Diabetes pops up in the weirdest places, and while the snow is falling here in New York City, I remember two summers ago, when it was 98 degrees in the morning when we woke up. (I hate swelteringly hot weather. Not my thing.) Today, I’m looking back at the day the oven broke and the pizza man rang twice.
* * *
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?”
“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!”
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.)