What brings us together

Well yesterday at the hospital I work at I was walking back from the cafeteria with a co-worker. I know a lot of people there because the job I do, but today was a little different. My co-worker Jeff is a long time diabetic on the same pump I am. He was asking me questions on my CGM because he wants to get onto it. We passed a girl that I know from a different site… and yes she was a pumper too! She asked how I was and all we talked about was our experiences with our pumps. Another lady walked up behind I have known for a few years but had no idea she was a D educator and she never knew that I was a diabetic. She asked me to be part of her classes for the kids she works with.

I had another one of these D meetings today. I was working in a clinic after hours installing a computer and I heard something in the hallway. I made myself known that I was there and he walked back. I recognized the name but not the face Dr. Twist. He is a urologist and guess what? Yes he had a pump on his side too!! And I said “so you too huh?” Showing him mine… and he said “yep… since I was in my 20’s in med school” we had a conversation about the struggles with D… he told me that dealing with D is the hardest thing he ever had to do. I expressed that to see someone with his training and expertise first hand experience with D makes him a better Dr.

I came home tonight to turn on the TV and seen a story on the news about a new friend of mine on facebook “The World Guy” Eric Bendl who walks from state to state to raise awareness of D. This disease effects SOO many of us but is also a fiber that binds us all together. We don’t have to do it alone. Not now, Not Ever!

Wow! A great day!!!


After many years of feeling lonely with diabetes, I always smile at stories about diabetes sightings in real life! I like your phrase: “a fiber that binds us all together!”

I am glad to hear from a medical professional that it is the hardest thing he has ever had to deal with. Wish friends and family understood that.

Funny you point this out, Robert… it turns out a couple of days ago, we uploaded the video of the World Guy on our Videos section. You can see it featured on our home page, on the left side… inspiring!!

diabetes sightings? so we’re like bigfoot now? lol

“theres one! Quick, get a picture!”

I wrote a really cool reply w/ my encounters w/ other PWD this AM but deleted it by accident and then got roped into that other thread pretty much all day. In sum, I haven’t met too many. I think that it would behoove a lot of medical people to show us more respect. Their whole thing always seems like “oh, you have diabetes? punt” and just go through the motions about stuff a lot of the time.

Like Kristin said (I’m thinking the same words here) WOW! A great day!!!

Ditto. My non-diabetic sister’s an RN and she seems to think that it should be so easy to manage all this. I can hear the skepticism in her voice every time I talk about hypos or morning highs or anxiety about complications in the future. It’s like I can see a cartoon “thought bubble” over her head saying, “Geez, how hard could it be? Eat right, exercise and take your meds. Simple.”

It’s nice to hear that even a doctor finds it hard. Because you know what? It IS hard.

Robert G, thanks for your post. I feel much less scared and isolated since I found TuDiabetes.

I felt so very, very alone before I found this site.

Yes, pretty much!

But once you’ve seen a 5 year old completely light up because she realized that you’re wearing the same pump that she is… you realize that it is pretty amazing to run into another… especially for some kids :slight_smile:

Jean, shame on your sister for thinking this especially considering she is a RN. Diabetes regardless of the type is never easy or simple. The body and the mind create challenges constantly despite due diligence and then add in the being human factor.

My personal favorite is when people say " you don’t look like a diabetic". I always ask ,what are we supposed to look like?

In my Saturday morning yoga class, two of us spotted each other (“a diabetic sighting”) because we wear insulin pumps. Then I invited R to join the newly formed Type 1 women’s group that meets in Berkeley, run by TuD member/excellent contributor Zoe. Then yesterday, R and I, along with two others from the Type 1 women’s group attended the Taking Control of Your Diabetes (run by Dr. Steve Edelman, an endo who has Type 1). Oh, it is good to be “brought together.”

At the whole foods store Ive shopped at for about 3 years, an employee was very helpful to me. Because when my son was dx’d 14 mos. ago I went to the store the day after we were released from the hospital. There standing in the sugar-free aisle I was utterly stupified. I knew how to make healthy choices, but if he wanted a treat, chips, syrup what then?!? Someone noticed I looked needed help, I told him about my son and he brought over Brian who was type1 since age 6. We talked a long time about all I had questions about. We found out the we had the same gym, and the next day we met there with my son just so he could meet someone else will type1. We got tips, we saw his insulin pens(said he just never wanted to go on a pump) and even though are understanding of D was in its earliest stage (he was down to the 400-300 at that time, I even thought hypo-whats that, oh he’ll never that LOL). Meeting another helped us feel better about the disease. Ever since I never miss the opprotunity to speak to someone who knows about the Big D. And thats why I’m so glad to have found this great community.

I think the “being human” factor is what is hardest for non-diabetic medical professionals to comprehend.

I’ve even had a doctor tell me once, “I tried writing everything I eat down for two weeks – it was too hard.” I had to laugh. I thought, try being a diabetic on MDI or a pump for just 48 hours.

I think this should be a requirement before a doctor can get licensed to treat diabetics:

Give them a test kit, some syringes and a bottle of sterile saline and let them be us for two weeks. Test five to eight times per day, inject four to six times per day. Write everything down – to the IU, the md/dl, the minute. Everything. Calculate each meal and each shot. Weigh and measure – or skip it if you can’t be sure what’s in it. Try to get the timing perfect no matter what else is going on.

Even without the threats of hypos, DKA and complications over their heads, they might learn something about the constant vigilance required.

And NO CHEATING doctors – because diabetes never takes a break.

Better yet, let them try it for 90 days – they should be good and humbled by their many mistakes by then. ;0)

Maybe they could program the test kits to throw a high or a low at them once in a while FOR NO REASON and let them suffer through that feeling of failure despite all their best efforts.

Jean, I so agree, but let them have a day or two of roller coaster blood blood sugars not just an occasional high or low. That will humble them quickly. I am so lucky that I have an Endo and a CDE that do understand how difficult it can be.

I once made a 6 year old light up because we used the SAME syringes (I think that all syringes looks the same). I wrote a blog post about it here.

Thank you everyone! TuD has helped me to open up with others and to be fortunate enough for others to open to me about their live with D… There is so much we can do to help ourselves and others with D and it all starts with reaching out!