Wow, where has the time gone. Last week and this week have gone by fast. I've been really busy, like stupid busy. You know when you have annoying things that need to be done that take up a lot of time? I've been checking those off my list over the last week. These chores have included mopping the floors, catching up on A LOT of laundry, giving the dog a bath, going through everything to give as donation items to the Disabled Veterans organization, yard work, sending out birthday cards that I'm SUPER late on getting out, and tonight, detailing the inside of my car for about 2 1/2 hours (it's spotless- just the way I like it).
I've also been picking up various volunteer shifts at my church; two every weekend. This weekend I will be volunteering at the Humane Society's Walk for Animals in addition to my 2 shifts at the church. I'm on poop bag patrol; a position I've held all but two years since 2002. Don't believe me?
Which leads me into what I wanted to talk about. Conversation pieces. How your diabetes equipment can be a tool for meeting new people. During my first 6 shifts of volunteer work, I've met a lot of new people; people that I would normally never have the opportunity to meet; people that run in different circles than I do. I've had numerous strangers approach me to ask "what that is on my arm" which is my Omnipod, of course. It's been such a blessing to meet so many nice people who are genuinely curious about type 1 diabetes. I've had the opportunity to dispel many of the misconceptions held about type 1. My experience has been that no one that has approached me has bad intentions or is a rude person on purpose; they are truly just confused about diabetes. People, in general, have kind hearts I think. And it's nice to know that there are many people out there who now know (thanks to the bravery they had to come up to me and ask) that you can get type 1 as an adult (it's not just a childhood-diagnosed disease nor do you outgrow it), that you can be "skinny" and have diabetes, and that some kinds of diabetes are not managed or caused by diet and exercise (or lack thereof). People are kind and will even ask me "Can I ask you something about your diabetes?" as if they are afraid of offending me. My answer is always OF COURSE you can! I am not ashamed to have diabetes and you can ask me what you want.
I kind of suspect that God put me in a position to volunteer, not solely to help out non-profit organizations, but to help get the word out about type 1 diabetes. Because I've had more conversations about it with strangers in the last 3 weeks than I've had in the last two years. What a great opportunity! It's also helped me in ways that I can't express. It's made my heart feel 5X bigger.
I'm feeling stronger than ever. Maybe it was the insensitive comment made by my healthcare provider during a routine endo appointment yesterday (she said there was just no way she could ever do what I do with having to manage two medical diets). You could see the relief on her face that she didn't have to. Guess what, chick, you'd do it too if you had to, and what a horrible mean thing to say to someone who HAS to. Pretty crazy when the rudest people you encounter as a diabetic are your healthcare providers. Don't worry about me though; what she said made me feel stronger that I am able to do it and that most of the time, don't mind doing it.
Have you ever heard this song? If you have not, I strongly encourage you to play the short video below. The words PERFECTLY apply to a person who has a chronic illness like 'betes or celiac, like moi. And you.
The diabetes roller coaster can bring you up and down so easily, and it's nearly impossible to always have a good frame of mind about it. I hope that whatever you're going through right now that this song will help bring you reassurance that things will be ok. Just hang on.