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Posts tagged ‘PWD in the wild’

Diabetes Dominator.

It’s nice to talk with other people who have diabetes.  It’s even better to laugh with other people who have diabetes, finding some levity in the diabetes moments that seem like they’re shuttling towards chaos.  And a few weeks ago, I had the chance to both talk and laugh (hard) with the Diabetes Dominator herself, Daniele Hargenrader.

We talked about a broad range of topics, from diabetes diagnosis to growing up, from intimacy and diabetes to my sloppy swipe at tips for people living with diabetes.  And it was fun.  She’s a force to be reckoned with, and I’m really happy she asked me to visit her video series.

For more from Daniele, you can check out her website.  Thanks for watching (and thanks to Daniele for not yelling at me for talking too fast).


“How long have you been on the pump?”

He stood next to his car, holding the gas pump to his tank, filling up his car while I was putting my debit card into the console near my car.

“I’m sorry?”

“Insulin pump.  How long for you?  I just got mine a few weeks ago.”

“Oh, I’m sorry!  I thought you meant like here, at this gas pump.  Yeah, I guess you can sort of see it, huh?”  I was wearing running shorts and a t-shirt, with the outline of my pump and CGM clearly visible underneath my clothes.  The tubing made a brief appearance underneath the edge of my shirt, even though I made an effort to tuck it away.  “About ten years.  I’ve been diabetic for twenty-seven years.”

“I was diagnosed about two years ago.  Started pumping recently.”

“Yeah?  How do you like it so far?”

“It’s good.  Better than injections, that’s for sure.”  He nodded towards my car, where Birdy was buckled in and talking incessantly about how I was putting gas in the car and how the gas makes the car go and soon we would go to the park and she could ride her bike and did that man have a bike, Mawm?

“Is that your daughter?  How old is she?”

“She’s three and a half.”

Does she have diabetes?”

“No, she doesn’t.”

“Yeah, I first learned about diabetes when my daughter was diagnosed, several years ago.  She was two, at the time.”

I didn’t know what to say.  Birdy filled in the awkward silence by yelling, “Hey, I see his pump!!  That mans has a pump, like your pump!”  The gas station stranger laughed, snapping the door shut on his gas tank.

“She’s got a good eye.  Have a good day, and good luck to you and your daughter.”

“Thanks.  Congrats on your new technology.  I hope it works well for you.”

He went inside the gas station to pay, and I finished up, climbing back into my car and buckling in.

“Mawm, he has the diabeedles like you do.  I saw his pump.  It was black, and yours is silver.  He needs to be careful in case his bwood sugar gets whoa.  Does he know the glucose tab man?  He should call him.”

My type 1 diabetes is often invisible, and evidence of its presence in my body is currently, and thankfully, limited to medical devices I chose to use to make diabetes management easier.  Going on a pump was a tough decision, and one I made as an adult, after seventeen years of insulin injections.  My pump and my CGM are external “symptoms” of diabetes, and sometimes they frustrate the hell out of me.  But other times, they make diabetes less invisible for just a moment, letting kindred spirits connect in the wild.

In other words, it was two pumpers meeting at the pump.  That’s a nice, full-circle moment, right there.

Pumped for the Pizza Man.

The oven broke.

It took me a while to notice, because it was upwards of 90 degrees inside of my house (no central air … we will not be making this mistake with our next house), but once I realized the stove was kaput, it was about 6.30 pm and very much time for Birdzone’s dinner.  While I’d like to say that I walked out to our garden and picked enough fresh green beans, tomatoes, and lettuce for a healthy salad, then followed up with chicken on the grill, with a dessert of fresh blackberries and cream, I can’t.  Because I never ended up planting the garden I wanted to (too much time on the road) and we don’t have a grill (still haven’t bought one) and the frigging birds keep snaking our blackberries so, to this day, I haven’t had a single blackberry from the huge bush outside due to the aforementioned dickheaded birds. /digression

So we ordered a pizza.  Judge all you want.

Birdy and I were playing in her air-conditioned room when the door bell rang, signaling the arrival of the pizza man.

“The pizza man is here!”  Birdy opened her door and let in the dragon-breath heat from the kitchen, scurrying towards our front door with her yellow Batman Princess tutu flapping at her waist.  (She wears pieces of that costume all the time.  Even the itchy bits.)  I handed her a few dollars so that she could tip the delivery person.

I opened the door and the guy handed us our pizza and drinks.

“Here you go, miss.  It’s hot, isn’t it!”  It wasn’t a statement, but a declaration, as the heat was undeniable.

“Yeah.  Our stove broke, so there was even less of a chance of me cooking.”

He smiled as Birdy said, “Hi!” from behind my legs and darted out to hand him the money.

“Thank you … um, Batman,” he said, slightly confused but offering her a friendly smile.

“You’re welcome!”  and she took off.  I thanked him, and shut the door.  A few seconds later, the door bell rang again.  (The pizza man always rings twice?)

“Hi again.  Sorry, but I forgot to have you sign the debit card slip.”  He handed me a slip of paper, and as I signed it, he asked, “Do you have diabetes?”

“Excuse me?”

“Diabetes.  Do you have diabetes?  I noticed the sticker on your car said ‘insulin’ or something on it, and I wondered if you were diabetic.”

I laughed, surprised.  “Yes, I do have diabetes.  Type 1, diagnosed as a kid.  Do you?”

“Yeah.  Diagnosed as a kid, too.”  He reached into the pocket of his cargo shorts and pulled out a Minimed insulin pump.  “I’ve been pumping for about six years.”

I lifted the corner of my shirt and flashed him my silver Animas Ping.  “Almost ten years for me.   Small world!  And that sticker on my car is for Insulindependence.  It’s a diabetes organization focusing on sports and exercise.”

“Cool – I’ll check it out,” he said, winding his pump tubing around his fingers as he shoved the pump back into his pocket.

“Cool.”  I paused, and the words tumbled out like I was confessing.  “I don’t normally eat pizza, you know.”

The pizza man grinned.  “It’s like the most complicated bolus ever.  No matter what, I never get it totally right.”  He started to walk back towards his car, waving at Birdy.  “Have a good night!  Stay cool!”

Birdy appeared from behind the door.  “Mawm, he had a pump, too!  He has diabeedles!”

“He does!”

The diabetes world is a small, small one.  Never before had I been so pumped to see the pizza man.

(Yes.  We went all that way for a horrible pun.)

Also, today has been unofficially designated as a “day to check in” (hat tip to Chris Snider) with the DOC blogs that we’re reading.  I read a lot of diabetes blogs, but I don’t often comment because I usually want to say something meaningful, instead of “I like your post.”  (But I do like your post!)  But instead of finding that meaningful comment, I usually roll on and forget to return to comment.  NOT TODAY!  Today I’m commenting on every blog I read, because that’s the name of the game.  I love this community, and today I’ll show that through comments.  So please – if you’re here, say hello!  What’s your favorite color?



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