For all the times in life that I'll have to explain and re-explain, then re-word, or just give up and nod about diabetes to others (others = people with fully functioning pancreases), there are probably just as many times that someone close to me gets it totally right. I'm lucky to have a few people like that in my life. My husband, Aaron (yep, that's who "A" is - the secret's out!), has become one of those people.
It wasn't always like that, though. Not through any fault of his own - he just didn't have any experience around someone with type 1 diabetes. When we first started dating back in 2005 (We didn't even have Facebook back then! And we had to walk uphill both ways to get anywhere!), diabetes wasn't center-stage in my life, like it tends to be now. The idea of wearing an insulin pump was something I scoffed at, a bit. I was on injections of Lantus and Humalog, didn't test a whole lot, and the subject of diabetes never really came up until I had to take a shot for something.
Here's the part where I border on bragging: Aaron has picked up on a lot over the last six years. He doesn't always know where I am BG-wise or anything like that, but he's been through enough to know what to do (and what not to say). He's a good listener, a quick study, and possibly the most patient person I've ever met. He knows how to fill a pump cartridge, tape down the Dexcom sensors I can't reach, and use glucagon (though he's never had to use it, yet). If I need to have my blood sugar checked while I'm driving, he's all over it. Out of pockets when we go for a walk? He's happy to stash glucose tabs, Jim, or whatever else in his.
Sometimes, his awesomeness leaves me with nothing else to do but grin and stare at him with admiring, googly eyes.
Friday night found us at a bar downtown with some friends. At some point in the evening, I noticed what the cheese quesadilla I had downed earlier was doing to Jim, (It was reminiscent of a NASA launch) and Aaron heard me react. He leaned over to look at the screen.
"Wow. I haven't seen you go that high in a long time."
"I know, right? I have no idea why, either. I was 75 and trending down before we ate."
One of our friends overheard the conversation, and asked, "So, wait... that thing's in you?" I was all ready to launch into the normal "here's what a CGM is" program, but something pretty cool happened instead.
For the first time I can recall, Aaron took charge of explaining to someone else how Jim works, while I just sat there and kinda marveled at him. He expertly clicked through the different graphs, and explained where "normal" fell on the scale. He knew how often a new reading showed up, and how to describe what the sensor looks like. He was telling our friend things I never knew he paid attention to.
If living with diabetes is supposed to be a marathon, we can think of these kinds of people - our "type 3's" - as part of our relay team. Aaron takes a turn carrying the baton once in a while, without me ever asking him to.
I love him for a million reasons, and this is another to add to the pile.