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Insulin Pump Stories: A Time To Laugh

“I was the very first kid in my school to get an insulin pump…”

“The. Very. First. On one hand, I was totally thrilled – finally, my sugar was getting under control. On the other hand, I was a fourteen-year-old girl. You know what that means – easily embarrassed and super sensitive! So I really didn’t want anyone to see the insulin pump. I tried really hard to keep it hidden from everyone.”

“But at the same time, I kept checking the insulin pump. If you have an insulin pump, you know how it is. You just can’t believe – or I couldn’t believe – that this little box really had everything under control. And I guess I got a little obsessive with it. One day in class, my teacher had finally had enough. “Rebecca, you take whatever it is you’re so interested in and you put it up here on my desk right now,” she said. Of course I couldn’t – and I wound up having to explain about my insulin pump in a classroom full of the people I didn’t want to know about it!”

There are times when having diabetes means dealing with some embarrassing situations. Rebecca’s not the only person who has had to handle other people’s reactions to an insulin pump. Over the course of researching What’s So Funny About… Diabetes?, I heard hundreds of similar stories about people’s reactions to insulin pumps in gym locker rooms, on the beach, and in the TSA security line.

Many of these stories are funny. But it’s important to remember that they weren’t necessarily side-splittingly hysterical when they happened.

“It’s been six years, and I still have friends who say, “Rebecca, you put that on my desk right now!” whenever they feel like I’m not paying attention to them,” Rebecca laughed. “Now I can laugh about it. That day, I cried like crazy when I got home.”

There are certain critical, essential elements that make humor work. One of these elements is timing. Sometimes it takes awhile before we can laugh at a situation – and that’s okay! During this time, we’re gaining emotional distance from the troubling event, and working on a reaching a new perspective. This can happen in a moment or it can take a month – we’re all different.

Try telling yourself, “This will be funny someday!”  You’ll be amazed how often that turns out to be true.

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