Diabetes is an invisible disease, right?
Yeah. Then this happened.
When my boys were little, they always wore their pumps in a pump pack, or a spibelt. When they got older, they all simply put them in their pockets.
For my oldest J, that means he looks like this sometimes…
Because he needs to hold his wallet, his pump and his cell phone in his pockets.
I don’t know how it happened but my littlest L announced this morning he wanted to use a clip.
My first reaction was, “Oh honey, clips don’t work for us. They always fall off and bungee jump off your waist.” But then I realized that was true when they were toddlers. No one has really been willing to wear their pancreas out in the open since they started walking around.
So of course I concurred with him that it was a GREAT idea! Especially since he just got a new silicone skin from Medtronic for his pump. It looked super cool, and now the world could see it.
Wait. The world could see it.
As he walked around the house this morning with the pump hanging from his hip pocket, I couldn’t help but gawk. Gawk? It that the right word? I don’t know…I stared a little, that’s for sure.
And when we walked into school I half expected the entire 4th grade class to flock to him and ask him what the heck was hanging on his waist…
But there was nothing.
After school I asked him what everyone thought of his pump, and he said not one person said a word. “Everyone already knows I have a pump, Mawwm.”
Even so, when we went to the frozen yogurt shop for a small treat, I walked behind him, watching him in a thoughtful head-tilted kinda way, wondering if everyone else was wondering what was hanging off his hip.
No one looked. No one. And trust me, I was looking for people looking.
We’ve been pumping in this family for 10 years, and here I was emotionally verklempt about him wearing his pump all naked out there for all to see. Before, there was just a little tubing hanging under his shirt. Virtually undetectable and serving only as a small tell to those that belonged to the same club. But now, he was loud and proud. Sure, I have loads of friends that I’ve hung out with that have worn their pumps on clips…but they weren’t my children. And even though I knew it was ok…hell yeah it was more than ok…it still moved something in me a bit.
Invisible no more.
But, you know what? Man, within all that conflicting emotion, more than anything I was proud.
Proud that he is so comfortable with who he is that he doesn’t question wearing his pump for all to see.
It taught me that maybe showing some of our vulnerabilities might not be a bad thing. Especially if we are strong enough to embrace those vulnerabilities. Turns out doing so can turn weak things strong.
Maybe his pancreas doesn’t work, but he has a bangin’ blue pump to make up for it. And I know, like anything else, I’ll get used to it and before I know it I’ll be surprised if someone asks me about it.
And he loves it…there’s that.
And he’s happy….there’s that.
And the bottom line is, if he’s happy. I’m happy.