From Abby: First Day on the Job.
Abby is officially working as a Registered Nurse, and in the last few weeks, she's moved to a new state and started her new job. Lots of change on tap for her. Today, she's sharing a little bit about her first day on the job and how a little diabetes understanding eased her through her first few hours.
My first day of orientation at my new job brought a lot of stress. From getting on the shuttle bus and asking a total stranger if I couild sit with her, to sitting through a lecture about the Nurses Union I now belong to while having no idea what they were talking about, to that low blood sugar that hit right before our lunch break.
Luckily, that day I sat next to a nurse who I had had a "pre-orientation" meeting with, so I was a little more comfortable in this room filled with 75+ strangers (and at a table near a super cute male nurse - made the boring day a little less boring). Through chatting with her, I found out that her husband has type 2 diabetes, so she knows what this whole diabetes thing is all about. I told her what my Dexcom receiver was (I had it sitting next to my coffee on the table) so that she wouldn't think I was texting throughout the lectures. (And then we talked about how ridiculous it was that the muffins provided for breakfast were covered in brown sugar on top.)
Then I saw that 54 mg/dL on my Dex about 15 minutes before the scheduled lunch break. As I chomped on two glucose tabs (I was symptom-free at this point) my new nursefriend next to me looked over at me. She looked down at my Dexcom, studied my face for a few nurse-seconds and said:
"Are you okay?"
I nodded, and continued chomping.
Then the nursefriend just smiled, and went back to listening about parking passes.
If you have diabetes, you know why this made me feel so comfortable. There was no stress from her side conveyed to me. She didn't freak out and ask someone for juice. At no point did she have a worried look on her face. She just knew. My new nursefriend understood that those three words - "Are you okay?" - were all it took. If I needed help, she gave me the opportunity ask, but she also gave me the opportunity to take care of myself, knowing that someone was looking out for me at the same time.
I'm quite sure that it is extremely difficult to be a person who cares about someone with diabetes, without actually having it yourself. One minute, we want you to fall all over our low blood sugars and and stop time to help us, and the next minute we want you to completely ignore the fact that we even have diabetes. And there is no reason for us to feel this way; we just do and probably always will. But sometimes you type 3s get it spot on. You just know what way to react is best, every time, and for that I am grateful.
New nursefriend's future patients sure are lucky to have her.
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Again, Abby, I'll assert that your future patients are lucky to have YOU. And for others who are disclosing and dealing with diabetes in new situations, how do you prefer people handle your diabetes?