Last night, I did something I've never done before. I sat down to dinner with three other Type 1s. Three complete strangers, who quickly felt like friends. People who I met thanks to the Internet and the Diabetic OC.
You may have read over at Kerri's blog about the Fld County Diabetes Dinner she arranged. The idea appealed to me immediately for two reasons. 1) I live in Fld County and 2) I've never ever shared a dinner with other Type 1s. I was nervous, yes, hoping I wouldn't revert back to Junior High Karen who was painfully shy. As it turns out, there was absolutely no need for nerves or shyness.
I arrived a bit early, and babbled to the hostess that I was meeting a group - but I didn't know how many of us there were or what name the reservation was under. Luckily, a minute later, Kerri showed up to take charge. She also babble to the hostess that she didn't know how many of us there were (and that we didn't have a reservation because we didn't need one on a Monday night). From that moment, I knew things were going to be fine (although I'm sure the restaurant staff wasn't as optimistic!!)
We were seated at a table with a clear view of the door so we could attempt to watch for others meeting us. Soon J joined us, and a few minutes later R arrived. We all chatted so much that the poor waiter had to come back three times before we were ready to order. We compared how long we've had diabetes (I "won" with almost 29 years, but all false pride at that fact was lost when I realized this also meant I was the oldest person at the table). We "pumped" J for her perspective on being diagnosed as an adult, just 6 months ago. We listened to R's insights about going through pregnancy as at Type 1. We were entertained by D-blogging stories that only Kerri could tell. We talked about husbands and boyfriends and parents. We talked about jobs and cats and dogs. We talked about lows and highs. We tested our blood sugar (and no one asked what the results were). We ate our dinner, and we talked and shared and laughed until the waiters started putting up chairs and turning off lights in a desperate attempt to make us go home!
A shared disease is no guarantee that people will be compatible, but these three women are people I would be happy to hang out with even without the diabetes bond. The fact that we could share our diabetes trials and tribulations with people who really get it was the icing on the cake. (And yes, we can have cake, we just need to bolus for it!)