Thursday, April 1, 2010

Numbers are People

There may be 300 000 Canadians living with type 1 diabetes but that's just a number. There are 300 000 human bodies living with type 1 diabetes, they have names, lives and different experiences. Of these 300 000 people one may be your neighbour, your dad or your classmate. We can provide outstanding numbers of people battling cancer, diabetes or multiple sclerosis but these numbers are just numbers like one plus one. These numbers are people.

I guess only being diagnosed for a year I am still considered pretty new. So maybe I don't have a huge story to tell regarding diabetes but I've definitely got one, just like all of you who have a life story with several chapters of your life that at different points you get to re-tell or maybe they're never spoken of.

I love meeting other diabetics because even though we are completely different people we share a bond that really can't be shared between a diabetic and a non-diabetic. It's like we know exactly how they feel when they talk about bad highs or lows. Of course the non-diabetics can recall when you had a low and maybe empathize with you but a diabetic really can understand.

Today I had a really weird experience. I sat down at a desk today, and then looked over and saw a Nova Rapid case with a insulin pen in it. It was one desk away and I couldn't help but think it was mine. I thought to myself, "why is my insulin pen over there?" It's not like I had it out but there was just no way in my mind that it was anyone elses but mine.

It may have been a silly question but I asked the girl who sat a desk over from me if the needle was hers. If it had been mine, I would have looked dumb but I just couldn't see why 'my' case would be sitting on the desk, had it fallen out of my bag?

She said it was hers and all of a sudden in a matter of seconds I felt like I knew her. We talked a little bit about it, but I just couldn't believe that a girl that had been in my class for almost an entire semester was living with diabetes and I had no idea.

I know there are tons of us out there and it really isn't too rare that one could be sitting beside me at any point in time but it was just one of those times where a number became a face.


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