PWD in the Wild


It’s always interesting to run into another PWD ‘in the wild’.  Today, while at work I had the chance to speak briefly about D with a fellow T1.

An elderly gentleman and his wife came in looking for coats that would keep the wind out. As I was showing them some of our products and assisting them in finding sizes he mentioned that he was trying hard to lose weight and had lost quite a bit already but that it was difficult to do, because he had diabetes. I assured him I know how that goes, because I have T1.  His response was a very hearty ‘Me too!’

We talked a bit about how old I was when I was diagnosed and somehow also got on the topic of complications.  I discussed my retinopathy and he told me of his own eye woes.  I was extremely sad to hear that he has also undergone a kidney transplant, has had all toes amputated off one foot, and has neuropathy so bad he can feel nothing below his knees.

What truly struck me was how positive he still was about life; he wasn’t bitter or angry about any of it.  He was very matter of fact about what had happened.  I truly don’t know if I could be that way, if in his shoes.

We didn’t get a chance to discuss therapies – I would have loved to have shown him my t:slim, but alas it was getting very busy and my manager was giving me the evil eye to remind me to pay attention to more customers than just him.

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3 thoughts on “PWD in the Wild

  1. natsera says:

    Yeah, it’s fun to spot other PWDs in the wild. I was at the music store, waiting for it to open, when who should walk up but a guy with a pump on his belt. So I whipped out mine, and grinned, and we had a nice, if short conversation until they opened the doors, and we both went about our business. Fun! 🙂

    As far as dealing with complications gracefully, I guess there is no other choice. No one CHOOSES to get complications, but it happens in spite of our best intentions, and we just have to deal with it. I don’t mean to invalidate the emotions that go along with being diagnosed with a complication; those are inevitable, but at some point, you have to choose to live with the hand you were dealt, or else commit suicide. Which, to my mind, is really not a choice. I know I wouldn’t WANT to go blind, or lose a leg or go into kidney failure, but the reality is that it could happen. And it sucks. But it should not be the end of life (which is the equivalent of the end of the world!). So I commend this man for dealing with what he has to deal with, with equanimity and grace. And remember to hold him as a role model! 🙂

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