That's why it's particularly shocking that, on Monday night at 8pm, I was sitting in Starbucks. With four complete strangers.
When I got there, there were two people already sitting at a table. They both looked at me - and I looked at them. Is it them? I asked the most obvious question I could think of to make sure I was at the right table "Hi, do you guys have diabetes?".
I'm happy to report that I was indeed at the right table. It would have been pretty awkward if I wasn't non? I introduced myself to Shannon and Peter, grabbed my steamed milk with a shot of vanilla and met the last two recruits, Tanya and Greg, when they walked in a few minutes later.
The first meeting of the T1s of Niagara group had officially come to order.
What a random band of ragamuffins we were. Diabetes brought us together and, even though we all ended up at that Starbucks table on a Monday night in April, it was quite obvious that everyone's journey to get there was utterly unique
Three of us were diagnosed as kids. Two of us were not.
Three of us went to diabetes camp. Two us of did not.
Two of us are on the pump. Three of us are not.
Two of us have diabetes complications. Three of us do not.
Two people have had diabetes for so long that they remember urine testing rather than blood glucose testing. Another remembers having to wait two whole minutes for the glucometer to give the blood sugar reading. When I was diagnosed, glucometers took 30 seconds to spit out the number. Now, it's five seconds.
We learned that those of us who were diagnosed as adults have a different take on how important it is to be as healthy as possible compared to those who have never known anything but diabetes. Those of us who were diagnosed as kids are more worried about complications - those of us diagnosed as adults are more worried - period.
We learned that it never really gets easier, no matter how long you have diabetes. Whether we've had it for three years or 36 years - we still struggle with the same ups and downs.
We talked about how annoying it is when diabetes is described as a 'condition'. For the record: a disease is an illness and a condition is the state of someone's health. So when people say things like 'because of your condition blah blah blah' we get annoyed. And rightfully so.
We agreed that diabetes makes us tough as nails and there isn't much that scares us anymore.
We compared doctors. We compared horror stories.
All in just over an hour.
It's a very interesting social experiment when you think about it. Five complete strangers who really don't have that much in common sit around a table and bond in a way most people never do simply because we all have a busted pancreas.
That's pretty cool.
And I can't wait to be out late on a school night to do it again.