These days I know many people who live with diabetes unlike the first three decades of my life when I couldn’t drum up any such acquaintance. Over the past few years I have looked into numerous patients’ eyes at health fairs and support groups and I work with colleagues with whom I share a professional bond.
I also now have real and true friends with diabetes with whom I do fun friend-things like riding around Mississippi for a week, and the more everyday activities of lunching, and on the weekends, spend free minutes trading intimate details of our dealings with this beast. I am awash with endorphins during those calls, secure in the knowledge that I need not explain anything; they understand the wacky ups and downs of blood sugar, the need to chew while on the phone, the positioning of our call after my walk but before lunch, the foolish thing we heard so and so say the other day and the hopeful sharing of some new research that may ease our burden one day.
Then, every once in a while I meet a fellow traveler who is so much a mirror of myself I have to glance twice, and then again. That happened last week when I interviewedHeather Clute. Heather lives on the West Coast so it was a scheduled phone call and a last minute confirmation. She told me once we were on the call that she had wondered where in the world she was going to fit our one hour interview into her day. Yet, she decided to nontheless.
Fifteen minutes into our talk, I was chatting with a new, old friend. We had so much in common — grown women with type 1 working in wellness, our search for meaning and purpose through diabetes, our constant exercise to keep a positive outlook and a shared practice of mindfulness. I said that we’d be twins “if” not for her three children. OK, I admit it, three children is a big “if.” And so we laughed.
I had googled Heather before I spoke to her and skimmed a few posts she had blogged. During our interview I read a few lines to her that she had written, “…we are all either choosing to be conscious or “unconscious” to the possibilities and opportunities around us. For me, diabetes has brought a deeper level of awareness to ALL of life, to every moment’s potential and every moment’s grace.” She laughed and thanked me for reminding her, it was just what she needed to hear that day.
After our talk I went back to read her posts. There are only four as Heather’s busy life, kids, school, work, staying physical, caught up with her, but I think you’ll like them. They are beautifully written and share a view of diabetes from the inside-out.
It’s always a joy to meet someone with whom you immediately connect. It’s all the more when much as you may not want to, you share diabetes.