You are a patient, regardless if you have diabetes, you are celiac or you have hay fever. You are ‘different‘. And sometimes you get confronted with it if you like it or not. For example at a dinner where there is no gluten free food or when you are declined at a job interview due to your ‘condition’. Without asking for it you are constantly reminded by others that you are ‘different‘.
Perhaps that is what makes it so much fun when you see other people who have the same thing you have. Recently at uni I saw someone else who had a pump ! Ecstatic as I was, I introduced myself, although I only realized later that I was actually confronting this person with being ‘different‘. Later I also realized this person may not be as enthusiastic as I was seeing another person with diabetes. As a matter of fact I think he enjoyed it a little, I had the honor of being the first other person with diabetes he met after 3 years of uni.
Not only myself, but also family and the boyfriend have made seeing others a sport. Whilst we were on vacation, my mom was staring at the table behind me during breakfast. There was a gentleman who had taken his own glutenfree bread and condiments (in zip-lock bags). A gluten-free peer, and thus an instant connection ! On multiple beaches white patches were seen this year, those jump out on a sun-tanned skin, diabetes-peer and thus instant-connection ! Recently the boyfriend saw a testing strip at the train station, a peer was here and thus an instant-connection !
Although I don’t approach most people, I always feel this connection. Someone else has it too. The feeling you are not alone, despite not knowing these people. And that giddy feeling every time you see a fellow peer, and then a little guilt that you are happy someone else is in the same situation. It might be a little strange, but what do you want when you are ‘different‘ ?