People with diabetes get lots of questions, and if they’re little people with diabetes, so do their parents. I like the questions, and much prefer them to potentially inaccurate assumptions. Many questions become familiar after a while.
My favorite questions, though, are the uncommon ones. Like, "Can I hold that for you?" They’re the ones which take us off guard and challenge us not to spit out the first thing that comes to mind. My favorite of all time occurred when my daughter was 4 years old. She was wearing her insulin pump in a fanny-pack, with a clear plastic window which allows access to the pump’s buttons without taking it out of the case.
We were on line at a museum. The woman behind us caught my daughter’s eye.
“Is that a t.v. you have there?”
Honestly, the initial reaction from all of us was a blank stare. None of us was holding anything. What was this woman talking about?
Then she pointed. “There…on your back!”
My initial reaction was definitely to go with sarcasm. “Yes. She has a t.v. on her back. And the wire you see there…that plugs it into the power outlet we’ve had installed on her hip. She watches it with the eyes she has on her…” Well, you get the point.
But this, of course, is not what I said. “No, actually it’s an insulin pump,” I said, “for diabetes.” It was the stranger’s turn for a blank stare.
“Oh,” she said. As if this was a significantly less logical possibility.
Questions help us educate. They help de- stigmatize the disease. They allow people to be less anxious around my child. We will answer all questions as politely and completely as possible. We will be glad you asked.
Sometimes, though, questions will continue to amuse us for years to come. Those questions are our very favorites. Thank you for asking!