11.12.15

Introducing Diabetes While Getting Introduced: Doing Our Disease Justice While Dating

Introducing Diabetes While You Get Introduced

This is a different subject matter than the aforementioned methods, with it probably standing on loftier moral ground. Brittany got the dating ball rolling earlier in the week, and lately I’ve been pondering this very concept as I traverse the first few weeks of getting to know someone I really like, while not really knowing how much they’re into me, knowing that I’m into them, guessing she’s kinda into me because we definitely wouldn’t be spending this much time together if not, but all the while just ‘playing it cool’. As unnecessarily complex as that last sentence sounds, the diabetes intro is simpler… or it should be.

Diabetes should just flow out naturally as we live our life. Hell, we test our blood sugar at least 4 times a day, check our pumps consistently, and carry strange snacks around on our person. If it doesn’t make its way into the conversation by hangout number two, we’re probably hiding it.

In this recent development mentioned above, we were out running on a trail together for the first time, and the realization I’d forgot to set a temporary basal came to mind. So, I asked if we could stop for a second so I could get it set up. We talked about it, when I was diagnosed, how one of her childhood friends had it, etc. Then, we kept running, talked of other worldly topics, and I tried to keep up. We’ve talked about it since, and I feel comfortable discussing it.

At the end of the day, you’ve just got to be yourself (something I struggle with). In all of my relationships (friends, family, and coworkers), I’ve relied on my own relationship with diabetes to dictate others’ portrayal of my disease.

Here’s my theory: if I view diabetes as a crutch, cop-out, or fatal flaw, they will too. But man, it’s not those things. It’s a vital part of me that I would never take away–an every day burden that’s building a lifetime of resilience. I’m out trying to live my best life, not by overcoming diabetes, but by accepting it’s a part of me. All we can hope for is for that to come across.

==Is it time to restock your nightstand supplies? Snag a few sugar tablets.==

Former co-founder of DiabetesDailyGrind, Ryan's mission is to motivate others with diabetes to live their own authentic life. Most days, when not in the hospital during his medical residency, you can find him on the bike, surfboard, or yoga mat. He believes in the power of clean eating, and loves his Dexcom.

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