of paying attention to what others did in response. When I first got out of my car and started to walk into the store, a couple guys sitting outside on their break seemed to glance at the pump, but other than that I was surprised to notice that no one else really made a big deal about checking it out. At least I didn't notice. Now, it doesn't matter what other people think, but I was curious to see if wearing an insulin pump openly draws curious eyes - of course people experience this all the time with all kinds of things, but to my surprise wearing an insulin pump wasn't a big neon sign screaming, "I HAVE DIABETES."
I was pretty aware that my pump was on when I had it on my hip. Frankly, I enjoy wearing it in my bra because it doesn't get hit, tangled or dropped on anything. I find when I wear it on my hip or pocket, more sites get ripped out and I feel more aware that I am wearing it. Whereas when it is tucked in my bra I hardly notice it is there until it vibrates.
But, it's all about how you feel and what you're comfortable with. I don't care if people know I have diabetes or that I wear an insulin pump - in fact I enjoy telling the stories about diabetes and the insulin pump. I am proud of my accomplishments and proud to give diabetes credit for them. However, just because I am proud doesn't mean that I always feel comfortable displaying my insulin pump. If I have to wear it 24/7 then I will wear it how I want!