With a couple weeks of accrued vacation time that needed to be taken from work, I've had the chance to head back to the home-state and hometown for a few days to visit with family and friends.
So here I am, in Michigan - swimming in nostalgia and getting some needed relaxation before heading back to Indiana.
Of course, diabetes never takes a break no matter what's going on. And thanks to the unifying power of insulin pumps, I managed to meet a new friend by chance while out for a haircut.
On Wednesday, I went to get a haircut. My dad goes to this regular place and that's where I planned to go, but instead I ventured around the area nostalgically and settled on a different haircut establishment that I felt was just as good. Going inside, there was only a minute or so wait and soon I was walking on back to get the hair trimmed.
As I sat down in the chair and prepped to tell the young lady what my head mop needed, she she glanced at my waist and said, "You have an insulin pump! So do I."
The world sang and the hair gods began dancing, right alongside the D-Kings and Queens who hover up above and play with our blood sugars for fun.
I resisted the urge to hug this stranger who was about to tackle the adventure that is my head of hair, but let her know how awesome I thought that was and that, if she wanted, I'd be all about carrying on some friendly chat as we went about the haircut routine. So began our lively conversation for the next 45 minutes.
Turned out, we're about the same age and she was diagnosed at age 6 (compared to my diagnosis at age 5). We compared pumps, talked devices and CGMs (she uses the MM and I told her about my experiences with Dexcom), and life in general. There was rarely more than a moment without conversation, even as she trimmed my hair. There's no need to recount every possible aspect because it ran the gamut... complications, D-technology, D-supply costs, changes through the years, involvement in the D-community, D-Alert dogs, family, medical professional knowledge (or lack thereof), and just generally our hopes for the future.
I told her about how I'd gotten involved in more advocacy in the past few years and met so many great friends in the Diabetes Community, and she mentioned wanting to get back involved herself and meet some fellow PWDs. I may have mentioned a few DOC friends, too...
In the 45 minutes we were hanging as hairdresser and haircutee, it felt like meeting and talking to an old friend. I gave her a card for my blog as I made my way to the counter and paid the tab. Honestly, I really wish we could have hung out some more and just chit-chatted. But the girl had to work, and I had a Detroit Red Wings game to get to. So, that was that.
Maybe my new hairdresser friend will find her way to the Diabetes Online Community, maybe she'll get involved, or maybe it was just a fun little random encounter to add some color to the day. Who knows.
But one thing is clear: People With Diabetes - we're everywhere! You never know where we might get the chance to have an on-the-fly meetup!