|Posted by Mike Lawson on October 5, 2011 at 12:10 AM||comments (2)|
Diabetes is a lot like breastfeeding.
I know at first it sounds a bit outlandish, but hear me out. Yesterday I was walking into Target with Andrew. Sitting on a bench right inside the store was a woman breastfeeding (under a nursing blanket).
Andrew said, “why doesn’t she go into the bathroom to do that?”
I was really quick to agree with Andrew. But then as we were strategically hitting up all the clearance shelves tucked away on the endcaps, I started to compare the woman with her boob in her child’s mouth to my diabetes.
In the past I’ve been told that I should inject insulin and test my blood in the bathroom – away from people who might be squeamish when it comes to blood or needles. When I started injecting insulin I would always go to the restroom and into a closed stall to inject.
Then in February of 2009, I had a really great conversation with Jill (Momsl8 about our “fear” of testing in public and getting looks. She even made a cool YouTube video where she tests at a restaurant to see if anyone reacts. And at that time something just clicked for me.
I realized that running to the bathroom to test or inject says that I’m somehow ashamed of my dysfunctional pancreas. It says that I don’t want people to know that I may be a little unique and I manage my world differently than most. It says that I’m so self-conscious about my diabetes that I’d prefer to go sit on a nasty public toilet instead of possibly getting a sideways glance or two.
So now I don’t hide.
I understand that, like boobs and babies, not everyone wants to see my blood and needles. So look the other way. Just like a breastfeeding woman, I’m going to do what needs to be done quickly, then I’ll put away my boobs and get on with it. If you happen to see me performing a diabetes trick like testing my glucose levels and you don’t like the sight of blood…just don’t watch.
Coming out of the diabetes closet was easy…it was kind of like when that kid from Who’s The Boss told everyone he was gay. Nobody was really shocked or even cared. At restaurants I inject at the table. At work I test my blood a few times a day, and I don’t think anyone even notices.
About twenty minutes after spotting the breastfeeder, we approached the Target cashier. ”Would you eat your dinner in the bathroom?” I blurted out.
“What?” asked a very confused Drew.
“You said that the woman breastfeeding earlier should go to the bathroom. That’s sick, man. Why should she go sit on a toilet to feed her kid?”
“I’ve forgotten all about that,” he said.
This post was originally posted on my personal blog What Some Would Call Lies.