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Share Your Thoughts!

October 30, 2007


I am writing an article for JDRF on my favorite diabetes subject: meeting others with diabetes.

Although I know a lot about this topic, I can’t exactly write it all from my point-of-view.

If you’re interested, please email or comment with 3-5 sentences about how you have met people with diabetes (support group, Walks, freakishly random encounters at houseparties…) and why you think meeting people in real life is important as opposed to just on the Internet. Obviously meeting people is important no matter how you do it, but the article is about the real life relationships, so please try to stay focused on those experiences.

Please send them to me as soon as possible, I’d like to have a collection by tomorrow night.

If you have any questions, you know how to reach me!

Wednesday morning edit:  If any of you have stories about actually becoming friends with either people with diabetes, I would love to hear about that as well. I need a mix of both chance encounters and real relationships, so please keep that in mind. Thanks!

  1. Amalas permalink
    October 30, 2007 4:34 PM

    My first meeting with a real-life diabetic was completely by accident. I was at a BBQ at my husband’s church and when they served us, I requested no bun for my burger, saying that I was diabetic. The lady was like, “oh really? I’m diabetic too” and whipped out her pump. I got to talk to her later and it was great to finally meet another diabetic in person.

  2. October 30, 2007 6:17 PM

    My first experience of meeting a diabetic with an insulin pump was while I was at college. I had several classes with a woman who I became friends with. One day we were having lunch and she whips out her pump as I whip out my insulin. I had never met anyone on the pump before so I asked lots of questions. I fully believe it was the thing that got me started on my road to switching from MDIs to pump therapy. The older I get and the more people I meet with diabetes, the more I feel normal and accepted. No one but another diabetic can understand the ups and downs and the highs and lows (both figurative and literal) that come with diabetes. One of my best friends’ brother is a diabetic. It’s always a joy to talk with him. Because we relate and understand each other. Another friend of a friend I met had been recently diagnosed with diabetes and had gone on pump therapy. We love to see each other. We just understand. And having that face to face connection makes it that much stronger and better, although I don’t ever discount my online friends who have made my life much more easy to handle.

  3. October 30, 2007 8:09 PM

    My first experience meeting meeting another D was in the ER, about a week after diagnosis. I was getting my electrolytes replenished(somehow, they’d managed to discharge me without correcting everything, later they caught the mistake + ordered us back there) and she was in another room with her nephew. She overheard that I’d just been diagnosed, + told me it wasn’t the end of the world + she was going strong after 20 years. I was impressed, but still not utterly convinced that it wasn’t.(the end of the world) Looking back now, I appreciate the guts it took to come up to a sullen teenager + say what she said. I would love to be that kind of influence on newly dx’d folks, they need that kind of support.

  4. MeadowLark permalink
    October 30, 2007 9:07 PM

    sigh… it seems easy to meet type1’s almost anywhere for me.
    When I say that I’m type2; I always get this look like it is all my fault. Somehow, I really dont think so. Everyone in my family medical history was type1. I think that it didnt hit me til late because I have eaten decent foods most of my adult life. ( my childhood was full of pasta,rice,bread being a poor family, it was whatever will fill the kids up.)
    When I went to my first nutritionist class; I was the youngest one there and not on insulin like all of the other type2 65years and up people. (me being 48) It’s great having the internet to meet other diabetics. I really wish I could meet and “yak” with a few “real people that are diagnosed type2 after 45.”

  5. October 30, 2007 9:21 PM

    In the past 25 years as a Type 1, I’ve met one other Type 1. I worked for a company that was a preferred vendor to Nationwide Insurance. I was in Columbus at Nationwide’s corporate office for a meeting and a young man walked in with MiniMed pump on his belt. I was wearing the same pump. Not only was he a Type 1; we had the same pump. That happened last year; took me 24 years to find another.

  6. October 30, 2007 9:31 PM

    Okay I’ve got another almost sighting. A woman I know had a young son who was ill so she brought him to the emergency ward. His blood sugar was 600. They sent the mother and son home with prescriptions for needles and insulin and some instructions. She called me in a panic and I offered to go over and help her. She said she just had to ask her husband. I thought that was strange. She called back an hour later and said her husband said no. He didn’t want an old friend of hers near her in their house. The guy was very insecure to say the least. That one doesn’t count because I didn’t get to meet the boy. I considered doing some turkey shooting with my 12 gauge at their house. There was definitely a turkey in that house.

  7. October 31, 2007 9:21 PM

    I met one of my best friends one day while I was walking out of class and she was walking into class I believe it was my sohpomore or junior year of high school. We saw each others pumps and talked for a minute. From then on, everyday we would say hi. The JDRF walk took place a month later and I invited her to join my team. We turned out to have a lot more in common after hanging out some. She had always wanted to try basketball and she joined my basketball team. We now have done so many things together – started volleyball, learned to snowboard, and then we just hang out and do everyday things like go to the beach and go shopping. It’s always fun to sit at Ihop and talk about “being high”. That’s one of my stories.
    The other one is that on my soccer team….which has about 35 girls, we had several new girls join who replaced ones who quit last year. In August I was at a soccer tournament and randomly saw one of the girls on my team testing. I think we were both surprised to learn the other was diabetic after practicing the entire summer together and never finding this out.

  8. October 31, 2007 10:22 PM

    I meet a lot of diabetics through random encounters – like the one I met the other day because I could tell she was carrying a UltraSmart meter case. We are coworkers but work in very different departments. We have met together to talk/gripe a few times since then.
    I have also scheduled a few meetings with diabetics I met online. It was amazing to have a ‘real’ conversation with them – the kind where one person says something and then the other person replies immediately! I don’t think I have ever laughed so much about diabetes as I do when I am around other diabetics. It is such a private diease, often times people don’t know you have it unless you tell them. It is very freeing to be around other people who just ‘know’.

    And just tonight I shared some infusion sets with a friend who ran out.

    (Let me know if you need more – I have more stories – like the one about the parent of a CWD who set my mom’s mind at ease when I was first diagnosed.)

  9. October 31, 2007 11:59 PM

    I’ve met people with diabetes from looking for opportunities. Once at diabetes advocacy training at Lilly HQ in the late 1990s. Several times as a result of helping to organize Diabetes Day on the Hill in Massachusetts. We were working to get better diabetes insurance coverage in MA and we finally succeeded. Attending diabetes support groups and most recently a diabetes pumpers group that meets in Woburn Massachusetts once a month.

    I’ve always learned something new about diabetes at these meetings. New techniques or tools, new ways to better handle the disease. I also think it’s liberating to spend time with others who have diabetes when you’re all eating together. You can compare equipment and no-one needs to worry about blood sugar testing or injecting because everyone else is doing it.

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