Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word



As a rule, I generally don’t talk about having diabetes on a first date. I don’t generally talk about it period, mainly because I have tried so hard not to let it rule/ruin my life. I figure after a couple of dates, if it looks like the relationship might go somewhere, then I’ll reveal the fact that I have a life-long condition to my date. Although I’m healthier now than I was in my 20’s, everyone has heard horror stories about diabetics having feet cut off, going blind, living miserable lives in their later years. For the record, I have yet to run across one of these stories about a diabetic who has taken good care of themselves.

But last night’s date was with a physician. Now I kind of have a dim view of doctors since I became diabetic, because most of them insist on going by the book when it comes to treatment. I prefer to mange my diabetes with diet and exercise, and supplement it with shots of insulin. They prefer I shoot up with insulin, then restrict my exercise for fear of having an insulin reaction. They also prefer I take a number of drugs, such as Lipitor, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, for no other reason than I’m diabetic. The last doctor’s explanation, even though my blood work was fine, was that “It doesn’t matter how good you feel now, you could die in ten years!” Duh! We could all die in ten years.

I prefer to listen to my body, and if I feel good I go with it, rather than letting the number on my glucose meter dictate how I should feel according to what the textbook says. So, I’m technically a “bad” diabetic, not because I have a bad case of diabetes, but because I don’t always follow the doctors blindly.

Needless to say, I was nervous about going out with a doctor. I rehearsed my many speeches for explaining away my “bad” behavior, and prepared my defense for his onslaught of criticism if I needed to eat Pop-Tarts after our long walk, or why I wasn’t shooting up with insulin before dinner. I had kind of worked myself into a borderline-angry frenzy, and almost looked forward to giving the good doctor a piece of my mind.

Mr. R had suggested we meet at the City Park and take a walk around before deciding if we liked each other enough to have dinner together. (Points to him for actually suggesting an activity, rather than just having a drink and interviewing each other.) I wore my hiking shorts, walking shoes and sun hat, and when he arrived similarly dressed we began our jaunt around the park. The conversation flowed easily, as we wandered past the zoo, stopped to look at the island of birds, and watched kids playing on the playground. We talked about our families and our backgrounds, and if he noticed my medical alert bracelet he didn’t mention it.

Eventually I asked him his thoughts on spirituality, happiness and mental attitudes in relation to illness and disease. His response was unexpected, as he stated that he very much believed they all played a major role in treatment. Turns out he felt the same way I did about taking care of yourself and being happy. After circling the park we sat on a bench to rest, and after he told me a moving story about one of his patients, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to let him know I was diabetic. I relayed my experience leading up to my diabetes, and my eventual diagnosis. He asked the standard question, and I geared up for the doctor/diabetic battle.

“Type one or type two?” he asked.

“Type one.” I said. Unexpectedly, he reached his hand towards mine, indicating he wanted a celebratory “fist bump.” Confused, I bumped back.
“Me too.” He said. Wow, I didn’t see that coming. He was also diabetic. Time for me to go down that road.

“Well, I have to tell you then, I’m a bad diabetic,” I said, then waited for the lecture. “I use my needles more than once…” I started in the way of an explanation, and he finished my sentence for me.

“And your A1c is never at seven?”

“Yeah, how did you know?” I asked.

“Mine never is either. I always use my needles more than once.”

Wow. The more we talked the more it was like looking in a mirror. Our behaviors regarding our disease were exactly the same—but he was an even worse diabetic, because he didn’t even wear a medic alert tag. We laughed about the situation, and shared our diabetic stories, and decided it was time for both of us to eat, so we found a Mexican restaurant and enjoyed our meal, then he asked if I wouldn’t mind going for another walk because he had eaten too much. Music to my ears. I always tell my dates if you feed me you have to walk me, none of them ever actually do.

We wandered through my neighborhood and I gave him the historic tour before he dropped me off at home, with a promise for a future date…

May 23, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Awesome. 🙂

    Comment by efrum | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  2. Don’t overthink it! Just have fun and enjoy someone you can shoot up with! I am glad you had a great time with him and that he sounds so cool! Just don’t overthink, enjoy the fun and companionship sis!

    Love ya!

    Comment by Tim | May 23, 2012 | Reply

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