I knew very well that it was possible - likely, even - I'd get questions about "that thing on my arm", and I felt prepared and okay with that. If any medical professional out there wants to know what being involved with a community of fellow patients does for someone with diabetes, here's one thing: because I have read the experiences of others who have worn their CGMs out in the open, I felt confident in trying it myself. I didn't really feel ashamed or skittish either - in fact, I think I might have walked a little taller with that CGM sensor out in the open air.
So there I am, plate in hand and spooning up some watermelon, when I feel something nudging my Dexcom sensor. I thought it was Aaron - maybe the tape was coming loose and he was trying to fix it? Nope. It was a lady I'd never met before in my life, with her hand on my Dexcom sensor. A lady who was old enough to be my mother - and therefore, old enough to know better, I'd think.
I had been totally thrown off of my game. Questions? They are totally are welcome, and I was prepared for those. Touching? Totally a WTF moment.
"Um, hi?", I greeted her with.
Still touching the sensor, she said in a very concerned voice, "Oh, my! Is this medication?" Her arm returned to her side.
[First reaction was to say: Yep, it's a nicotine patch. I'm reeeeeally addicted, so they gave me the Super Ginormous Mega one. But, I pocketed that angry and sarcastic response in favor of something more useful. Because, sometimes, I can act like an adult.]
"Sort of. It's a glucose monitor. I have type 1 diabetes, and it helps me see what's happening."
She paused. "Does it work?"
[No, ma'am... it doesn't. I just like how it looks. Don't you think it accents my outfit nicely and brings out the color of my eyes?]
"Yep; it works really well." I tried so, so hard to not make a "Is this really happening?" face, and returned to my meal gathering.
And then she walked away.
I looked at Aaron, to see if he'd witnessed what just happened. His smile and subtle head shake told me that he had.
The moral of this story? I'm not sure. But I do know that this situation didn't bother me nearly as much as it might have before I found the diabetes online community. Primarily because, even as it was happening, I knew that I'd have a story to share with people who could laugh at it right along with me. Having a support system of fellow patients helps me feel more confident in doing what I need to do in order to be healthy, and that's a great thing.