Monday, November 21, 2011

Just One Of The Crowd

I met some cool people this weekend.  Some were athletes.  Some were moms.  Some were high school or university students.  One was six years old with a green belt in Tai Kwon Do and another was a lawyer by day and a jazz singer by night.

All have one thing in common.

All have Type 1 diabetes.

Mount Sinai Hospital hosted the Annual Type 1 Diabetes Update on Saturday.  Doug and I made the trip up to see what it was all about.

It was pretty cool actually.  Walking into a room full of diabetics is pretty awesome.  Little kids, seniors and everyone in between was there - rocking their insulin pumps.  In fact, sitting in the auditorium during the presentations, I kept hearing the familiar beep of an insulin pump and it felt oddly comforting.

One guy I met, a marathoner and triathlete, was diagnosed two weeks ago.  We chatted for a bit and I assured him that yes, he can still do the things he loves but no, he probably won't go for runs or bike rides without stuffing his pockets full of carbs.  We laughed about how much easier it is for girls to have diabetes - they can stuff all their paraphernalia into their purses.  What do guys do with all their stuff anyway??

Animas was a major sponsor so they had a cool display with their new insulin pumps.  The pumps were submerged in large tubes of water - a pretty effective demonstration of their waterproofness.  It got me thinking.  When I had to decide on the pump I was going to get two and a half years ago - I weighed the options.  Here's what it came down to: Animas was water proof and Medtronic had the option of a continuous glucose monitor.  I didn't really see how waterproof was important given my lifestyle at the time and a continuous glucose monitor sounded pretty useful.

Two and a half years later - I am a swimmer - and I really dislike the CGM so I never use it.  Oh well, by the time I can get a new pump in another 2 1/2 years, the ones I saw on Saturday will be pretty outdated too.  Wonder what the newest features will be then?

Saturday was a pretty empowering day.  It helped me appreciate how important it is to find people like me.  I hang out with runners and photographers - people like me.  I have seen first hand how fun it can be to talk to people who understand running lingo and photography terms. Before this year, I had never met another person with type 1 diabetes.  I did not know that the DOC existed.  I had lots of people who understood lots of parts of me but, when it came to diabetes, I was pretty much alone.

Not anymore!

Hanging out with people with diabetes was pretty cathartic and it's so nice to feel 'normal'.  In fact, that's the most important lesson I took from Saturday - I'm ok.  I'm doing most things right and, when things go wrong anyway, that's normal.  Every story that someone told had all of us nodding our heads and laughing in unison.  Yep - we understood each other.

That's pretty powerful.

Oh, and guess who Scully and I got to meet?

The famous Kerri from Six Until Me


  1. Sounds like you had a great time. Isn't Kerri swell?

    And you *are* ok. Actually, you're pretty awesome!

  2. I don't think I could have said it better! It was nice to see everybody and I love that I have friends in the diabetes community now. Online and off!
    Guess I should stop procrastinating my own write up.