My other blog has been dismantled, so I’m republishing my last entry Here, on New Blog. I apologize for the repeat performance. New, fresh material coming soon. Promise.
Aside from the normal perimeters of a friendship, like the endless phone calls about a breakup, potential new job opportunity, a new relationship or the stupid thing I said in front of fifty people at work, my friends take special note of my needs as a diabetic.
It’s hard to put myself in their place, meeting Me for the first time and knowing nothing about diabetes. Most people have an aunt or a grandfather who- and this is verbatim almost every time- “had diabetes but died from it.” According to the people in my circles, no one knows a living diabetic. They’re all dead. The one person who did know a young diabetic, and one on the pump as well, didn’t have any real information on the disease. “She wore a pump, yeah. And one time, when she was really angry, I saw her throw pumpkins at her boyfriend.”
Because that’s normal.
So these people who meet me are finding, for what appears to be the first time, a diabetic peer. Not some old person in the twilight of their lives. So I go out to dinner with them. And work beside them. And go to concerts with them.
I went to see Muse at Providence College a few weekends ago. My friend “Batman” (I am reluctant to post names on this site … hey Batman, if it’s okay to call you by Real Name on here, post me. But for now, you remain Batman.) and I went. She’s a good kid. The kind of friend that asks fifty million questions about the disease – “Is 145 mg/dl high??” “Do you need juice?” “Are you low or just being weird?” “Do you want a cookie for fun or to treat a low?” – and then, once she’s comfortable, the girl is Prepared. At all times. Even when I’m not with her. She’s pulled squashed, month old granola bars from the depths of her purse, exclaiming, “Hey, I threw this in here in case you got low.” This is the same girl who keeps Equal in her wallet when we go to dinner. What’s my point about Muse? I’m getting there.
So we’re at the concert. And there are people bouncing about everywhere. Tiny little girls. Huge, hulking college boys. And everyone in between. Batman and I are close to the stage, and the ever annoying Mosh Pit breaks out to my right. I don’t think much of it, but Batman leaps Ninja Style in front of me, blocking my body with her outstretched arms.
“What the hell are you doing?”
She pushed a guy back into the throng as she answered over her shoulder. “Your pump! It’s in your right hand pocket. I don’t want it to get crushed.”
And I reveled in the way her kind heart works as she protected me and my machine from the dancing masses. Batman’s a good kid.
This is the way my friends react. As though it’s natural to have two bottles of juice roaming around unsupervised in their cars in case I become low. As though it’s natural to make a big dinner and have the carbohydrate content worked out in advance so I can bolus for it. As though it’s normal to jump in front of the Mosh Pit to protect my pump.
They make me feel like it’s normal to be diabetic.
And I love them dearly for this.
(I would never throw a pumpkin.)