I’ve said several times before that I really don’t know people in my “real life” with type 1. I finally had the opportunity to meet DOC member Amy in person and discovered how truly small the world is (we found out that she’s known members of my family longer than she’s “known” me!). When I read today’s prompt directly followed by some tweets about diabetes in the wild, I thought back to a day… not my most memorable day with diabetes but one worth sharing.
Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.)
I was diagnosed with diabetes in the middle of August 2011. My husband and I moved to Cleveland in September and that October we were shopping at Crocker Park (an amazing outdoor shopping center). I wasn’t yet on an insulin pump but was in the process of getting started with one.
Brad and I had finished our shopping and were returning to our car in the parking garage. When we reached our garage, there was a group of three teenagers talking and laughing in the stairwell. The girl who was sitting on the step scooted over so we could walk past, as she scooted I saw it. It looked like a purple pager clipped to the outside of her pocket with a clear tube sticking out of it.
I wanted to exclaim, “I have diabetes too!” but the calm, rational adult in me reminded me that having a stranger point out your medical condition as a teenager could possibly be mortifying, so instead I smiled and said thanks to her when we passed.
On the second level of the parking garage, when we were safely out of earshot I turned to Brad and said, “That girl on the steps has diabetes too and she was wearing an insulin pump.” He hadn’t noticed.
I learned two things that day:
1. There were other people in the world having “normal” lives while having diabetes. I hadn’t yet achieved a “normal” life since my diagnosis.
2. It’s completely possible to for the condition that had taken over my life to go completely unnoticed by others.
Sometimes I wish I had said something to the girl in the stairwell, especially after moments when my insulin pump being visible helped others feel less alone.
Great story to share! I have seen a few diabetics in the wild and have had to resist going up to them and practically hugging them while telling them that I too have diabetes.
I did speak to a pump wearing waiter one evening while out with friends. He was delighted to talk about it. My friends didn’t even know what it was but learned a lot listening to us chat. It was “before pump” for me.
There will also come a day when you hear “I forgot you had diabetes” and it will be even greater than seeing diabetes in the wild.