On Friday I went on a rather eventful and embarrassing date. Last semester my student ward of my church had a charity auction. All of the money was going toward Toys for Tots or something like that. All of the students offered up services and everyone bid. Some offered math tutoring, some offered a free grocery run while many others offered dates. I had bid on a date and won. I had nearly forgotten about it until last Sunday. The guy I had bid on finally asked me on the owed date. I accepted. Sweet Guy had a dance that he was going to that night anyway. He had been asked to said dance before we met. So it worked for both of us.
Promptly at six he knocked on my door and we headed down to his car. He asked if I would like to go to one of the more authentic Mexican restaurants here in Logan. Of course, I did. I love Mexican food. We chatted while we were waiting for our food. Just some of the most random stuff. When we finally got our dinner I immediately pulled out my meter and did a quick test. While doing the test I briefly glanced up to see how he reacted to it. He was a bit interested but he obviously knew what I was doing. I quickly estimated the carbs in the meals and then put everything into my pump.
"So you've got diabetes?" He asked once I was done.
"Yeah, I've had it for a bit over a year now."
"Alright, let me know if you need anything."
Then we just moved on. He didn't make a big deal of it and he didn't pry as to what my blood sugar was. He didn't immediately make a scene about whether the food was ok for me to eat. We just talked about our love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with Windows Vista, where he went on his mission, and the crazy things that happen when you are a college student.
After we were done he said that he had planned going to a movie too. I just needed to choose which one to watch. I chose Cloverfield. Big mistake on my part. I didn't realize how much camera movement there was. I'm not good with that much camera movement. About 10 minutes into the movie I was starting to get the sweats and my stomach was doing flip-flops. I checked my blood sugar oddly hoping that it was a low rather than my stomach sending signs that it wanted to heave. 110 mg/dl. Nope, not that. So I hunkered down and avoided looking at the screen but still trying to get the story by listening to it.
From what I've been told, it's a great movie. I couldn't tell you though because I missed more than half of it. I was able to fight the feeling for another 15 minutes but then I had to get up. I tried to leave quietly but as soon as I was out of sight I ran for the bathroom . I had to stop at a garbage can on the way there because I felt like I was not going to make it, and I didn't.
I immediately felt better but then I remembered that I had taken like 5 units of insulin for the dinner that no longer occupied my stomach. Crap!! I ate what sugar I had on me and then tested. I was at 95 mg/dl. I had no idea how much of the food I had eaten had actually been absorbed so I knew I was going to be in for a ride later.
I crept back into the theatre seriously embarrassed. I was able to catch another fifteen minutes before I started feeling queasy again. I pulled my baseball cap down and just stared at that for the last 10 minutes of the movie. When the movie was over, we went out to the foyer and he asked how I was doing. I admitted that I was feeling a bit shaky but I had already eaten all of my sugar. Before I could get it myself, he immediately bought me a $3.00 Mt. Dew (it was the smallest they offered and it was still more than I needed.). I felt so bad about that. Not only had I missed most of the movie, lost all of my dinner but I had ended up incurring another cost just because of my diabetes.
"Here drink this down."
"Thanks, I'm sorry about that, I had forgotten how camera movement affected me."
"Oh don't worry about it, just make sure you don't go low." He watched me with a close eye.
"So what's your experience with diabetes?" I asked after taking a few long pulls of Dew.
"Oh, my grandpa has diabetes, he's taught me a bit about it."
When we got back to my apartment he walked up to my door with me and asked me how I was feeling one more time, just to be sure. Then he headed to his apartment building.
I sat in the mid 70s for a few hours but nothing too drastic.
While I was incredibly embarrassed about getting sick in the first place and then having a low, I never felt uncomfortable about it. I could tell that he knew what was going on and I was impressed with the way he dealt with everything. He didn't over react and he knew what I meant when I said I a bit shaky.
Maybe all of the education and advocating that we do is doing something. Maybe people are slowly starting to distinguish fact from fiction. Maybe all the teaching and myth dispelling I do is actually helping.
As I've learned in my class on disabilities. Biological conditions are not usually the main cause for a handicap, it's the way society around us handles the disability. With acceptance and understanding, maybe, someday, diabetes will not be such a source of shame. Maybe someday we won't be handicapped by society's assumption that we can't do everything another person with a healthy pancreas could do. I want to be able to tell a potential employer that I have diabetes and not be asked how often I'm going to be sick and unable to come to work.
This is what I hope for and will fight for.