....diabetics. Everywhere I turn.
It's National Diabetes Week this week. We wouldn't have a national diabetes week without diabetics, and I seem to have run into a lot of them this week. One of the best things about having diabetes (look at me go - saying there's good things involved with diabetes) is meeting other diabetics. Getting to know their stories. No two stories are the same.
Lately, I seem to be meeting them left, right and centre. It gives me such a buzz every time, knowing there's other people walking around with broken pancreases.
I was at Garden City the other day and had just sat down to my extremely fatty, carbohydrate loaded lunch - the kind of lunch that would give my endo a coronary just to see the number written down in the carb column. I had just bolused when I heard a distinctive 'beep' coming from the table next to me. There's no mistaking that beep - the beep of a glucometer, springing into action.
My head instantly snapped over towards the source of the sound, and I saw a girl probably just a bit older than me stashing her meter away in her bag. I think I kind of just sat there in a happy daze as she pulled out an insulin pen, dialed up the number and proceeded to give herself the good stuff. "Look! Another diabetic" I basically punched my fiance in the ribs getting him to spot the other diabetic. Her husband, or partner, or brother or whoever he was must have overhead me, or otherwise noticed me staring weirdly at his wife, partner sister or whoever she was to him.
I guess the smart part of me was a little slow off the mark, because I know its rude to stare when you're doing your diabetic business. So I declared myself: "I'm diabetic too! Sorry, I didn't mean to stare. Its nice to know you're not alone." He nodded at me, as she had already begun eating. "It's ok, she feels the same way too."
As I left, we exchanged a friendly, 'in the club' smile.
Yesterday, the first day of National Diabetes Week, I was standing in a line for some delicious crepes at the Abbey Medieval Festival. Wearing a deep blue Medieval Dress, my purple people eater pump, Vernon, was clipped onto the top of my dress...I didn't think it would be very ladlylike to go fishing about in my bra to bolus. Pumps must be some sort of beacon for other pumpers...next thing I knew I had another young lady in front of me saying she "liked my pump", as she pointed out her own purple Medtronic pump.
As we stood and waited for our crepes we swapped diagnosis stories and dates. We found out we had gone onto pumps at nearly the same time. Eventually we got our crepes and parted ways to enjoy the festival - but not without first wishing each other good BGLs for the day.
After the festival I came home to a facebook message from someone I knew a long time ago, who had just been diagnosed with T1D recently. I hadn't spoken to this person in about 6 or 7 years, but wanted to ask me some advice after finding out through a mutual friend that I had had T1D as well for the past few years. And that's the thing with diabetics. We reach out to each other, constantly, and I have not met a diabetic yet who isn't happy to help.
For me, it isn't National Diabetes Week. I'll leave that to the Diabetes Organisations. For me, it's National Diabetics Week. I'm going to celebrate all the amazing people who live with diabetes every day of their lives.