Diabetes – A Condition of Connection

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By: Nicole Johnson

Our first date was the very definition of adiabetes disaster.

Drop your glucose testing kit and insulin offof a moving ski lift onto the steepest slope,and you have a real problem. We searchedin vain for three hours as the skies darkenedand hope ebbed. After three hours withouttesting or insulin, we went to the ski patroland then to the health clinic.

The clinic had no supplies.

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

In the car, Scott and I tested our glucosetogether. (He does not have diabetes.) Wewere both in the 90s. Victory. But now thefear set in. What would he think? Is this thelast time I would ever see him? Had diabetescost me even more?

What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?

I was so thankful that those questions weresoon answered. He called the next day andthe next and the next, until a year later, atthe top of that same mountain, he offeredme a diamond.

Even with wonderful expectations for ourmarriage, I suppose we did not anticipatehow diabetes would be an enormous giftfor us.

Really.

Having Diabetes Only Helps theRelationship

Because of this disease, we are forced to bemore patient, more caring, more attentive,more loving. For all my worry and fretabout whether I would be wanted with thiscondition, it has been the very condition Ibattle that has brought me so much blessing.Without diabetes, I might not have felt thedepth of such caring. Without diabetes,I would have not been able to deciphertrue love and companionship from the lesscommitted kind.

We call this life with diabetes our condition ofconnection. Through it, we have both beenintroduced to each other and ourselves inunique ways. This life of glucose testing andpump boluses forces introspection and self-examination.It reveals character, strengthsand weaknesses. This life also requires themost 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 wasthe best question I have ever been asked,but right after, I asked my own. I asked Scottto live with diabetes by wearing a pump(without insulin, of course) for two days. Hesaid, “Yes.” And we both said: “I do!”


Advice for Finding That Special Someone

For all those worried about how to talkabout diabetes in relationships or evenhow to have a relationship with diabetes,it is important to be honest, open andforthcoming from the very start.

If you encounter someone who recoilsat the sight of a fingerstick or a spotof blood, then, he or she is not the onefor you.

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

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