It’s 3:30 pm and I’m in the basement of the church in my bridesmaid dress trying to steam the wrinkles out of another bridesmaid’s dress. The room is really hot, but do I feel hotter than I did 5 minutes ago? Maybe. I glance at my Dexcom app, still no data. It’s been on the fritz since I arrived this morning to get my hair done for my friend’s wedding. Maybe it’s just the steam and the activity in the bridal room.
But my hand is shaking. Something isn’t right. I check my blood sugar. 43.
I pop open my tube of glucose tabs and eat the only 3 that are in there and curse myself for not refilling it. I don’t have any other fast-acting sugar with me. The bridesmaid whose dress I was steaming is a pediatric nurse and she sees me. “Are you okay?” she asks.
“I’m low, I’m 43,” I respond. By this point, everyone in the room has seen this. She asks if anyone has food in the room. Someone offers a bag of Sour Patch Kids, and I scarf down some candy and take a drink of water.
People ask me what I need now and I respond that I need just a minute.
The pastor knocks on the door and announces that we have five minutes before we have to go upstairs. The nurse slips on her dress that someone else has finished steaming and asks me how I feel. I can’t focus enough to respond right away and just awkwardly stare at her, but I can’t quite focus on her or figure out how to speak words. “I need another minute,” I finally manage to say. Then the pastor is at the door, “Okay ladies, it’s time to go upstairs.” We bustle around and I start to feel more stable, I slip on my ambitious heels and teeter up the stairs behind the other girls.
“Do you need more sugar? My uncle is type 1 and I’m sure he has something with him,” the nurse offers. I shake my head. We line up as the soloist finishes her song.
“Rach, are you okay?” my friend the bride asks. This is the absolute last thing I want my dear friend thinking about before walking down the aisle to marry the love of her life.
“I’m fine,” I said and gave her hand a squeeze. “You look beautiful.”
When I stepped into my place at the entrance of the church, the groomsman who presented his arm to escort me down the aisle mouthed, “Are okay?” “I’m fine, just a little shaky,” I whispered.
I had just met this guy the previous evening at the wedding rehearsal. I had met his wife the previous fall at an engagement brunch for the bride. So I didn’t know either of them well How did he know? What did he think was wrong with me?
I made it through the ceremony with minimal trembling and as I exited the church the groomsman asked if my blood sugar was okay now. I assured him that it was. When we climbed in the limo with the rest of the wedding party, he asked if I used a Dexcom. I said that I do. He mentioned that his wife uses one and he likes being able to follow her numbers. Then, a panicked look crossed his face and he jumped out of the limo, calling “I left my phone inside!” as he ran back into the church.
We discussed Dexcom and OmniPod on the drive to get photos. At the reception when Brad and I were seated at the table with him and his wife, we started talking about diabetes and being married to someone with it. His wife and I talked about our insulin pumps and we talked about how her blood sugar was behaving during her pregnancy – they are expecting a little girl this winter. She had been diagnosed as a child and was interested in what it is like to be diagnosed in adulthood.
I don’t think my friends who got married intended to pair me up with the groomsman married to a lady with type one, I think it just happened. Possibly because we were the only married members of the wedding party and possibly it was fate. Because in the situation when I needed to lean a little bit on someone (who couldn’t be my husband) as to not ruin the best day of my friend’s life, he was the person in the wedding party who really, truly understood.