Sixteen years. Wow. It’s been that long since I last had someone in the flesh to discuss my diabetes with, a peer who really, truly knew exactly what I went through day in and day out because they, too, were going through the exact same things.
The summer of 1994, I was 16, had raging hormones and Nine Inch Nails angst shooting through my veins, but for two weeks my parents were given a reprieve. Their beloved moody princess was shipped off to Camp Elphinstone on the Island as she had been every year since getting diabetes. I may not have always admitted it, and I may have sent some overly dramatic letters home in my first years begging my parents to let me come home in one letter and then the next pleading with them to let me stay longer, but I loved my camp years. It was the one time of the year where I was with like-minded people. Testing my blood sugars was normal, taking injections was normal, being forced to drink juice was normal, having type 1 was normal. And at that time I didn’t realize how important that normalcy was, but once I didn’t have it anymore, I longed for it.
Yesterday, I got a little bit of that camp experience back. I met with Heather – the super sporty girl with diabetes who’s just taken up running – at the coffee shop down from the Running Room after our morning run. We spent a good hour and half talking about diabetes and comparing insulin pumps (she has Medtronic and I have Animas) and venting about our endocrinologists and other such diabetes practitioners, and about running and other sports and how we work our diabetes with each. We also talked about the crazy small world we live in: We both went to the same high school (she graduated nine years after me), grew up in the same neighbourhood, knew some of the same people, had the same diabetes doc at Children’s, and both spent our formative years at diabetes camp.
Heather’s been on the pump for 14 years; I’ve only been on mine for a year. And while I may have the running with diabetes expertise, she’s got the everyday pump expertise. Case in point: wearing the pump with a dress. I have not yet mastered this skill as I’m not, uhm, well endowed up top to stealthly attach the pump to my bra (like many girls do) without looking like an alien with a third breast. And I’ve tried the Animas thigh thingy, but because I’ve got the thighs of a speed skater (NOT the talent!) it tends to cut off my circulation. Heather recommended attaching it to my underwear, as long as the dress is an A-line, BUT make sure to wear stay-put underwear, she said. “You don’t want your undies falling down to your knees.” She does a jump test before leaving the house in a dress. Smart girl.
She also told me about a shirt she’d seen one of the campers wearing this year (she worked at the camp this summer) with the logo I run on insulin. I need that shirt!
What would your shirt say?
7:30 p.m. BG before: 5.9
Temp basal: -80 per cent (was right after dinner)
Time: 55 minutes
8:30 p.m. BG after: 4.4 (had a 2.3 low at 35 minutes, fixed with oj and a straw … thanks Mario!)
I’m not competitive, oh no. I was just going on the bike and riding to a little True Blood is all, I had no intentions, none whatsoever, of beating Mario’s weekend trainer ride of 50 minutes 😉 He says at the rate we’re going, come prime riding season this summer, we’ll be on the trainer for five hour stints at a time … somehow, I don’t think so!
Hey, a nice, heart-warming blog, and something maybe other young people recently diagnosed with Type 1 ought to know: that they’re not alone; that common experiences can be shared and super friendships made. 🙂
ditto on Roberts comments!!
that’s great you got a training partner that gets you!