It’s Not Just About Diabetes…

IMG_3617DOC bloggers make for hysterically funny bedfellows. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Rhonda from Fifteen Wait Fifteen recently. (She and her daughter took a day of their vacation to spend with me and The Kid. How cool is that?) We connected after reading each other’s blogs and recognizing some kindred spiritedness.

When I meet fellow diabetes online community compatriots in real life, I’m consistently struck with this thought: “Even if we didn’t have diabetes, we would be friends.” That was definitely the case with Rhonda, who had me laughing within two minutes of her arrival. And kept me laughing throughout the day.

We had met at my dad’s house (it was midway point from her vacation spot and chez moi), which put an interesting spin on things as my dad joined us for lunch. He played the role of Pépère (grandfather) to two darling toddlers who, I’m not joking, charmed a lady with their good manners and smiles to come to our table and give them cookies after we sat down. And yes, we let them eat the cookies before lunch. She and I believe in the “Life’s too short, so eat dessert first” ideology.

My father got to hear about diabetes from another T1 adult’s perspective, and as Rhonda was diagnosed at 21, he got to learn about the frustrations of having parents who didn’t have the benefit of classes and learning how to deal with a child with diabetes. I’m grateful that she was able to talk openly about that and just as grateful that he paid for lunch.

While we connected because we’re both T1s, diabetes didn’t dominate the day. She was dropping when they arrived and later in the day, I shotgunned a Mountain Dew to prevent a crash (Damn you, delayed gastric emptying. I’ll get you back one day.) There were boluses and finger sticks and a conversation about our spouses and how diabetes can impact relationships, but the majority of the day was spent talking about other things.

And that’s what I love about meeting people from the DOC. Diabetes may be something that we live with 24/7 with no breaks or vacations (try as we might), but with many of my friends in the DOC, it’s not just about diabetes. The connections are deeper.

If I had a million dollars (Please hum along with Barenaked Ladies if you know the tune…), I would build a place where all my DOC friends could come and hang out and just be…us. We may talk about diabetes, but there are so many other aspects of our lives that diabetes doesn’t touch - and that’s the core of who we are.  I love going to conferences, but when my DOC friends are there, it’s a constant struggle to get all the goodness out of the conference AND spend enough time with them outside of the diabetes tent. A few of us joke that we need a national/international diabetes meet-up where we just get together for three days in a room and hang out. Who’s with me?

I now miss Rhonda as I would a friend who I long to see again. And for that, I thank diabetes.

(But I’m not thanking it for the delayed gastric emptying. No way.)

 

 

 

12 comments

  1. type1dmom

    Awesome! Sounds like you two had a great visit. I read both of your blogs so it’s even a little exciting to “see” you both together. As for the hang out/conference… I am only a lowly D-Mama and not a T1 myself - Can I still come hang out? Pretty please? (Side note: Love the BNL reference!)

    • theperfectd

      Of course you can come hand out! Some of my favorite DOCers are D-parents and T2s, so it’s not just a T1 place. I love everyone (well, mostly everyone, but that has nothing to do with diabetes!)…come on over!

  2. Rhonda B

    I love it when you meet someone, and you can talk like you’ve known each other for years and years - about kids, work, life, diabetes, whatever! You, my friend, are one of those fabulous people! Thanks so much for your hospitality, and for sharing your family and time with me and my kid. I am looking forward to whatever time in the future we can hang out in the same zip code together again!!

    • fifteenwaitfifteen

      And yes - a DOC communal meetup place would be awesome! I’m playing the lottery as soon as I get home….

  3. xxlovelylizxx

    That is just so awesome. I can not wait until I am able to meet up with other DOC-ers and just hang out. Sounds perfect! :)

  4. a1conceive

    Rhonda’s pretty rad! She’s one of my favorite DFFs. (Diabetes Friends Forever).

    I propose we have a DOC cruise. I mean, there are New Kids on the Block cruises…why not an awesome people of the doc cruise?

    • fifteenwaitfifteen

      Laura - I’d sign up for a cruise, YES! And Liz, be forewarned…if our travels bring us your way in the future, I’ll be sure to get in touch! :)

      • Kelley

        Sorry, sign me up for the DOC cruise, not the BSB one, although that would be pretty entertaining :-P

  5. Sara

    Did you see my post on Facebook? The Steel Magnolias house is up for sale. I think that would be the perfect commune! :P

    • fifteenwaitfifteen

      Awesome! It would be kind of perfect, in that we could show that Steel Magnolias house who’s the boss!!

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