I don’t want her type 1 diabetes to be the first thing people notice about my daughter. I want them to see her for all the other things she is.
Q is now a freshman in high school (what?!) and we aren’t with her every moment of the day. It’s very routine for us to drop her off for hours of rehearsals or at a friend’s house. We say goodbye and don’t look back. We don’t even monitor her CGM remotely. We trust that she’ll do a good enough job with her own diabetes management. (I don’t think it’s realistic to ask for perfection from teens.)
In the car this afternoon I looked over at her and saw that both her continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and insulin pump were on her legs. She was wearing shorts.
It’s perfectly normal for her pump and CGM to be visible for all to see.
I asked if she wanted to change into something that covers them, but she said no.
You see, she was on her way to a theatre audition. Normally I don’t care if someone knows if she has diabetes or not. Be loud and proud, I say.
But when she is auditioning for theatre staff that she hasn’t worked with before, I don’t want the first thing that they notice to be the strange objects attached to her arms and legs. I want them to see her. I want them to see her acting ability and hear her incredible voice.
I don’t want them to question her health or her stamina. The only question I want in their minds is which role she would be perfect for.
The reality is that most people know few true facts about type 1 diabetes but believe many things that just aren’t quite correct. We can’t really expect everyone to know everything about every single medical condition, right?
And so it’s tough for me as a parent to tell her to wear her devices proudly because diabetes is part of who she is yet, on the other hand, ask if she might want to hide them from time to time.
I should be proud that she’s secure enough in who she is not to care.