Diabetes Awareness Month: Daring to Date with Diabetes

by | Nov 21, 2018 | Blog, Dealingwithyourdiabetes, Ownership | 0 comments

Well, this week focuses on thankfulness and I am SOOOO thankful to be happily married and no longer in the dating scene.  Dating is an exercise in vulnerability and self-doubt in its best form. Add in a chronic illness such as Type 1 Diabetes and you can launch yourself into freak-out stage in a nanosecond!

When I was doing multi-dose insulin (MDI), it was a lot easier to delay bringing it up until I really felt a potential love interest warranted this info.  A quick trip to the bathroom to test and inject and I was good to go. I spent so much time worrying about how I would be viewed and if anyone would want to deal with me and a lifetime of diabetes.

Ironically, I had one long term relationship who knew I had diabetes before he asked me out.  I met him through work and I had been very open with everyone there about my diagnosis and I injected whenever and where ever I needed to.  A nice perk of working in healthcare where few people are needle phobic.  He knew healthcare, so I suppose that diminished a lot of fear other people might have had.  It is certainly a best-case scenario to have the diabetes discussion a nonissue and to know they wanted to spend time with you regardless.

The dating scene

Fast forward a few years and I was dating again, this time “over 30” and “on a pump”.  Old, diseased with artificial parts – great!  Add another nail into my “I’ll never get married coffin”!!   I was no longer working at a hospital and had entered the corporate realm where diabetes was not a well-known and well-understood condition.  Dating co-workers was a definitely a bad idea, although there was no-one I was particularly interested in.

Dating in your thirties is an odd mix of set ups, blind dates, singles groups and going out on the town with varying degrees of success.  I can’t believe some people I considered “friends” had the audacity to pair me up with some of the gents I met! Loved them, but there were some poorly matched connections.

I decided I might do better finding my own dates.  The internet was quite the new thing.  Having survived Y2K and being heavily involved in information technology I thought I would give it a try.  Why not??

I purchased my first home PC, used my dial up to log into the world wide web (ka-dong, ka-dong, piiing, screeeetch, bong, bong) and ultimately found a new site called match.com.  I met a lot of nice people.  Dated some for a while.  Passed on many others. Was passed over by many as well.  I never had anyone tell me diabetes was a deal breaker, but I am sure it was a factor for some.

Hey What’s That?

It was always an awkward conversation that came up in one of two ways.  During a hug they noticed something rather boxy and hard in the middle of my chest (I keep my pump in my bra) or I decided it was time to have “the talk”.  Either way it was uncomfortable, and I wanted to be anything but diabetic in those moments.  I wished so hard, it wasn’t part of who I was or part of my story, then I waited for the look in their eyes.

People’s eyes tend to tell you what they really don’t want you to know.  Maybe it is my nursing assessment skills, but you can see the pupils dilate, their gaze narrow, with a subtle wrinkle in their forehead or downturn at the corner of their mouth. They don’t know they do it, but I have seen it so many times I can’t help but notice. The look screams in silence “oh no, this is bad, I am out”.  Whatever the words are that come next never really mattered, retreat had begun.

People Who Love You

Occasionally, with the “good” ones, you see an eyebrow lift with curiosity, eyes soften with empathy and they lean in to know how you are affected and if you are okay.  That was my husband.  He was curious, asked questions, wanted to know what to do, but I never felt judged, less-than, or pitied.  I really felt he saw the good in me despite the challenges of the rest of a life dealing with diabetes.

I could write another complete post on how we met and all the things in our paths that brought us together, but I will save it for another day.

Timing, Choice, and Opportunity

This week as we offer Thanks for the many blessings in our lives, I am grateful to do life with my Scott.  We are truly fortunate.

If you are alone this year, know that is may not be your time.  You are bigger and more important than diabetes, and you have choices.  Seek what you want.  Don’t wait for everything to be perfect.  Take action and find what you want.  Find people who you connect with, not someone who needs you.  It is a big difference and you are worth those who understand your value.

I am always grateful for insulin, another day and opportunities to grow!

Happy Thanksgiving,




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