Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A New Friend


My daughter has a half hour break during her music program.  When they have time between classes, the kids sit in the hall.  They bring electronics, card games, books, or drawing paper.  Or they just chat. 

One day early last week, my child sat down in the hall and then overheard a mother say to the child next to her, "please check your blood sugar before I leave."

Unsure whether she'd heard correctly, my daughter turned to the girl and said, "Did I just hear your mom ask you to check your blood sugar?"

"Yes..."

"I have diabetes too!"

"Really?"

"Yup!"

By Saturday, we were at this family's house for a cook-out.

Friendships can and do form for many reasons.  My daughter has friends who share her interests in reading, or music, or softball.  She has friendships which have developed over many years of being in school together, because she and another child 'just click.'  She has made friends with children of my friends, finding common ground even though they did not choose each other.

Friendships based on diabetes, though, are unique.  My daughter spent hours last summer playing at our community pool with a girl who introduced herself after observing a blood sugar check.  The mother and I then spent hours talking about raising a kid with diabetes.

Finding someone who also lives with diabetes is like finding a kindred spirit. 

Maybe it's because diabetes touches so many aspects of our lives.  So by extension, people who have diabetes in common have many life experiences in common.

Maybe it's because when we start talking, we inevitably share those diagonsis stories.  Most people begin a friendship discussing their work, or hobbies, or the latest town gossip.  We delve right into what for many is high on the list of the most emotional and traumatic moments of their lives.  It creates an instant bond.

Maybe it's akin to being in a foreign country and meeting someone who speaks your language.  You're suddenly at ease.  All the thoughts which are constantly cooped up in your head in 'diabetes-ese' can flow freely from your mouth for others to understand.  It's comforting.

We count among our friends many people whose lives are touched by diabetes.  Some of these friendships have been around a long time and deepened after diabetes became part of our lives.  Some of them are brand new.  All of them are wonderful people who we're, ironically, really grateful we have this bond with. 

Summer is a great time to meet new diabetes friends.  There's less clothing to cover those sites.  We're out and about more, checking and treating at the pool, beach, park or restaurant.  Maybe there are more friends to come!






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