I love being out and about and talking to a fellow diabetic .. that may sound weird (well, to anyone who is NOT diabetic probably) but there’s an immediate kinship/bond there. I was doing some last minute shopping the other day, and as I was walking through PetSmart to find my cat a stocking (hey don’t judge.. and by the way, I never found one) I saw a girl, maybe 20ish walking by and she had a green Animas Ping hooked to her front pocket. In the very place I had my stylish purple Medtronic pump hooked. 🙂
So I said, “That’s an Animas, right?” (Duh, I already knew that .. but I’ve never been accused of being a good conversation starter lol) and she smiled and said, “Yes! Do you have diabetes, too? For how long?” It was like we’d known each other forever. I told her I’d had it for 20 yrs in October; she’s on 7 1/2 years. About 2 minutes into our conversation, another woman walked up and asked me, “Do you have diabetes, too?” I said, “Yes, I do.” It was the girl’s mom, and and it turns out I (sorta) knew the mom. She was the elementary school coach where my step daughter went to school a few years ago.
She immediately saw that I was pregnant and asked if this was my first pregnancy with diabetes. I said, “No, I was diagnosed in 1992, one month before my 18th birthday, and I was pregnant in 2007 and delivered my perfectly healthy baby boy in 2008.” She lit up. I told her my story about being told in that first dx hospital stay that I’d never be able to have children. And she said she’s sure I must be watched like a hawk, but that it was very encouraging to see someone that’s had it for as long as I have, and still having a healthy pregnancy (even with twins this go around!) I told her that I have to be way more diligent, because it’s not just about me anymore.. I have two little babies in there that 100% depend on me to eat/do the right things for these 9 months.
We talked about the differences between Animas and Medtronic. I told her I’d tried switching to Animas for a short time but it wasn’t for me (YDMV) and they were very happy with it. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
We also shared the names of our Endocrinologists. She’d been seen at Children’s until she turned 18 and then was sent off to find a new one – she’s really happy with hers. Mine is “meh” … I wish I’d thought to write down the name of hers, but I may be able to track it down by process of elimination.
When we finally said our “It was nice to you’s” and “Good byes” I left that store with a smile (even though I didn’t find the stocking lol). I am always encouraged when, even for a few minutes, I can be helpful or encouraging to someone else living with diabetes. I have had so many friends that have known me for a long time, tell me how much they’ve learned about the disease (and me), since reading my blog. And that right there is so worth it. I never intended or wanted to be an example of someone living with a disease.. but I was dealt this hand a long time ago. And it’s up to me to use it for good. So that’s exactly what I am trying to do. 🙂