It was a hot cruising day and the pool-loungers were out in full swing. The smell of tanning oils, sunblock, chlorine, and sea water was thick in the humid air. We navigated the deck, passing by the slew of semi-naked people, most of them sunbathing, eyes closed with headphones on, or perhaps reading, or chatting enthusiastically. And then I saw it. A woman, probably in her 30s, with what can only be described as the elusive “perfect” body – tan but not too tan, six-pack intact, classy bikini, great haircut, laying on her back, eyes closed, enjoying. The cannula on her stomach, with a tiny hot pink thing (sorry, I don’t pump, so I don’t know if different cannulas from different companies have different colors and what exactly the hot pink thing on the site was, but it stood out to me) connected to the tubing which was tethered out of sight on the side of her. I am pretty sure no-one else noticed. Perhaps (probably) some of them did, but I doubt they thought much of it. What went through my mind was – shit – it’s hot – I hope her insulin is OK. I wonder if her pump is in a special case or has an icepack nearby. I wonder how this vacation is going for her diabetes. And also – I am not alone! On this cruise-ship – here’s another from my tribe.
I wish I could’ve talked to her. Well, I know I could have but I didn’t even know if she spoke English. And also I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable in any way. I saw her again in the restaurant a couple of days later. Husband and two energetic kiddos. Eating a bowl of yogurt. “How the hell did she carb count that one?” I thought to myself (the pink, I assume strawberry, yogurt was just served in a giant bowl so go figure how much sugar is in that one). And then the realization that now that she was fully clothed I would never had known about her diabetes. And no one around does either. It is (mostly) invisible.