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October 28, 2016
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New Colleagues, New Explanations

There's something like 100 people or more who work for my company, at the same location I am. We take up two entire floors of a huge office building in downtown Phoenix. This is a much different atmosphere than the intimate, six-people office I came from where diabetes seemed to be a much more familiar topic.

I tend to eat lunch with the other editors in my group. They all know I have diabetes -- I announced it on my first day. (Here's how that went: I had just spent close to two hours filling out paperwork with human resources when I finally got to my new cube. I was in the middle of checking my sugar when one of the editors came over to introduce himself. "Hang on," I told him, "let me get this blood off my finger." I turned around and let the strip suck the blood up, shook his hand and turned back to see something way below 100 on my meter. My immediate editor (who hugged me when I arrived!) asked if I had cut myself. "No," I said. "I was checking my blood sugar." And there it was.)


I started here the last week of May and we made a habit of eating lunch outside while we could before the heat got too unbearable (you know you live in the desert when the weather man says the high is *only* 98). During that first week, I made no secret of diabetes or Toohey; I always waited (as usual) until I was sitting down to eat before I pulled Toohey off my belt to bolus for lunch.


"Is that a blood meter," D asked one day as we sat on stone benches outside the building.


"No, it's an insulin pump," I said.


I don't think much of an explanation ensued, mainly because D knew someone who used a pump, so it wasn't really a foreign concept to her. It wasn't until about a month later -- after my new colleagues had watched me countless times sit down to lunch and push buttons on Toohey -- when someone finally asked, "What does that do, anyway? What are you telling it? If you don't mind my asking."


"No, I don't mind at all," I said. "I enter my blood sugar first and then tell it how many carbs I'm going to eat and then it gives me the right amount of insulin."


It was sort of a quick, elementary explanation, but I didn't think these were the kind of people who wanted a detailed medical dictionary response. We did talk a bit about the precison of the pump, but that was about it.


And then there's really been no discussion of anything diabetes-related since. And for some reason, it feels kind of weird to not have a barrage of questions.

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