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Monday, 29 February 2016


I collect Diabetics. Accidentally. Not in a creepy, Ed Gein sort of way. I just happen to find them, everywhere.

In Italy, I found 2. Or 2 found me my pump. You can't really miss my pump, especially if you know what a pump is. King sticks out a little.

I met the first Type 1 diabetic in Venice. My husband and I were on a bit of a search for good gnocchi. Google recommended 'Osteria Al Milion', so off we went.

Just need a miniature quaffle...
It was a very warm, inviting little restaurant, and the quidditch-hoop inspired candle holders gave me a good vibe. We were seated and given the free bread basket that you seem to get whenever you sit down for a meal in Italy. I noticed that the lady who attended to us was eyeballing my pump. I didn't pay much attention, figuring she was probably wondering what sort of ancient MP3 player I had attached to my hip. A different waitress took our order. As I ordered, I noticed the same lady still eyeballing King from across the room. As soon as the waitress left our table, she hurried over.

"I have one too". Proudly, she lifted her shirt to show me her pump. "But mine is old". A beautiful and well kept white MiniMed Veo sat clipped over the lip of her trousers. If hers was old, she must have taken the best care of it. King is less than 6 months old and he looks like he's been in a few cat fights in that time.

I smiled in acknowledgment and she took the encouragement, coming over to stand next to us. "Your only the second person I have seen with diabetes. I saw another pump once, in the market." She paused. "It's hard".

I agreed with her, and we had a bit of a chat about the joys of diabetes. By now, the restaurant was filling up a bit. She excused herself as our food arrived. Before she left to attend to other patron she turned back with a warm smile, and gave me the carb counts to my gnocchi, the panna cotta I had ordered for desert and the bread I had eaten.

Pannacotta...carb count: Delicious so it doesn't matter.

A week or so later found my husband and I in Sorrento (where the weather was remarkably warm). From Sorrento, we took a day trip out to Pompeii, which was only a half hour train ride by the Circumvesuviana line. Pompeii was quite warm, and for the first time since arriving in Europe, I was walking around blissfully sans jumper, T-shirt only. My T-shirt of choice just so happened to be my Type 1 Diabetes memes, "Type One Dia-Bad-Ass" Tee.

It was as my husband and I were trudging our weary way back out of Pompeii that I found my second diabetic in Italy. I was just hitting hypo (after a 3 hour walk around Pompeii in the sun) and focusing on placing one foot in front of the other when I heard "Are you diabetic?". My head swivelled towards the direction the magic word had come from. "I saw your T-shirt". An American girl had outstretched her hand towards me, holding in it, yet another glorious Medtronic pump.

"Yep!" My face split into a shaky-hypo grin.

My husband shook his head as the American Girl and I started up a conversation. "Seriously? You have a superpower. Stand together, I'm taking a photo".

We obeyed, and he clicked a photo, while her friend (or boyfriend, I don't know) did the same.

I didn't find out her name, but I do have a picture of her. And I know she's from California, and that she's excited for the 640G, which they don't have in America yet, but her UK friends have told her all about it. I also know that she's awesome by default.

I'm in England now, and just waiting for London to give up the diabetic goods!


  1. I love finding pumps in the wild. Well mostly anyway. I was corrected once while waiting to check in to a hotel by a woman behind me who tugged my arm and let me know that my tubing was out and it looked bad. LOL I said yeah I like it that way.

    I want you to know i referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of February 29, 2016. I hope this brings you some additional readership.

    1. Out tubes/pumps are the best! It's how we signal to each other. :)

      Thank you so much for referring my blog. I'm not sure what TUdiabetes is, but it already sounds like I'm going to love it when I can find a real computer & logon.

  2. I never find any t1s in the wild!
    Such a shame.

    I think you may need to purchase said candle holders and construct a small quaffle
    For super adult decorative purposes of course

    1. You will one day! And it will be glorious.

      I think you're right about the candle holder. I can see it being useful & productive on my work desk...