I’m a cord tucker

Ninety-five percent of the pants I own have pockets. When I wear a skirt, my pump is clipped somewhere that is not visible. My pump stays in my pocket, secure and hidden away.

In many ways, diabetes is an invisible disease, or visible only when you want it to be. I don’t think you could look at me and be like, “Oh yea, she has type 1 diabetes.” You might see me checking my blood glucose number, or take my pump out of my pocket to bolus for my lunch, maybe you see that I’m looking a little off from a low, but otherwise I don’t think I look any different than you do.

I’m a cord tucker.

But do you have a cord constantly hanging below the hem of your shirt? A cord through which life sustaining insulin travels. I have a cord. And in some ways that cord is symbolic of the difference between me and you. That cord is a visual reminder of a disease that I live with and manage every single day. But other times that cord is a sign of solidarity. Like when in a random bakery in Detroit, I saw your cord and knew right away that we had something powerful in common. That cord ties us together.

I’m a cord tucker.

Sometimes it’s a safety issue. I don’t want the cord to get wrapped around a knob or something and yank my infusion set out. So I tuck it into my pants so that it doesn’t hang freely. But sometimes it’s not about safety. It’s about not having to talk about my diabetes or answer questions when I don’t feel like it. It’s about remaining invisible when I want to be.

Yesterday, I hung freely.

I let my cord show. Yesterday it didn’t matter to me. I didn’t care who saw it. But you stopped me in the office kitchen, “I don’t mean to touch you, but there’s something hanging off your shirt,” you said as you reached towards my cord, ready to break it off like a loose, dangling thread. I didn’t care if it showed or not. But you did when you told me that my “stuff was all over the place,” gesturing to my cord hanging on my chair. You weren’t being mean, or judgy. You were trying to be helpful and maybe even concerned. You weren’t used to seeing a cord, and now you did. But do you really care if my cord is showing? Do I care? Maybe. Maybe not.

Today, I’m a cord tucker.

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12 thoughts on “I’m a cord tucker

  1. I'm a cord tucker as well. I however have my pump hanging visibly off my pocket most days. I tuck because even with most of the cord tucked, I still catch on things. That's not a pleasant feeling. I do get excited every time I glimpse someone else with a pump though!

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  2. I'm definitely a cord tucker too, and I was completely excited to find two dresses with pockets this weekend!! (Really three, because I bought one in two different colors.) Quick snip to the pocket, thread the cord through and bam, cord tucked.

    Also, is it weird that when I saw your title I immediately thought of the “cork sucker” bit from SNL?

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  3. I'm a bra stuffer. It's not always comfortable, but I only have so much pocket real estate, and I HATE having anything clipped to my waistband. I'm (only mildly) ashamed to say that I have NO shame in reaching under my shirt to get my pump out to bolus for meals, corrections, and such. All my friends kind of expect it by now, and only occasionally do they get to see skin (I'm very discreet, I promise.) Those who are not friends, don't know I have T1, and think I'm somehow adjusting my boobs when I do this? Ah, I'll never see them again anyways.

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  4. My t1 daughter is not so much a cord tucker as she is someone who always want the shortest cord possible. Because of short cords, she rarely has it hanging out. And she has never gotten it caught on a doorknob. But that just may be luck.

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  5. I'm still learning my comfort with cord tucking. Luckily, my gym shorts have a button hole in them so I can secretly run my tubing through the inside of my pocket. I realize that being a guy comes with a specific set of advantages when it comes to clothing. It's not fair.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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