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Diabetes — A Condition of Connection


Feb 1, 2005

Our first date was the very definition of a diabetes disaster.

Drop your glucose testing kit and insulin off of a moving ski lift onto the steepest slope, and you have a real problem. We searched in vain for three hours as the skies darkened and hope ebbed. After three hours without testing or insulin, we went to the ski patrol and then to the health clinic.

The clinic had no supplies.

We left the mountain and drove to the nearest pharmacy. After calling in my prescription, in minutes, I had my supplies.

In the car, Scott and I tested our glucose together. (He does not have diabetes.) We were both in the 90s. Victory. But now the fear set in. What would he think? Is this the last time I would ever see him? Had diabetes cost me even more?

What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?

I was so thankful that those questions were soon answered. He called the next day and the next and the next, until a year later, at the top of that same mountain, he offered me a diamond.

Even with wonderful expectations for our marriage, I suppose we did not anticipate how diabetes would be an enormous gift for us.

Really.

Having Diabetes Only Helps the Relationship

Because of this disease, we are forced to be more patient, more caring, more attentive, more loving. For all my worry and fret about whether I would be wanted with this condition, it has been the very condition I battle that has brought me so much blessing. Without diabetes, I might not have felt the depth of such caring. Without diabetes, I would have not been able to decipher true love and companionship from the less committed kind.

We call this life with diabetes our condition of connection. Through it, we have both been introduced to each other and ourselves in unique ways. This life of glucose testing and pump boluses forces introspection and self-examination. It reveals character, strengths and weaknesses. This life also requires the most unique kind of relational connection. To live, we must face each moment honestly, true to each other and ourselves.

The question on the top of the mountain was the best question I have ever been asked, but right after, I asked my own. I asked Scott to live with diabetes by wearing a pump (without insulin, of course) for two days. He said, “Yes.” And we both said: “I do!”


Advice for Finding That Special Someone

For all those worried about how to talk about diabetes in relationships or even how to have a relationship with diabetes, it is important to be honest, open and forthcoming from the very start.

If you encounter someone who recoils at the sight of a fingerstick or a spot of blood, then, he or she is not the one for you.

If you find someone who is willing to help, to be tested or even wear the pump to support you, then you have found it: true connection, true companionship—true love.


Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Personal Stories



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