Holiday celebrations mean time with extended family that we only see a few times a year for many of us. This past weekend was no different for me. My brother married into a large but close extended family, so for the past ten or so years we have spent most holidays with them.
Another member of the extended family is diabetic (Type 2) and has been for about as long as I have known him. Like I said, thats been about 10 years. Having another diabetic in the house has been great for my diet soda supply and low carb food options at family functions.
This year, there were a few new people at the party, as there had been a recent marriage. As we socialized over appetizers, the topic turned to diabetes as I got my pump out to account for the chips and dip. There was a brief debate on the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 and if a Type 2 becomes a Type 1 if they begin to take insulin (NO!) but that is not what this post is about.
As I was explaining the different between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes I ended up using the tried-and-true analogy of insulin as the key that unlocks the cell door to let the glucose in for energy. Its a very basic explanation and one I first heard that analogy while lying in my hospital bed the day after my diagnosis.
I told him that my body doesnt have any keys left and his keys are rusty or just dont fit into the locks very well. The medicine I take is keys and the medicine he takes is and at this point he interrupts me and says WD-40. 🙂
What he said next really surprised me. He thanked me for explaining the basics of diabetes to him and said that was the first time anyone had done that since his diagnosis.
I know it shouldnt but this just boggles my mind. How can someone have quality medical coverage and decent access to doctors as I know he does and in 10 years have never had anyone explain the basics of your disease to you?!