Desang diabetes magazine diabetes news






In July, a woman going by the name of

Miss Idaho brought her Type 1 diabetes

to the fore as she wore only it and a biknii

while in competition for an American

beauty pageant. No matter how you

may feel about those, her action made

a difference to a lot of pumpers, and

provoked much commentary. Among

the coverage online Miriam E. Tucker,

writing for Shots, a health service from

NPR, commented: "Since posting the

photo on social media in mid-July, Sierra

Sandison has become a new hero to the

Type 1 diabetes community. One mother

wrote on Sandison's Facebook page,

"You changed my 11-year-old daughter's

summer! She's been so self-conscious,

but since she read about you and saw this

photo, she cannot wait to wear a bathing

suit and show off her insulin pump!"

Twitter users have been responding

to the hashtag Sandison created,

#showmeyourpump, and in her blog

Sandison, 20, of Twin Falls, Idaho, said

that she had used injections when she

began competing in pageants because, "I

didn't want people to see a weird-tubeymachine-thing attached to me all the time,

and could not wrap my head around

having a medical device on my body for

the rest of my life."

Then she heard about Miss America

1999, Nicole Johnson, who also wore

an insulin pump during the competition,

although not visibly. Johnson, who has

continued with her diabetes advocacy

since her reign, tells Shots, "I think

diabetes technology has become more

socially acceptable because of the

dominance of social media and our

'selfie' culture which seems to be more

accepting today, as opposed to when I

was diagnosed in 1993."

Medical device-wearing 'pride'

appears to be a trend. Amputees are

increasingly using visible prostheses

rather than covering them up and the

ostomy community too. On Facebook,

Ms. Sandison also received thanks from

parents of kids who wear other medical

devices, one who wears hearing aids

and another who has a feeding tube for

digestive problems.

Tucker added in her article, "As an

insulin pumper myself, I can attest to the

hesitancy to wear a visible medical device

- I resisted for years before deciding to

use the pump in 2007. But now I wear it

with pride. If I run into another pumper on

the street we can strike up a conversation

as if we were old friends. And in fact, that

happens fairly often.

Johnson agrees. "It seems that insulin

pumps and diabetes devices are now a

symbol of community," she told me. "It

is becoming more and more common to

see them widely displayed, because of

the opportunity that brings for connection

to others. In the diabetes community,

we use the visibility of our devices as a

badge of courage and a connector. There

is a pride in successfully managing the

condition and surviving. One hundred

years ago there were no survivors of Type

1 diabetes." Read more here.

Miss Idaho, Sierra Sandison, wearing her pump in

competition in July, 'medical device wearing pride'.


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