Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Equally Magical

Diabetes follows me everywhere.  It followed me to Washington, D.C., as I knew it would.  But I wasn't expecting three wonderful diabetes in the wild moments on our trip.

The first was at a CVS near our hotel.  Shortly after arriving in D.C., we went to pick up some provisions.  As we walked around, I saw a teenage girl with an Omnipod on her arm.  I grinned and was instantly excited.  Diabetes nerd alert.

Now it's decision time.  Do I say something or not?  I stared at the girl, willing her to look at me.  But no such luck.  So I took a deep breath, and walked towards her.

"I spy an Omnipod!" I said, simultaneously smiling and trying not to look creepy.  The girl looked up, and I pointed at my pump on my hip.

She grinned, threw her hands in the air, and said, "diabetes unite!"  Totally and completely made my day.  It was awesome.

The second diabetes in the wild encounter happened a few days later.  We were at the Library of Congress (sidebar: one of my most FAVORITE buildings in the world!) in the security line.  Metal detector and an x-ray machine for bags.  So I launched into my this-is-a-continuous-glucose-monitor-and-can't-go-through-x-ray spiel.  The security personell were very nice and respectful (as they were everywhere we went).  After inspection by a couple guys, I was given the all clear.

Can I live here? Please?

As I walked out of the metal detector, another guard was standing there.  "What is that?" he asked, gesturing towards my Dexcom.

"It's a continuous glucose monitor," I replied.  "I have Type 1 Diabetes and it graphs my blood sugar."  I pressed the button so he could see the graph.

"Wow, that's amazing!" he said.  "I have Type 2 Diabetes.  I've never seen that before."

I wanted to hug the guy, but decided that might not be the best idea.  Instead, we chatted for a few minutes.  I wish I could have talked to him longer, but there was a line of people behind us.  I just hope I brightened his day a little.  He certainly brightened mine.

The third diabetes encounter was on our way home.  We had a short layover, and were waiting at the terminal for our next flight.  My pump was almost out of insulin and I didn't want to refill on the plane, so I decided to just go ahead and fill a new reservoir.  I just did it right then and there, in the terminal.

A couple people were looking, but it didn't really bother me.  I expected that.  What I didn't expect was the woman sitting across from us to say anything.

My set was in my arm, so switching out the tubing and reservoir was easy enough.  As I clicked the tubing back into the set, she leaned over and said, "So you put your pump site in your arm?"

Turns out her (now adult) son has Type 1 and wears a pump.  He doesn't put sites in his arms, hence her interest.  Her son was diagnosed at 14, and is now grown with kids of his own.  Josh and I spent the next half hour talking to this woman.  It was wonderful!  Thankfully, it sounds like her son has a great support system and is doing quite well.

When it was time for us to go, I told her I was glad she said something so we could chat.  She smiled and said, "You take care, hon," in that way that moms do.  It made my heart happy.

Three very different diabetes in the wild moments, but all equally magical.


  1. What wonderful encounters. How fun and freeing to meet others that just get it - in the wild makes it better.
    Glad to hear the security at the LOC was easy going and didn't argue. hope the TSA were equally as accommodating. I find TSA to be hit or miss but mostly cool.
    Yea for diabetes encounters.

  2. There is something that just automatically unites us with diabetes, isn't there? Kinda cool how that works. I've never had someone react negatively when I spotted their pump or whatever.