Outside of the Diabetes Sisters weekend I attended, I have only noticed one person with a pump. It was a teenage girl at a pool and I noticed, in her bikini, her site where the pump was unplugged. She was making a quick stop to talk to her dad who was a friend of my friend’s boyfriend. Too many jumps for me to feel comfortable saying something.
Since then I have seen the dad a few times hanging out. It happened to come up on Friday, when it was just the four of us, that I’m also a Type 1. We each bubbled over a bit when it was out in the open (and he really didn’t know before).
There were some interesting things. His daughter is a mid-teen and was diagnosed at 9. I was really diagnosed as an adult.
He was talking about buying a house specifically because it’d have a place she could move into later if needed. Wha…?? That was really how the intro came up. I said “I’m a Type 1 and my mom does NOT need to keep a place for me to move home.” His daughter is healthy and smart and has been on a pump nearly since the beginning. Her A1C stays under 8 and they seem to work at it as a family. My A1C is lower, but I’m older. But I empathize that it’s different for him. He is not diabetic but has had to take care of someone that is. I have only had to take care of me.
He also talked about that she is really into plays and such, but was very upset when an aunt talked about her going to school for drama. He said, “she needs insurance.” It was a mixed feeling for me, and has been since. I hate the idea of someone being told, at 15, that they can’t enter a career because of this disease. But, I also know that it really is necessary for me to have insurance, so can understand it for someone else.
It was such a different experience for me and has really stuck with me this weekend. I have some books and things that I’d like to give to the parents and see if they want to give to their daughter. I’d be so open to talk to her but am not sure that she’d want to talk to a grown-up.
I want to tell her it’s possible for her to do anything and not have to depend on anyone.
And I want to be realistic.
And to hug her.