Yes, I can use my cell phone in school. Now leave me alone.
Everyone is sitting at their desks eagerly glancing at the clock. Finally the bell wrings. Lunchtime!
Before going to lunch my friends and I stop to chat with Mr. Glatthar, the writing teacher.
I have my pump out so I can get some insulin in before I eat. Mr. Glatthar noticed me fiddling around and raised his eyebrows. “I never thought that I would have to say this to you, Claire,” He says, “but is that your cell phone?”
“No,” I said, blushing slightly. “Insulin pump. I’m diabetic, remember?”
“Oh yeah. Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” I said. “It happens all the time.”
And that’s the truth. Diabetic Pumpers are constantly called out on the fact that their pump looks like a cell phone. It’s either that or they point at your waist and say, “What’s that?”
What do you say to people like that? My usual answer is, “Oh, it’s an insulin pump. I’m a diabetic.” At this response I’ve found that most people just nod their heads wisely even though they really have no idea. To get rid of this feeling sometimes I’ll just tell everyone that my pump’s my cell phone. No hassle, no questions asked. Problem solved. Well, not quite.
On one occasion, I was at a summer class learning how to make ice cream. One girl saw my pump and asked, “Is that your cell phone?” I was surprised as I was an early pumper, and responded, “No.” Then I realized, Oh no, now I’m going to have to tell her what it is. Great. So I told her it was my pager (I couldn’t think of anything better). She was very amazed.
But I think a big question that we all ask is why do we want to make sure that nobody knows that you’re a diabetic and carry a cell phone? Does it really matter if anyone knows? And if so, why?
If you’re like me, it’s a gut feeling. I don’t know why I don’t feel comfortable with everyone knowing I’m a diabetic. I’m just not. Maybe I’m scared that I’ll become the weirdo.
But becoming the weirdo isn’t likely. When I first got diagnosed with diabetes I told my whole class all about it. I still have many of them in my class and even though they don’t completely get it, I don’t get looked at any differently.
And because of that, I think that its a great idea to tell your every day acquaintances about your diabetes. It’ll turn out fine.
But for the simple question of whether you have a cell phone or pump, I’m fine with saying cell phone.
Independent Pumper, Type 1 Diabetic, Cell Phone Lacker