Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some people get it

I know as a community we encounter so many people that just don't get what Type 1 Diabetes is. And that's why it is always such a pleasant surprise when you run into someone that gets what you're talking about, even though they have no first hand experience.

It happened to me last Friday. Elise and I ducked into Old Navy really quickly right before lunch because they had $2 costumes and t-shirts. And what penny-pincher can pass up a deal like that?

They had one costume left, and it was 4T/5T... score! I also grabbed a shirt and headed to the front of the store to pay, where I was greeted by enormous lines. I hopped into the shortest line, but failed to notice the lady in front of me had a shopping cart FULL of clothes.

I was getting nervous because the clock was inching closer and closer to noon (when Elise's NPH is peaking). The lady and I struck up a conversation, and at one point she must have noticed my "pee-pee" dance (okay, it's not exactly the same, but does involve a lot of fidgeting, glancing at the clock on my cell pone and staring at Elise for a telltale sign of a low), and she asked if I was okay.

I told her that I was trying to get out of the store so I could get up to Chick-fil-a by noon. I then hesitated, wondering if I wanted to open the diabetes can of worms. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, "my daughter has diabetes and needs to eat at a certain time because of the type of insulin she takes."

Yeah, I know. That's a lot to spew out to a complete stranger.

But she immediately grabbed her purse and said, "oh my gosh, I would have let you in front of me if I had known that, but she's halfway ringing me through. I have some fruit gummies in my purse if she needs them."

After picking myself up off the floor, I told her we should be okay, but I was just going to check her to be on the safe side. Elise was 110, and that was just too close for me to stay any longer. I asked the lady if she had any experience with type 1, and she replied that no, but she had read some things about it.

It turned out that the cashier would hold my stuff until I could come back after lunch, so I raced out of there to get Elise her lunch.

Yes... so many people out there DON'T get it. But when you meet someone who does (and has no actual experience), it sure does feel good.


  1. boy it sure does . a fella at the airport got it for sure . an airport security officer pulled me out of line and asked me why I had syringes and insulin and glucose tabs and I am like uh duh im type 1 diabetic . Okay well we need to confirm that . well to make a long story short we missed our flight and I was too upset so we just cancelled our trip right then and there and I will never understand some ppl . I have not flown in yrs because of that and never will again I dont think . I was so embarassed and humiliated . and a man behind me said for gods sake she is a diabetic not a terrorist let us go . He was very upset with airport security and telling the security guy he was a hitler .

  2. And the people who really got it would roll out a red carpet for you and Elise and give you your own check-out line! The people who don't have a clue on it don't even know how lucky they are to be clueless.
    Glad for your bright spot in ON...and sounds like a great deal on the costumes, too!

  3. I am so glad to hear of people who are caring... I needed to hear your story today.... It gives me hope.

    My son was diagnosed on Oct 1 09 and all but 2 of our friends stay away from us like we have the plague (homeschoolers to boot!)

  4. @ Author - I am so sorry to hear of your son's diagnosis. How old
    is he?

    We also have friends that don't get it, but over time have made a whole new set of friends that are way more understanding. Where are you located?

    I hope things are going well, or as well as they can be when you're thrown into the crazy world of diabetes head-first with no safety net. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help from my little corner of the world.

  5. Yes! It sure does! You just want to hug them tight dontcha? :)

  6. I had a doc appt with a new doc last friday and we were talking about kids. I mentioned Syd had Type 1 and she totally got it. Her daughter has an autoimmune disease too. She knew lots of things and it was SO SO SO refreshing to talk to someone who got it. I didn't have to explain anything. So glad you got that experience too!!

  7. Hi Joanne,
    Tyler turned 14 yesterday. We live in No. Cal in the sierra's.

    I believe we have a whole new set of friends waiting for us.... I am also mourning the loss of friends I thought we had.

    My 2 other kids are having a tough time with it all, and the extra attn. Tyler is getting.
    We are taking one day at a time......

  8. @ Author - I couldn't imagine dealing with a diagnosis and having more than one child. I know it might not feel like it's ever going to get better, but it will. You just get used to a "new normal". For us it took about 6 months for the shock to wear off and find our groove.

    My advice is to just read as much as possible about this disease and figure out what works for Tyler. And find support wherever you can. For us, it's right here on the internet. Our friends that do not deal with this on a daily basis do not understand and never will. They try, but it does fall short.

    I have found the best people through blogging. I hope that when things settle down, you will have the time to join us!

  9. Got the super uber cool shirts :)

    I loved this story...I totally needed a heartwarming fuzzy today!

  10. Thanks for your kind word Joanne... I'll keep in touch.


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