A Conversation

I had an interesting experience the other day as I was going in for exams. I was at my local train station and felt a bit funny so I checked my blood sugar. It wasn’t great so I was just about to grab something to eat before my train came in, but an older man quickly came up to me. He was the kind of guy that looked like he had a story or two to tell. He wore a fedora with a feather on the side, and a coat that had seen better days. He was fairly tall (but then I’m a bit short so everyone looks tall to me!) and had an excited glint in his eyes.

He stood next to me and said “Excuse me, do you have diabetes?”.

I was a tad dubious about where this was going. My first thought was that he was going to regale me with a tale of his relative who had type 2, or might offer me okra water to naturally cure it for me.

I was betting on the okra water.

But putting that aside I answered with a yes and waited to see where he would take it. He smiled and told me that his sister has diabetes and was diagnosed as a teenager. He went on to say that there was nothing wrong with her because of it, but she was a “really bad” type (no I didn’t correct him, but just for reference diabetes doesn’t go on a scale. There isn’t a good or bad type). He told me all about her life as a music teacher. She is classically trained in piano, but had no idea about popular music.
I laughed as he told me she didn’t know who Deep Purple were, but had to teach the guitar riff to Smoke on the Water to an eager student.

I didn’t get much of a word in edgewise, but that didn’t matter. I liked listening to all his stories, first about his sister and then about his life.
The diabetes was just a way to get in for a chat, but it was nice to hear about an older woman who was still doing well.
He talked for quite a while, and I listened (though it carried on for so long that I remembered I really should have been eating to stop this approaching low blood sugar).

****Just a little note at this point to other diabetics, especially teenagers. Just eat if you need to. I will sometimes wait to treat an impending low if I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone I don’t know, which is very stupid. It’s not impolite or horrifyingly embarrassing to just pause for a second and start eating something…. yes I’m a hypocrite****

Thankfully, the man took the train before mine and seemed really happy that I’d listened to his stories. I genuinely enjoyed listening to him, and was only pleased that he left because I knew I REALLY should be eating something.

It was refreshing to see that having type 1 did something positive. I got to hear about a successful type 1 story, and make a guy really happy because someone listened to him.

Maybe next time I won’t immediately jump to the conclusion that someone who asks me about my diabetes is going to start selling magical cures. That little conversation made me smile all morning.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

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