Thursday, 7 April 2016

Embarrassing Diabetes!

Often when I'm in public, ill quickly check my blood sugar on my pump by taking it off my waistband.... then forgetting to put it back. I stand up forgetting that it's there, then end up with my insulin pump dangling from a wire, still attached to the cannula on my body, following by a loud curse word and me tugging on the wire to get to back. Type 1 Diabetes is not glamorous by any means!

Embarrassed pump dangling moment!
I'm not shy about having Type 1 Diabetes. I'm always straight up about it, normally make a joke if people ask questions, and always explain the facts. There are some situations, however, that embarrass me!

When wearing some clothing, I have to stash my pump deep underneath my clothes. If I wear a dress, I normally clip my pump to my underwear, and secure it underneath my tights so it is less visible (this is if my bra isn't an option). I have to access my pump to bolus, so I go to the bathroom, but often I leave myself untucked! Talk about embarrassing! It's not a big deal, but if it is a black tie event, for instance, I end up looking scruffy with my skirt tucked into my tights!

One situation that is very embarrassing is when I wear a dress, and have to stash my insulin pump in my bra. This means that every time I have an alarm on my pump (nearly every 30 minutes due to my CGM!) I have to fish around under my top, try and unhook my clip from my bra, and pull out my pump without anyone noticing! It's so embarrassing if your at a family dinner, surrounded by uncles and male relatives, and then I start fishing around in my bra, and they all get surprised and uncomfortable looks on their faces. Talk about awkward and embarrassing!
Embarrassing fishing in bra moment!
Although most people around me know that I have diabetes, I still get very embarrassed testing and checking my pump in public. I try to act as "normal" as possible, so when I have to stop to test my blood sugar, or quickly check my CGM readings on my pump, while everyone has to wait on me, I find it humiliating. I often don't check before meals because of this (but of course I bolus!) unless it is someone I know really well. Some people are okay with this, but this is a problem I struggle with and find very embarrassing!

I get embarrassed when I  can't carry out the activities that I would like to because I don't feel well enough. Having to cancel a fitness class or put off writing an essay because I just don't have the energy to make the effort to do anything.

I get embarrassed when people say to me "I'd rather die than do that".

I get embarrassed having to show my belly to check my cannula is fine.

I get embarrassed wearing a top with no sleeves so everyone can see my CGM on my arm. I often get asked, "What happened?!?"

But most of all I get embarrassed when my blood sugar is high, and I make fun of someone, or make a snide remark, or have a go at someone, which is totally unnecessary, but because I have high blood sugars, and I can't help it. My brain no longer has a filter, and I seem to say the most heartless thing I can think of. When my blood sugar returns to normal, I always have to apologise, but I always worry that one day I will say something that I can't take back.

SO If I say something to you that doesn't sound like me, it's probably because I'm high, so just ignore it and move on! And people who don't know about Type 1 Diabetes, if you don't know what something is, PLEASE KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS! Even if sometimes I get embarrassed, I'd rather people know the right facts than keep being ignorant towards the facts!

Until Next Time,

Alyssa x


My name is Alyssa Faulkner. I am a Type 1 Diabetic Teen living in Scotland. I currently use a Medtronic insulin pump and an Enlite CGM, and am a volunteer for Diabetes Scotland.