My Passionate Pancreas

June 6, 2012By 0 Comments

My mood can change in an instant.  It doesn’t always depend on my blood sugar, but how much or how little I am interested in a topic.  It shows on my face.  I have had customers that I work with and even family members say, “You know you wear your emotions on your face?”  I do know, and I do it on purpose.  Usually, my face says what I’m thinking so that I can make a point without being too forward.  I have no filter, and this is just part of what makes me me.

Today, I was working my ‘day job’ (the job that pays the bills) and talking to a customer of mine about the products that I promote.  I was conducting myself in a professional, yet hum-drum sort of manner.  The same way a ten-year old would give a science project presentation: factual, concise, and memorized but lacking passion.  I am fine with this.  I worked in the diabetes industry as a professional for over eight years.  I worked at a camp, with an insulin company, and with a pump company.  I had my fair share of passionate conversations about diabetes, and then I finally got so burned out from taking care of everyone else’s diabetes and neglecting my own, that I had to take a break.  It’s only been a year or so since I stopped working in the diabetes industry for my full-time profession and I already miss certain aspects of it terribly.  I am so thankful for the DOC and the social media outlets that we have which allow me to express myself and hopefully still help others, without being so close emotionally to the patients themselves.

However, I really do miss that look on someone’s face, that genuine appreciation, when they realize I get what they are going through and we can understand eachother with just an expression on our faces and with minimal words, when we discover we both have diabetes.  This is where my facial expressions come in handy.  After my meeting today, I was gathering my things, and one of the customers brought a young girl in the office.  She was the front desk receptionist, and looked to be a few years younger than me.  The customer nudged the girl into the room I was in, and the girl reluctantly shuffled her feet in with a hesitant and shaky smile.  “She has an insulin pump, that is what you need!” said my customer.

Before the young girl could object or change the subject, my entire demeanor changed.  I went from looking like a robot to my eyes spinning and open as wide as one of those tree animals you see on the National Geographic channel.  My face lit up, my shoulders lifted and immediately my verbal diarrhea of diabetes questions and comments started blurting out of my mouth, “Don’t tell me, you don’t want to be attached to anything, right?  You don’t think it will go with any of your outfits?”

The poor thing probably thought I was going to attack her.   We had a nice conversation, and in a matter of five minutes I had convinced her to give me her phone number so that I could put her in touch with my nurse friends at Medtronic so that they could put her on a pump with saline so that she could fully understand how it works.  I even dug an infusion set out of my purse to ease her fears that the cannula does not consist of a needle that stays under the skin.  I helped her understand why Lantus is not ideal and why having a mini mechanical pancreas that releases insulin in a method similar to that of a working pancreas is ideal for her blood sugar control.  I told her all of this while practically standing on my tippy toes with excitement to be talking about my passion.

I am not sure if I will ever be fully ready to go back to working for the diabetes device or pharma industry full time, as I value the time I have been able to focus on my own diabetes while still having these special encounters with random diabetic strangers.  I would however like to find a balance of being able to share my extreme passion for helping others with this disease in some other way.   Starting this blog was just the beginning of me taking everything I have learned from working so closely with all kinds of patients and molding it with what I still have to learn from others in the diabetes community.  Thank you for reading my blog and sharing in this journey with me!  If you could see my face, there is a bright light radiating off of it and it won’t go dim until we find a cure. I won’t ever apologize for that.

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