Monday, October 7, 2013

Two Strangers Meet

After speaking to a mother of a recently diagnosed daughter I couldn't help but flash back to my diagnosis.  Eighteen years old, not knowing what type 1 diabetes was, I was given a life sentence with no chance of parole. However, it wasn't until I met another type 1 diabetic that I realized that my diagnosis story isn't unique. While some of us have a few cool twists to our diabetes diagnosis, most of us suffered weight loss, poor vision, constant urination or extreme thirst.   I remember meeting my first type 1 diabetic at a cafe in Brantford, Ontario.  I had never 'met' a type 1 diabetic before, or at least never had known another type 1 diabetic.

Photo from a couple years ago.
It is the oddest feeling when two strangers meet, but seem to have so much in common. I remember her saying things like, "I couldn't hold it, I had to go when I had to go..." images flashed in my head of me rushing to the bathroom after chugging a bottle of water, or being in mid conversation with a friend, attempting to hold it in, but having to awkwardly exit the conversation to use the bathroom. It was such a horrible feeling, but to know that she went through the exact same thing was such a strange and powerful feeling.

I think it was important for me to meet a type 1 diabetic that was older than me, someone who had been through the ropes of diabetes for a few years and knew what to tell me and what not to tell me. I went home that day knowing that I could handle diabetes, and that living with type 1 diabetes although a lifetime of a disease wasn't going to take over my life in a negative way.  She inspired me to seek out other ways of dealing with diabetes and encouraged me to bring my writings (something I had already started on Facebook) to life on a blog.

For her encouragement and positivity, yet honesty about life with type 1 diabetes, I believe has formed the person I am today with type 1 diabetes.

Special thanks to that type 1 diabetic that met me that day, Chloe Vance, founder of Connected in Motion.


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