Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Because Sometimes I Don't.

I sat in the airport last night, sighed and whispered the word “fuck” as I gingerly dug through my knapsack, looking for my wrist brace.
I still have to wear the thing in public for the next few weeks - both as protection to the ligament and the incisions, and as a reminder not to lift anything over 12 ounces or bear any weight on my left wrist.while the ligament and tunnel in my wrist heal.

I’d worn my brace on Friday’s flight and I was glad I did.
My left arm had been jostled and bumped a few times via airplane dimensions and via the isle seat and a “too close for comfort,” encounter with the woman (Who I shall refer to  as Einstein,) in the seat in front of me. 
  1. Einstein came THIS close to dropping her overhead luggage on my head as we were getting ready to de-board - and completely ignored the fact that it had happened
  2. Einstein then decided to come to a quick/complete stop whilst dragging her carry-on behind her, talking on the phone, completely ignoring what was going. Thus causing a domino reaction involving everyone behind her who was trying to get off the plane, and resulting in me slamming my braced wrist and shoulder against the wall partition and the Captain asking me if I was OK 
  3. I was and Einstein was completely clueless to the mayhem she'd caused
Anyway, last night I’d taken my brace off during the most ridiculously easy airport security check in the history of TSA Security checks and had forgot to put it back on. 

Four days with my family had been great and reinforced how much I loved and miss them. 
I was sad to be leaving, which only added to my annoyance as I continued to dig through my bag and whispered “fuck,” a second time. 
The woman sitting in the seat next to my knapsack looked up from her book, smiled and said: Are you OK? 
Me: Yes and I’m sorry for the colorful phrasing - I had surgery on my wrist and hand a few weeks ago and I forgot to put my brace on after the security check - now it’s at the bottom of my bag and I’m annoyed with myself... and I’m sad to leave my family. 

Turns out, she’d been visiting her twin brother and they’d celebrated their birthdays together for the first time in decades  - I’m thinking it was a milestone birthday - but I know better than to ask any woman her age. 
Anyway, we were both were pretty bummed to be leaving.
As we continued talking, she put her book in her bag, put her phone away and grabbed her boarding pass. 
And while she was doing that, I took out my glucose meter/lipstick bag, checked my blood sugar and wiped my hand with a napkin from my bag in under 10 seconds and what I thought was on the sly. 

Book Lady: Everything OK, with your blood sugar? Do you need me to get you anything? 
Me: Thanks, but I’m good. We’re going to board in a few and I wanted to check before we got on the plane. 
Book Lady: If you need me to get you anything or help you with your knapsack - let me know. 
Me: Thanks I really do appreciate it, and I absolutely will. 

And I know I could have used that moment as a springboard to talk more about diabetes - and I probably should have asked her if she had a connection to diabetes. 

But I didn’t. 

Maybe she had diabetes or a loved one with diabetes. 
Maybe she was a medical professional
Maybe she wanted to talk about diabetes or had a question about diabetes. 

Maybe she was just being kind. 

No matter the reason, I appreciated her kindness, but at that moment I didn’t want to talk about diabetes - which is weird, because like 98% of the time, that never happens. 
But sometimes I don't. 
A rare occasion for sure and I wasn’t quite sure as to why.

Instead, I smiled and started our conversation exactly where we’d left it, and I listened as she vividly described her and her brother’s birthday celebration.

 And I was happy that she was happy.
I still feel a little guilty, though. 


Unknown said...

You definitely should not feel guilty! We all have a life outside of diabetes and it's ok to not always want to talk about it - doesn't make you any less of a fantastic advocate :)

Rick Phillips said...

We often find like-minded friends in odd places. I once found one in a hotel lobby where my tubing was hanging out and she (why are they always women) was concerned I might catch it on something. I had to smile, before I continued my cursing.

I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of June 6, 2016.

Grainne Flynn said...

Totally get it! I like to choose when I talk about diabetes. Sometimes I'm just too tired.

Ashleigh said...

Don't feel guilty. I have definitely given the diabetes brush to more than a few people before.

She seems like a much better plane companion than Einstein.