Early in my life, I kept my diabetes mostly a secret … only sharing it with those I trusted to not judge me for having diabetes. I wasn’t alone. Others, including a childhood hero, Ron Santo, did the same thing for the same reason.
Over the past two decades, I’ve become more comfortable sharing and finding a voice for it.
As I opened up about diabetes, others wanted to talk about it. The conversations cover various topics, including new technology, medical professionals, nutrition, exercise, newly diagnosed, and loved ones with type 1.
But what about times when others go public with my diabetes?
This happened at a business meeting with board members and key employees, where spouses attended dinner meetings. As background, a board member’s child was diagnosed with type 1 in college; they both know I live with it, too. We’ve had good conversations about living with type 1 as an adult.
As the group was seated for dinner, the board member’s spouse was at the opposite end of a long table. She smiled at me and said loudly, “Hi, Reed! HOW IS YOUR DIABETES?”
I paused, smiled, and said, “It’s good … how are you?”
There was a time when a greeting that included my diabetes, in a large business setting where diabetes wasn’t on the agenda, might have taken me aback. But I thought it was nice that she asked. It showed concern. And, of course, after dinner, we connected about diabetes and other topics.
There’s a time and a place to share our diabetes. The good news is that (most of the time) it’s up to us.
Note: While the time for sharing diabetes is up to us, here’s a post about not sharing my diabetes. I had good reasons for not doing so, but looking back, it was my third worst move living with the Big D.