Visible vs. Invisible

Diabetes is often referred to as an 'invisible illness.'  If you met my child in the grocery store yesterday, you would never have known she had Type 1 Diabetes.  Maybe with some serious eavesdropping and a base of knowledge, our discussion of the carbohydrate counts of different cereals would have given her away.  On the surface, though, she didn't look different from the other kids at the store.  Today she has no pockets, so she's wearing her pump outside her skirt.  It's a bit more obvious.

For many years, we bought only clothes with pockets, or overalls, or dresses.  These completely concealed the pump.  We did this not because we were embarrassed of my daughter's disease.  It wasn't even because we didn't want to answer the questions which inevitably arose on the rare occasion her pump was revealed. 

We did it because my child was little.  All of her friends and classmates were little too.  In case you haven't been around little kids lately, I'll remind you that every one of them is interested in electronic objects; particularly those with buttons.

Initially, at 3 when she got her pump, it was in a fanny pack on her back in a case with a little luggage lock on it.  We kept the keypad 'locked' as well.  She spent her toddler and preschool years wearing overalls, jumpers, and leggings with long tops.  The pump was out of sight and out of mind, both for her and for the curious children at the playground.

She's still most comfortable with the pocket option.  It's physically the most comfortable for her, and the pump is easily accessible that way.  On occasion, however, there's no pocket to be found in those cute shorts so decisions need to be made.  Now that her friends are past the age where they're going to run up and start poking at her pump, she can choose fashion over function in her clothes. 

On any given day, she can choose whether to make diabetes visible or invisible.

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