Friday, November 8, 2013

Making Friends

Met a new friend.  Decided to go on a hike with this friend.  The hike was intended to be a long one.  About 3 or 4 hours.  So, naturally, being diabetic, I had to think about ways to prepare for low blood sugars along the way.  My sugars were doing really well, staying within the normal ranges so I decided to lower my basals by 50% like I would during any exercise and carry three packages of mentos with me.  That's more than enough to cover any lows I may have had on the trail, as well as share some with the boys, and their new buddy.
It's really awkward, you know, meeting someone new and having to jump right in with, "so, I'm diabetic and..." But... I feel like, when doing this kind of activity, it's probably better to bring it up right away rather than, you know, try to explain while having a low or something.  
New friend has a kid.  This kid is basically a big fat brat.  He's asking for my stash of candy pretty much right away.  I tell friend that it is hard to have candy in front of kids when, you know, they're gonna want you to share, but that I always explain to my classes (substitute teacher) that they'd much rather NOT have the disease than share my candy, or juice, or orange or whatever it may be that I'm treating with.  And, I don't go out of my way to openly eat it in FRONT of the kids, but sometimes you have to, especially in my profession.  
So she says to me, "yeah, and I guess if they eat too much candy they can get diabetes too" UGH!  Really?  So I politely say, "no, not really, actually you're more prone to get it by genetic predisposition than by eating too much sugar"  "Oh, I guess I don't know that much about diabetes anyway".  
Right, I hadn't noticed.

Had tea with another friend and when I explained to her that I wear an insulin pump because I have diabetes her reaction was, "Oh, you have it THAT BAD?"  "yeah", I said.  

I mean, I don't expect everyone to know everything about diabetes, not by a long shot.  But since moving, I've noticed this kind of becoming an issue for me.  

I'm usually one to meet friends pretty easily.  I'm outgoing, friendly, talkative, and usually that ends in me rapidly making good friends with a lot of people. I'm usually really open about diabetes.  Don't mind telling poeple about it, don't mind people asking about it.  Until recently.  

I've had kind of a hard time adjusting to my new life here, in Asia, thousands and thousands of miles away from home.  For some reason, well, I know what the main ones are, but anyway, it's just been... difficult.  Add to that the fact that making new friends means they don't already know about diabetes like my friends back home already know about it... it's just added to the stress of it all.  

I mean, how do you just go up to a person and explain that you have this chronic condition?  It's so damned awkward.  I'd take the silly questions my OLD friends had over explaining it new for the first time any day.  

1 comment:

  1. To be honest, I don't go up to a person and explain. It's a hassle, and most of the time they don't care to understand. I just do what I need to do (eat, bolus, whatever). If they ask, I tell - in simple terms, and if they press, only THEN do I explain. Perhaps it's not a good method of education or advocacy, but it avoids a lot of frustration.

    You'd be surprised how many times I've corrected someone who mentioned my pager by saying "it's an insulin pump", and they simply say "Oh" and walk away, without the foggiest idea what that means.

    Save the education for the inquisitive; don't give the cynics the material to be cynical about. That's my way.