Every once in a while I get to talk to someone who shares something in common with me. Perhaps it's a love of running. Or of open water swimming. Or perhaps it's a faulty pancreas.
Last weekend I met up with a few high school friends for lunch. One of my friends brought his partner along. His partner, a great guy as it turns out, alluded to some health issues he had recently had, I asked a few questions and the next thing I knew we were talking about faulty pancreases (pancrei?).
He doesn't have type 1 but he did go through a period where he was on insulin (up to five injections a day). He's now down to a few pills per day and will hopefully be right as rain in a few more months. But for now, he was browsing the brunch menu with a certain look in his eye.
"Once your pancreas starts sputtering, everything becomes all about carbs doesn't it?" I asked.
His eyes widened "yes, exactly!" he said.
"Food is no longer just food. Now you have to think before you put anything into your mouth" I said.
"It changes everything" he responded.
Someday soon, I hope, he will be completely over the health issues he suffered and will no longer have to think about every food choice he makes.
It was nice to have a kindred spirit at the table who understood how different a menu looks when everything you eat really does matter.
But I'll be happy for him when he gets to be like my other three friends. Laughing and chatting and deciding at the last second what to order based on what sounded good and what the person before them had asked for.
Over the years I have recruited a lot of people to my running, cycling and swimming ways. The world probably has a few more curlers and golfers too thanks to the fact that I decided to join up.
And over the years I have learned to thrive in spite of (or more likely because of) the fact that my body does not produce insulin. It has given me the secret handshake to a few other clubs full of wonderful people that I will be forever grateful to have met.
But I would never wish a faulty pancreas on anyone. And I don't begrudge in the least the fact that the next time all we friends get together, he most likely won't be thinking about carbs and blood sugar.
Good for him.
If only we could all be so lucky.