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Thread: Body image and technology

  1. #1

    Default Body image and technology

    I'd really like to hear from some of the young adults how they have coped with the daily reality of pumps and cgms and how they may or may not have influenced how you view your body.

    I realize that this is rather personal and you may not want to share too much on a public forum but to the extent that you are willing to share I would appreciate it.

    My dd is now using a cgm in addition to her pump. While she likes the information (to a degree) I begin to suspect that she's feeling rather like a Borg. I'm looking for ways to talk with her about it and to try to ease her mind about it all.

    Thanks in advance.
    Sarah
    Mom to DD now 16, dx @4
    Cozmo pumper @6
    Minimed pumper @13
    G4 @ 15


    "Happy Birthday, Dr. Banting! Now... let's eat cake! Because, we CAN!" - MCS

  2. #2

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    I do view myself as a cyborg, but I'm a science/tech person, so I think it's cool. I have named my pump and CGM, and I do (to an extent) see them as a part of me, but I also see them as tools, like shoes or glasses. Yes, I grow attached to them (like a favorite pair of shoes), and I think part of that is how much I have to rely on them. But I also know that they will eventually have to be replaced.

    I do have problems with pants, though, since women's pants (and girls' pants) tend to have little to no pockets, which makes it easy for my pump or CGM to fall out. It does make it harder, when looking at things like pants, to feel "normal". Unless I clip things in interesting places, or remove my pump/CGM, the pockets are never going to lie flat, and I'm never going to look "normal" if anyone looks closely enough. It can get you down.

    It's also infuriating when you find clothes that you think are awesome, and then you realize that the clothes will not work well with diabetes: pants or skirts with no pockets, tops that let everyone see the snaked tubing and the outline of a site, tops/dresses that make spibelts or similar products out of the question due to cut or material...it adds a whole new dimension to be ticked while shopping other than the store not having your size.

    It can be hard. People want to feel beautiful or trendy or even just normal (at least in general. I know I've had those days where I just want to feel and look normal), and sometimes diabetes sticks it's nose, even in to that.

    There's a whole different issue with feeling like you can trust and rely on the rest of your body, since one part just up and quit.

    I'll have to think on it more, since I'm already starting to ramble.
    -Kirsten
    T1D: Dx 10 May 2002
    Minimed Paradigm: 2002 - 2006, Animas 1250 2006 - 2011, Animas Ping 2011; Freestyle 2002-2012; Humalog 2002-2012; Accu-Chek Nano 2012; Novolog 2012, Apidra 2013
    T1D older brother Dx 1997
    T1D younger brother Dx 2008

    Electrical Engineering--EIT
    @PurdueMocha and @ferociousmocha on Twitter

  3. #3

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    Thank you, Kirsten for taking the time. You articulated much of what I think my dd is experiencing. She's been pumping for about 8 years so the pump is pretty much a part of her. The CGM is new and she's not liking how it is visible when she has on a tee or a thin long sleeved top. Mostly she doesn't care for the questions.

    Clothes are a big one. It's hard enough to find things you like but then, as you say, to discover that they just don't work with a pump or a lump is a drag.

    Thanks again - I do appreciate it
    Sarah
    Mom to DD now 16, dx @4
    Cozmo pumper @6
    Minimed pumper @13
    G4 @ 15


    "Happy Birthday, Dr. Banting! Now... let's eat cake! Because, we CAN!" - MCS

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Maddie's Mom View Post
    I'd really like to hear from some of the young adults how they have coped with the daily reality of pumps and cgms and how they may or may not have influenced how you view your body.

    I realize that this is rather personal and you may not want to share too much on a public forum but to the extent that you are willing to share I would appreciate it.

    My dd is now using a cgm in addition to her pump. While she likes the information (to a degree) I begin to suspect that she's feeling rather like a Borg. I'm looking for ways to talk with her about it and to try to ease her mind about it all.

    Thanks in advance.
    Not a young adult (by any definition!) but representing mine as he's shared why he resists CGM. For him...clearly a dude so clothing and all that don't even occur to him...wearing his cgm brings it all to his attention too much. When he's wearing it he thinks about diabetes too much, if that makes sense. He says that sometimes when he wears cgm it sort of irritates him, with its alwaysness.

    I'm not articulating myself well I don't think. He never forgets to bolus and is pretty responsible I think, but with cgm diabetes is front and center and he doesn't want to live his life that way.

    ~Nancy~
    Homeschooling our way through high school, learning with them!
    19 year old son diagnosed T1 2/5/10, pumping Tslim beginning 7/13 ; Dexcom on occasion. Animas Ping 10/10-7/13. College student August 2013.
    16 year old daughter teaching her mom all about patience and grace
    .

  5. #5

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    I'm like Kirsten, I'm also an engineer and I embrace my cyborg-ness. That being said, sometimes I don't like the stares or the questions or even just imagining the stares. So I tend to stay covered up at the beach and in a locker room. It helps a lot that my partner also supports my cyborg self. But honestly, I have more "normal" body image issues than I do diabetes ones. Hopefully she finds an awesome and accepting person herself someday who will make her feel like it doesn't matter.

