Do you know what I really like?
I like it when people recognize the seriousness of a situation and yet can still laugh about it. Gut busting belly laugh about it.
Not everyone knows this but I have a sarcastic, irreverant and often downright dark sense of humour. I normally tone it down a bit so that I don't horrify people.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling frisky, I'll toss out a random comment just to test the waters a bit.
Yesterday I was at a meeting in Hamilton. There were eight ladies there, myself included. We all have the same quality improvement type jobs in our respective agencies and we get together every three months to share resources, brainstorm and enjoy being in the company of other people who 'get it'.
At the end of the day, I was asked to do something for the next meeting. I joked and said no. One lady offered to bake me cookies if I would only agree. So I responded with "Oh right, feed cookies to the diabetic. Are you trying to kill me??"
Some people would have been horrified if I said that to them.
Others would have been horrified that I would joke about something sooooooo serious.
Not these ladies. Instead of horror, the entire room erupted in laugher and teasing comments. "Oh just pump some more drugs into your system. I saw you steal a cookie earlier and you're still alive. Just run around the block a few times." etc etc.
They all know what diabetes is. They know how serious it can be. And yet they all laughed and joked right along with me.
I love that.
You know what else I really appreciate? People who ask questions.
Some people watch me out of the corner of their eye when I check my sugar, push random buttons on my pump or pull out a bag of candies. Other people jump right in and ask questions. "Is that a pump? How does it work? Really, it's attached all the time?"
Yes, I will be the first to admit that some questions are frustrating.
"You're allowed to eat that?"
"Why do you have diabetes? I thought you were healthy?"
"So, your diabetes must have really been out of control if they put you on the pump."
It's frustrating because people often don't understand what diabetes is really all about. The questions that I get asked sometimes clearly show that and it's hard not to take the comments personally. But they're asking questions which is the most important part because it gets the dialogue going. And there is no such thing as a stupid question. So I answer them. Each and every one.
I hope that, by the end of the conversation, people know a little more about me and about diabetes. I hope that they understand a little more. And I hope that they won't be quite so horrified the next time I say "My sugar's 3.1. Anyone have anything they want to say to me in case I don't pull through?"