Diabetes and security

Yesterday, after attending the IDEA Summit in Strasbourg where I moderated a panel discussion about empowering patients to become more involved in diabetes research initiatives (more about that in another post), I was waiting for my train back to Paris.

The train was a little delayed – apparently for technical issues and not security ones – and while I waited on the platform, I glanced a few times at my dexcom and watched my post-dinner blood glucose levels slowly rise. Given the timing and amount of my dinnertime bolus, I knew it was headed in the wrong direction. So I did what you do when you need to correct a slightly high blood sugar… I reached up under my winter jacket to where my pump was in a flipbelt on my waist.

Then I pulled out this little plastic box attached to what
looks like a wire that went back up under my clothes.

As I quickly pressed a few buttons on my pump, it suddenly occurred to me how this could look from the perspective of bystanders, not to mention the police teams that were patrolling the station. I glanced around and thankfully, nobody seemed to have noticed.

A few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about pulling out my pump to take a bolus. But as you can imagine, security measures in France have been taken to a new level in the past few weeks and pulling out an electronic box that is concealed under clothing is definitely something that can cause suspicion. I don’t like to feel like I have to hide my diabetes. I’m definitely not ashamed of it but I also realise that there is a time and a place for diabetes pride.

In a surreal sort of way, daily life hasn’t really changed much since the attacks on Paris in November. And yet, the signs keep popping up that show how the events have affected us all.

So I’ll leave you with an image of hope and of light. This is the 4 storey tall tree at the Strasbourg Christmas market that I had the pleasure of looking at while eating my dinner before catching my train.


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