  6. #6

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    I do tend to stay covered up as well, I guess I should add. I hate how people think it's okay to stare or ask intrusive questions. It's easier to avoid it if all the diabetes stuff is hidden away from prying eyes and door knobs.
    -Kirsten
    T1D: Dx 10 May 2002
    Minimed Paradigm: 2002 - 2006, Animas 1250 2006 - 2011, Animas Ping 2011; Freestyle 2002-2012; Humalog 2002-2012; Accu-Chek Nano 2012; Novolog 2012, Apidra 2013
    T1D older brother Dx 1997
    T1D younger brother Dx 2008

    Electrical Engineering--EIT
    @PurdueMocha and @ferociousmocha on Twitter

  7. #7

    Default

    I like the way it looks, most of the time, and then every now and then I get self conscious.
    The other day at the pool one of the lifeguards asked me what that "pad" I was wearing was. I explained and I felt kinda cool it about it, but.... pad?! And then I started worrying that if it was on another part of my body he'd be looking and wanting me to explain that, but fortunately he hasn't.

    I have to cut some of my body hair to get the sensors to stick on, and I worry way more about the weird way that that looks than I do about the sensor itself looking funny.

    The sensors are mostly part of what I perceive as part of my body- I expect myself to be wearing sensors on all of the places that I commonly wear them. I'm always moving my pants carefully to avoid snagging a sensor even when I'm not wearing one there, and pulling up my sleeves gingerly, etc.
    -Jonah
    dx age 17, now 25
    on Lantus for 7 years; on minimed 530 G since 12/7/13

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by nanhsot View Post
    Not a young adult (by any definition!) but representing mine as he's shared why he resists CGM. For him...clearly a dude so clothing and all that don't even occur to him...wearing his cgm brings it all to his attention too much. When he's wearing it he thinks about diabetes too much, if that makes sense. He says that sometimes when he wears cgm it sort of irritates him, with its alwaysness.

    I'm not articulating myself well I don't think. He never forgets to bolus and is pretty responsible I think, but with cgm diabetes is front and center and he doesn't want to live his life that way.
    Yes, as much as I like the CGM, I have always felt that living with Type 1 is inherently rife with quantifiable opportunities to feel that you have failed, and the CGM can certainly increase that pressure. Of course it's lovely when you look back at that nice flat line, but it's :alwaysness" could easily lead to an unhealthy obsession with the numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by RomeoEcho View Post
    I'm like Kirsten, I'm also an engineer and I embrace my cyborg-ness. That being said, sometimes I don't like the stares or the questions or even just imagining the stares. So I tend to stay covered up at the beach and in a locker room. It helps a lot that my partner also supports my cyborg self. But honestly, I have more "normal" body image issues than I do diabetes ones. Hopefully she finds an awesome and accepting person herself someday who will make her feel like it doesn't matter.
    I hope so too

    Quote Originally Posted by mocha View Post
    I do tend to stay covered up as well, I guess I should add. I hate how people think it's okay to stare or ask intrusive questions. It's easier to avoid it if all the diabetes stuff is hidden away from prying eyes and door knobs.
    This makes me sad.

    Every young person should feel free to just enjoy their beautiful young body. I know that many, even non D people don't feel that, but it does seem like a normal privilege of youth to feel strong and confident in your body

    Again, I appreciate all the replies.
    Sarah
    Mom to DD now 16, dx @4
    Cozmo pumper @6
    Minimed pumper @13
    G4 @ 15


    "Happy Birthday, Dr. Banting! Now... let's eat cake! Because, we CAN!" - MCS

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LantusFiend View Post
    I like the way it looks, most of the time, and then every now and then I get self conscious.
    The other day at the pool one of the lifeguards asked me what that "pad" I was wearing was. I explained and I felt kinda cool it about it, but.... pad?! And then I started worrying that if it was on another part of my body he'd be looking and wanting me to explain that, but fortunately he hasn't.

    I have to cut some of my body hair to get the sensors to stick on, and I worry way more about the weird way that that looks than I do about the sensor itself looking funny.

    The sensors are mostly part of what I perceive as part of my body- I expect myself to be wearing sensors on all of the places that I commonly wear them. I'm always moving my pants carefully to avoid snagging a sensor even when I'm not wearing one there, and pulling up my sleeves gingerly, etc.
    A "pad?

    People are so strange
    Sarah
    Mom to DD now 16, dx @4
    Cozmo pumper @6
    Minimed pumper @13
    G4 @ 15


    "Happy Birthday, Dr. Banting! Now... let's eat cake! Because, we CAN!" - MCS

  10. #10

    Default

    My daughter is Omnipod and she will only wear them on her arms. So they're visible most of the time. It doesn't really seem to bother her much. Sometimes people ask and she'll either say it's her pump or something snarky that she makes up. It's no different for her than wearing glasses or having braces.

    Our CGM arrives this afternoon so we'll see how she feels about that once we get up and running.
    Mom to Madison (18)
    dxd 8/5/09
    Omnipod pump using Novalog 4/10
    Dexcom 3/13

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