Thursday, August 16, 2012

Diabetics on A Plane, Diabetes In The Wild, D-Meet In The Sky.

I sat on the plane waiting for it to take off and fly the friendly skies. I was a hot, tired, sticky mess and for the first time in two days I wasn’t surrounded by people with diabetes. And quite frankly, that just felt weird and lonely all rolled into one. 
I was on my way home from the Roche Summit and I was sorry to leave Indy for so many reasons. 
As I sat there lost in thought and Fruit Zombies, my pump chirped out a familiar array of beeps reminding me that I had indeed had a temporary basal rate going on. I glanced down at it and saw that it was slightly entangled in my seatbelt, fixed it and tried to concentrate on the Fruit Zombies on my iPad. 
Two minutes later I heard the familiar chirping again and got really annoyed. 
In my head I was like: COME ON INSULIN PUMP- I know that you’re running a temporary basal rate - I’m the one who programmed the temporary basal rate - SHUT UP ALREADY.  Except this time when I glanced down at my pump to see what it was squawking about, I realized my pump wasn’t the one chirping. 
And I was totally stunned. 
HOLY CRAP, I thought -  Someone else on this plane has diabetes. I Iooked around and saw a woman in the aisle one row behind and across looking at her pump and quickly tucking it back into her shirt, lean back and close her eyes. 
I didn’t want to interrupt her if she was trying to sleep, but I was dying to jump across the isle and say: Hey, I have insulin pump too, I have an insulin pump, too!!!!  
But I didn’t want to risk waking her.  Seriously, if she was as tired as I was - she was probably already asleep.
The flight attendant came around and told me to put my iPad away and before I knew it the plane was took off. Once we reached "cruising altitude” I glanced over at Insulin Pump Girl again and she was fast asleep. 
And I was bummed out. But I was also really tired and couldn’t keep my eyes open .  
Then I closed my eyes and fell promptly asleep for about an hour and fifteen minutes - And I never sleep on planes so that’s saying something! 
I woke up once,  when my pump reminded me that I less than 20 units left and was in and out of sleep fully after that. When I finally woke up, we were probably a half hour from landing, but just to be sure I took out my pump and glanced at the clock, then I glanced over towards Insulin Pump Girl because I thought I felt someone watching me - And she was.
Insulin Pump Girl: You have a pump too!!! I heard beeping earlier and was trying to catch your eye!
Me: Oh my God, I heard your pump beeping earlier and tried to catch your eye too! But you were trying to sleep and I didn’t want to bother you....
Insulin Pump Girl: That’s so funny!
Me: RIGHT! This is so cool!
Insulin Pump Girl: Were you in town for AADE? 
Me: No, I had was at the Roche Summit - But I wish I could have stayed for AADE.
Insulin Pump Girl: I was in town for some AADE meetings -I’m a Diabetes Pediatric Nurse.
And then we talked about how long we’d had diabetes (she was 27 years in ) and how the diabetes world has changed and how amazing “diabetes in the wild” is!
Her seat mate (an older lady with a terrific smile)  just kept watching our exchange, grinned from ear to ear and didn’t say a word. 
Diabetes Pump Girl knew about the Diabetes On-Line Community and and we chatted away until it was time to land. 
We walked through the terminal together and continued talking. Finally we exchanged cards, hugged one another, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. She had to find her connecting flight and I went on to find my luggage. 
And as waited for the carousel to deliver my big purple suitcase I couldn’t help but smile and be happy about what had just happened. 
Diabetes in the wild, diabetics on a plane, D-Meet in the sky  - Whatever you want to call it, it was a wonderful and awesome thing! 


Kelly said...

It is aways an awesome thing to meet D in an unexpected place isnt it? Very cool, thanks for sharing!

Penny said...

Yeah for D-meet-ups, wherever and whenever they happen!!!

Penny said...

Yeah for D-meet-ups, wherever and whenever they happen!!!

Unknown said...


Ah, yes...sweaty and sticky after trudging through the streets of Indy to get a cupcake!!!! I'd totally do it again if it meant we could hang out more.

Okay, maybe we'd call a cab, but still...

NeurosurgeryNP said...

I love diabetes in the wild. Makes me feel not so alone anymore.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Wow! What are the chances of that?!