Even though I've been in the DOC for close to a year now, I'm still new at the whole advocating, blogging, and just being comfortable with whipping out my pump in public to bolus. When I was on MDI's I would hide every trace of me being a diabetic so no one would think I was some kind of freak. But being in the DOC has made me more proud of the fact that I am a person with diabetes. Let's face it, I think becoming a diabetic has made me a much better PERSON in general.
I was at Dairy Queen waiting for my friends to arrive. And I was rocking my "Diabetik" shirt which has this big needle on it. With a shirt like that I might as well been running around, flailing my arms screaming "LOOK AT ME I'M A DIABETIC AND I LOVE NEEDLES AND STABBING MYSELF!". So once my friends showed up, I stepped out of my car and started walking towards the building. There was a lot of people in line, most of which turned and stared at me, and I felt like it was because the shirt I wore stood out so much.
In that moment I didn't really mind that everyone was staring, I was doing "silent advocacy" by wearing that shirt. Because for the people that saw it, they saw a young, skinny diabetic. That in itself dispelled the myth that you have to be overweight, or fit a certain criteria to be a person with diabetes. While standing in line I explained to my friends how amazing the DOC is and how much it helped me, I showed them my pump and they were blown away at how amazing this technology is.
I did a bolus for the Arctic Rush I bought while I was in line, and I didn't even care that my 43 inches of pump tubing was sailing in the wind afterward even though there were people everywhere who could clearly see it. I'm proud of my diabetes, and I'm proud of everyone in the DOC who has helped me become what I am right now.
Diabetes may be my greatest weakness, but now it's also my greatest strength.