Since becoming more “diabetes aware” in the past few years, I’ve met so many wonderful people online, as well as many local diabetes friends, who happened to be women. We’ve started gathering together for girl’s nights on occasion, and last night was a celebration of one of our group’s 9 year diaversary. Everyone brought a snack to share – no rules, just bring something that tastes good! – and we ate and drank together, shared thoughts about our current pumps and CGMs, discussed a couple of studies people were participating in, and had a relaxing and fun night together. Two friends are Type 1’s who are both expecting little girls within the next 7-8 weeks. (I was SO proud of myself – I didn’t ask to touch their adorable baby bellies even one time!) I hauled out a bunch of Penny’s baby clothes and had them rummage through for anything they thought they might use. It brought back such sweet (and sleep-deprived memories) of when Penny could wear those clothes….I still haven’t come to any solid conclusion about expanding our family. Well, I *think* I have, but I still waffle like Bisquick on a griddle. (Does that even make sense as a real analogy? What is my blood sugar right now for me to be coming up with such things??) More thoughts on babies forthcoming, I’m sure.
I really don’t think I can express in the short space of this blog post how wonderful it is to hang out with these girls – we are all quite different in our age ranges, our jobs, our family statuses of being married or not, having kids or not (one is even a grandmother several times over!), and still share the common thread of type 1 or type 2 diabetes experience and understanding that I don’t necessarily have with all my other non-d-girl friends. At one point in the night, 4 or 5 of us had our pumps out and were bolusing for the upcoming snacky meal. Pink, purple, blue and grey pumps were taken out from pockets, side clips, and bras, and no one spared a second thought about it. As we shared our CGM readings, there would be a nod of, “geez, I’m high, too!” or the helpful friend going to grab my finger-stick meter so I could confirm if my low reading really WAS a true low or just a wonky CGM sensor. (No wonkiness – I ran low about half the night and even well into today, thanks to a certain red wine 🙂 )I could talk all day about how awesome each and every one of these girls is in their own way. What accomplishments, what trials, what tribulations they have gone through that were similar or different from mine….yet, we were all knit together last night through the common bond of diabetes.
It’s this camaraderie that encourages me to NOT dismiss diabetes as something negative that happened to me. To never again push it into the background as something I just have to deal with on my own. I look forward to next month’s gathering with them, I’m driven even more to fund-raise and participate in the JDRF walk on November 2nd, to call into the TuDiabetes.org interview with Kerri this afternoon, and to continually stay involved and look for other ways I can interact with the greater community of people I know – online as well as offline – who have diabetes. For years, I felt alone and solitary in my every-day struggle with diabetes. Now, that is the furthest thought from my mind. (Shout outs to two d-blog friends Laura and Carlyn who are regular d-girls night attendees! And big thanks to ALL of you awesome girls who came over last night – you know who you are!)