Last night, my oldest kid and I went out for a mommy-and-daughter dinner date. Our waitress was a student at the local university, and very nice.
She took our order (“Wow, your kid chooses broccoli over french fries! I’m impressed!”) and then turned to go back to the waitstaff station.
“MOM,” Birdy stage whispered at me. “She has a Dexcom on her arm.”
I looked over and, sure enough, there was a G6 sensor visible just beneath the sleeve of the waitress’s short-sleeved shirt.
“Oh yeah! I see it!”
“Are you going to tell her you wear one when she comes back?”
“Sure, I can do that.”
The waitress came back over and brought our drinks. “I noticed your Dexcom; I wear one, too.”
Her face brightened. “Hey, that’s awesome! I like it wearing it on my arm. But you know, sometimes I have trouble keeping the sensors stuck.”
We spoke in diabetes shorthand for less than a minute, comparing favorite adhesive overlay tapes and body real estate options. She pantomimed carefully putting on a shirt to show how sometimes her sensor gets stuck on the sleeve hem. I pantomimed pulling down a pair of pants by exaggeratedly stretching out the waist to show how to avoid pulling off the sensor from my thigh. She told me about the random guy at a bar who showed off his insulin pump after seeing her Dexcom sensor. We laughed at the absurdity of the whole robot-life thing.
My daughter watched us, two strangers fluent in the same language.
We ordered our meal. It came, we ate it, and we paid the bill. I left an excessively large tip because college students with diabetes are paying for more than just books.
We’re everywhere. These chance encounters, these shared experiences where two people with diabetes take a minute to speak that experiential diabetes shorthand and share a moment of connection without sharing our first names … they are what make this greater diabetes community remarkable.