Dressed to Inject – by Helen May
Every so often, I read about what shoes someone with diabetes should wear: comfortable, broad fitting, having a deep and rounded toe area and are flat or low-heeled. Whilst I don’t wear towering stilettos, I consider looks as well as comfort when buying foot wear. So my shoes are not always broad and I do have some open-toe sandals.
But my biggest sartorial problem is clothes.
With Type 1 diabetes, I need to inject insulin in a fatty area whenever I eat. Usually, I inject around my waist area and I usually surreptiously inject wherever I happen to be rather than disappear off to a private room. So I need to be able to easily access bare flesh in this area without exposing too much flesh. This is not too difficult when I’m wearing a jumper over a pair of trousers: lift the jumper a little, inject and return the jumper to its original position. All over in a few seconds whilst sitting at my desk.
Ok, so I’m not the most feminine woman in the world (I do not wear pink frills) but it would be nice to wear a dress every now and then. Unfortunately, if I find a dress in a colour that does not clash with my ginger hair, that fits me, and that I like, how am I going to surruptiously lift the dress up to my waist at the end of a meal to inject insulin? It’s not going to happen. But I’m not happy with the alternatives: thanks to exercising, my thighs don’t have enough fat so I bruise too easily if I inject there and I’ve never worked out how I’m supposed to inject in my upper arms (pinch arm with other hand and inject with your third hand??). The other option is to hide: disappear into the bathroom after every meal: which I refuse to do because, like the other blogging Helen, I am not hiding my diabetes.
When I was younger, my Mum used to make a lot of my clothes and, as I’ve grown up, I’ve modeled a number of my own creations. So perhaps I need to go back to the drawing board and design myself a dress: a dress for a woman with diabetes. This needs to be a dress with a small waist level opening. I could make a feature out of the opening with some delicate edging or make it look like a pocket with a pretty button or go for the more subtle approach and fashion a “secret needle hatch”.
Maybe I’m just getting carried away and should be satisfied looking pretty in a nice skirt and blouse. Or, if I must insist on a dress, I have to find the quiet corner to inject and leave the fashion design to Orla Keily, Betty Jackson, Vivienne Westwood and their friends.
On second thoughts, any suggestions how we could get some fashion designers interested in creating a dress for me and my injections?
Ok, so the last sentence was only written in jest but, I’d love it if this was a project for some young fashion designers.