My running, cycling, photography, high school and university friends.
Not only am I very lucky but I am also keenly aware of how lucky I am which, in many ways, may be even more important.
My relationships with each of these people vary but they all centre around sharing special moments, mutual interests, adventures, and challenges.
No matter who I'm with or what we are doing; whether it's sharing a meal, a race, a curling game or a photo shoot - one thing that has always been mine, and mine alone, is my diabetes.
I don't hide it. I will talk about it with anyone who asks. I try to explain and answer questions as best I can to help make this invisible disease a little more accessible. Many people do what they can to help me. They carry my extra carbs during long runs, tell me every ingredient that went into the dinner they prepared for me, or simply keep an extra close eye on me when I pull out a pack of fast acting carbs during a cycling stop.
But no one is involved in the daily minutiae that is diabetes. No one counts my carbs for me, figures out how to adjust insulin for longer and longer runs, helps me calculate how many carbs I need to avert a low or keeps track of the things I've learned.
It's all me.
And I'm ok with that. I'm stubborn and fiercely independent and would probably get rather annoyed if someone started questioning my carb counting. So I do it alone. I experiment, learn, file knowledge away for next time and try again. And again.
Today I learned a valuable lesson in looking to others for advice.
I read Scully's blog about her Around the Bay adventure yesterday. She also ran the 30k for the first time and she is also type 1 on the insulin pump. My diabetes did not cooperate during the race yesterday. But hers did - amazingly so.
Even more amazing was that she sent me an email explaining in great detail all of the adjustments she has learned to make to her insulin when she runs. Heck, I thought I was good because I adjusted my basal rates consistently and rarely had lows during runs. Well, Scully has this entire routine of basal adjustments that she has worked out for herself. They don't always work (which is not surprising since diabetes is not known as being a disease that plays fair) but they often do.
And she shared that knowledge.
And I listened.
And I get that she gets it.
And that's awesome.
So now I have a new kinda of friend to add to my friend list. I have a friend with diabetes. And, while we share other interests as well, it's really nice to share that one.