So last week, I went to the pool. An indoor pool, considering the eight inches of snow on the ground outside my window. Come on, spring! Where are you?
But I digress. So I went to the pool. I had just gotten out and reconnected my pump. My Medtronic pump isn’t waterproof, though every time I’m at the pool a waterproof pump sounds absolutely wonderful. But I digress again.
I had reconnected my pump, and clipped it to the shoulder strap of my swimsuit. There I sat, on a bench, my purple insulin pump out for all the world to see. The pool was crowded. Very crowded. Full of kids. And kids being kids, a lot of them stared at my pump when they walked by. This is not a new experience for me. Fairly typical for the pool. I just smiled at them as they walked or swam past.
Though it’s nothing new, it does get old after a while. Sometimes it’s hard to be different. To be the only one at a pool with a medical device attached. To have people stare.
After a while, this one boy walked by. I’d seen him earlier–he was there with a large group of kids. He looked to be about eight or so. He stared directly at my pump as he walked by. A bit later, he walked by again. This time, he looked at my face, and I smiled at him. Then, he proceeded to walk by a third time.
This time though, he stopped.
“Are you diabetic?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Me too!” he said, lifting his shirt to reveal a pump pack hiding underneath.
Suddenly, I didn’t feel different anymore. “What color is your pump?” I asked him.
“Gray,” he responded, pulling his pump out of the pack.
“Look at that,” I exclaimed, “our pumps are the same! Except for the color.” We both had the Medtronic Revel, his gray and mine purple.
“I have to go,” he said. “My group is leaving.”
“It was nice to meet you,” I said with a smile.
He smiled back. “It was nice to meet you too.” And off he went.
I don’t know if I’ll ever see that kid again, but I sure won’t forget him. Thanks kiddo, for making me feel less alone.