It’s a difficult place to describe. The idea that I would absolutely never choose to live with a chronic disease but at the same time being thankful for some of the gifts that come with it.
For the first time that I can remember, during the holiday break one of my youngest relatives asked me if I would get the cure for diabetes if they “invented” it. I told him I would ask long as I didn’t have to do anything extreme to get it, but he would have to help me find a new job if they did find a cure.
Speaking of my job, since I’ve now successfully completed 90 days, I can now start using my vacation days. The long weekend earlier this month was the perfect time to head out of town to visit a friend.
Apparently I was not the only person headed out of town because I shortly before I left the office on Thursday, I got a message from a different friend who was headed in my direction.
George was one of the first people I met living with diabetes. I still remember finding his blog in the very early days of the online community. It was so amazing to read about someone who shared such a similar story to my own story. I couldn’t believe it when I realized that he lived only minutes from my mom’s house.
The first time George and I met was shortly after the first iPhone was released. The first thing we did was check out how our blogs looked on this new-fangled mobile device and the second thing we did was take a selfie. I guess not much as changed.
We met for breakfast on his way through town before I headed out on my own road trip. Seven years later we may look slightly different but it is just as awesome to see him and his family. George is an amazing friend and I love catching up on life with him.
Three and a half years ago, I met Wendy in the lobby of the World Center Marriot in Orlando, Florida. We were both at Friends for Life and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of another mutual friend.
It was shortly after that meeting that some friends and I put together a little video for Wendy’s daughter (and apparently 18,500 of our other friends). Even if we didn’t have the diabetes connection, Wendy and I have a lot in common and have a great time hanging out together.
friends take dumb pictures together
It makes me sad when I read stories or hear people talk about how people with type 2 diabetes can’t understand what it’s like to live with type 1. Or how a parent of a child with diabetes can’t understand what it’s like to have type 1 diabetes. As much as I hear that we are more than our diabetes, I hear about meaningless divisions between groups of people living with diabetes.
It isn’t even a matter of one group using unfair stigmas in reference to another but even being unwilling to try to make a connection (and dare I say learn from?) at all. Diabetes brought friends into my life that I would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise, but still it is not the only thing our friendships are about.
So yes, I let Wendy check me in the middle of the night when I stay at her house and she may have access to the cloud data for my CGM so she can watch me while I drive – because it helps her worry less about me. But we also go on late night ice cream runs and she refuses to carb count a shared meal for me when her daughter isn’t home. And we stay up far to late at night talking and don’t make it out the door until after lunchtime the next day.
I have friends that I met because we lived in the same neighborhood, friends that came from being forced to sit next to each other in a class, friends that developed out of working in the same place, and friends that I found because we are somehow connected to the same frustrating disease.
Most friendships begin because we share something in common, but how sad if that we can’t look beyond simple disease classifications.