Growing Up with Diabetes: Prom Dress Shopping

Posted by shannon on Thu, 03/28/2013 - 13:34 in












Shannon and her friend Rachel pose before prom

It is every girl’s dream to find the perfect prom dress – one that makes them feel absolutely beautiful. At least that is what I was hoping for when I was searching for my prom dress. So if you ask a girl about her dream prom dress she would probably give you a check list of the must haves. My list was the same as most girls’ except I had an extra thing to think about: do I want a dress where people can or can’t see my Omnipod insulin pump?

I had purchased special occasion dresses before for homecomings and other semi-formal dances, but prom felt different. When my mother and I went shopping I tried on several different style dresses, because I felt for that night I didn’t want to show my Pod.

The sales associate asked what my Pod was when I was trying on gowns. After I explained it she asked if she should only help me find dresses that would hide it. At first I said yes, but after trying on several dresses that just didn’t seem my style I had a realization: I could move my Omnipod to accommodate my dress, I didn’t need a dress to accommodate my Omnipod. I was so relieved and surprised that my Pod didn’t end up limiting my dress choices.

Having the option to wear any type of style, like flowery gowns, cocktail dresses, etc., was empowering.  As I was trying on dresses I felt awesome knowing that if I could see the outline of the Pod on my stomach, I could wear it on my arm or my leg instead. And if I didn’t want to show my Pod on my arm in a dress that had more movement, I could place it on my stomach.

After finally finding my dream dress I couldn’t wait to dance the night away with my friends. It was a relief for once to think, “When I look back on these pictures you would never know I had diabetes.”  I’m not ashamed of my diabetes, but being able to feel like I wasn’t trapped or forced into buying a certain dress to accommodate my insulin pump was such an awesome feeling. When prom night finally arrived I was excited. My friends and I couldn’t wait to go. Dancing the night away, I felt just like the rest of my classmates.