Wednesday, February 5, 2014


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.

The end.


  1. This is amazing! So great that you are so supportive of his choice to let his Diabetes all hang out! :) I can't imagine having 3 boys with T1! You are superhuman! I have 1 son with T1, he is 20 months old and we are 2.5 months into his diagnosis. It's exhausting, and I commend you on your journey and thank you for sharing what you go through with us all. I started blogging myself as a therapeutic act. It helps, and if I can help one person as you have then it's all worth it. You can check it out if you'd like to offer any advice it would be great!

  2. I'm proud of L for putting it all out there! It was my first meeting with others in the DOC when I decided not to hide mine -- I admired the confidence that these others held (Plus, I was afraid of putting my keys in the same pocket as the pump, and already suffered from bulging-pocket-syndrome).

    The crazy - and unexpected - fallout from that is I ended up WANTING people to notice, WANTING to connect with others who recognized it and understood it. But somewhat disappointingly, that still hasn't happened. It seems that when my pump is out in the open, it's still invisble. Ironic, huh? Maybe next time I'll get one with some color...

  3. This made me smile, big time. :)

  4. The reality is that this is a function of good parenting: the pump (and all the emotional baggage that goes with it) has become a part of life and is routine, which is the way it should be. While it doesn't erase living with diabetes, its on thing you don't necessarily need to worry about.

  5. When I wore a MM, I always used the clip! I thought it was better to see what could be in the pocket, rather than wondering "what the hell is she keeping in her pocket like that? Can't she just put it in her purse?"

  6. I love this. This part really did it for me:

    "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."

    It took me so many years to embrace my vulnerabilities, so to read how he's already got this, makes me happy for both of you.

  7. Bravo! Love that he has decided he doesn't mind where/who/when his pump is visible. This is still a big thing for TJ 20+yrs later, he just doesn't feel like talking about it to many people. Isaac on the other hand doesn't mind ever chatting about any and every aspect to anybody. Still my fav was the older gentleman at the bowling alley - they had matching blue MM pumps, awesomeness for sure! Have a lovely weekend friend :)

  8. Question for you... my 6 year beds his bed everynight. Pull ups can't even hold his pee anymore. I usually keep his pump in a pump case that I ordered online. The pump case always smells of urine and leaks through through to the pump making the pump smell too. So alot of times he doesn't wear the pump case because it's in the washer. His pump broke once, I think it was because the pee gets into the pump somehow.. Do you have any idea's on how to keep his pump from getting wet at night? Last night I put a plastic baggie over it, but it would be nice to find a waterproof pump case for him to wear. Thanks - Teri

    1. Teri, there are a few options you can google. The true waterproof cases are pretty expensive. But you can water resistant cases much cheaper. Medtronic has a few options here: And pump wear has a few options here: and here: Also there are shirts you can buy, or easily make that have a pocket for the pump, so it will be above the normally soiled area: But plastic baggies work too. I'm not sure there is an easy answer, but there has to be a suitable one...somewhere! I know we had this problem. I think I clipped it on top of the shirt to keep it away from immediate danger. Wish I was more help! Goggle google google! Good luck!

  9. Awesome! I always wear my pump clipped. Sometimes people notice. But I rarely get comments.

  10. Thanks Merri for all the info, I really appreciate it. The pump wear website looked good to me, and the price wasn't too expensive either. Thanks again!

  11. love this! my kid used to wear hers tucked or in a spibelt, but then she went to camp and saw the older girls wearing them proudly on their hips. same at FFL with the adults i think. LOVE.

  12. Ally wants one of these silicone skins. I cringed when she wanted to start wearing her pump on a clip (instead of the pump packs). I felt so much more secure with them in a pack around her waist. I figured the pump would hit the ground a minimum of 10x a day. And I could just imagine the scene in the bathroom at school! But that's how she prefers to wear it these days. If she's happy, I'm happy too! :)

  13. It's been a busy week... sorry I'm coming to this late. But I'm glad I got to read it. Yay!

    By the way, I don't see it as a weakness at all. Is that wrong?

  14. I hope he continues to feel this way, its great to feel like you have nothing to hide. I'm in my 20's and often get asked if I'm a doctor - always gives me a giggle. Plus it seems to be some sort of a beacon to other pancreatically challenged folk. I'm always meeting other D's on pumps cos I just kind of dangle it around me.

  15. Funnily enough, you meet so many people through the "what's that?!" question
    It's absolutely a good thing- it'sso great he's doing it :)

  16. I feel like I always (unless it wasn't physically possible) wore my MM in my pocket but I almost always wear my Animas clipped to the outside. Hmm...

    (That is unless I was at FFL. You have to wear your pump on the outside there!)


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