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Bars & Pick-Me-Ups 

May 26, 2016

I was at the bar with a few friends and a bunch of acquaintances. We were talking about favorite bars throughout the city and the beers they offer. A few are members of specific mug clubs where drinking all the beers the bar has must be done in a certain period of time (these happened to be 6 months to one year). I piped into the conversation at this point with the thought of “I could never do that.” One person said something along the lines of it being because of diabetes. My friend’s eyes widened with an “oh shit; what is she going to say” look. I quickly responded with, “I can drink as much as I want and I’ve definitely been too drunk before (at which point the friend with the wide eyes started laughing-he’s seen those nights), I just don’t like beer enough.” I don’t think he believed me, but with each misconception I correct, maybe someday he will have a lot more correct information about what life with diabetes is really like. 

I was on a date. He was smooth and knew all the right things to say. My hands were on the table & he noticed my Fitbit and asked about the bracelet on the other hand. I had not mentally prepared to bring diabetes up just yet. But I also don’t want to actively hide it. I told him it was a medic alert bracelet for type 1 diabetes. He asked how long I had it, if it limited me in any way, and if going out for drinks was appropriate. The way in which he asked all these questions was with curiosity and not judgement. I happily answered, and also happily never saw him again. 

As part of climbing out of burnout, there are days when I don’t want to talk about diabetes and separate days when it is all I can focus on. Not only is my diabetes a roller coaster, but so is the amount of attention I give it. I still find it amazing how my diabetes friends, who do not know the ins and outs of the rest of my life, know me. Know the perfect thing to say. 

It is just a part of you. It is a part of you like your smile, or like your laugh. Simple. It’s there and it isn’t going away and it is endearing. 

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