I stood in the bathroom this morning as I got out of the shower and stared at myself in the mirror. I don’t like what I see. There is a pump infusion set, probably almost ready for a change due to the slightly turned up edge of the tape holding it in place; a new-ish sensor makes me feel like a cyborg and tiny red and black dots covering my middle.

There are so few days when I get to step in and out of the shower truly unencumbered by some sort of diabetes device being stuck to me. All my planets have to be aligned for a day where I am changing my CGM sensor and pump line at the same time and I get to rip them out before stepping into the shower, spending the time actually aware that there is nothing attached to me. Truly nothing. Ridiculously, it’s the only time I feel truly naked.

Diabetes has left its mark all over me. Fully clothed, I can hide it, but undressed, there is no getting away from what it has done. There are scars all over my abdomen and hips from old infusion sets and Dexcom sensors. There’s a nasty red and black bruise from a failed infusion set change three days ago which resulted in blood spurting everywhere. No matter how much I scrub away the residue from tape, there is usually still some clinging desperately to my skin. My fingers have tiny marks all over them from where I jab in a lancet several times a day.

On days where my BGLs have been higher than I’d like, my skin looks slightly dehydrated. On nights where I have been awakened by hypos there are dark circles under my eyes.

There are scars and marks and bruises there to remind me of how invasive diabetes is in a literal as well as figurative sense.

The only scar I look at with any fondness is the caesarean scar across my lower belly. I trace the line and am taken back to the operating theatre the day my baby was delivered from me. Some scars form the basis of beautiful memories.

While the diabetes scars are many they do disappear. They heal. They vanish. Only to be replaced by more. Many more.

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