There are many conditions/illnesses/whatevers you can hide. You don’t have to bring out that skeleton in your closet until you’re completely comfortable with the person.
Diabetes is NOT one of those conditions.
Dates usually revolve around some kind of food or drink. Diabetes also revolves around food and drink. Ah, here we have the problem.
Diabetes is a bit of an ‘in your face’ disease. If I could just subtly pop a pill before eating my life would be complete. Unfortunately, diabetes involves blood and needles and a 30 second spiel (that I have down to an art) as soon as the food comes out.
My sister said to me ages ago ‘Well coeliac is the same. You have to tell them that you have a disease’. I disagree With allergies, intolerances etc, you have to tell people but it’s generally accepted. All you’re saying is “I can’t eat that”. Diabetes involves that level of uncomfortable plus blood and needles. People are SHIT with blood and needles. Trust me, diabetics deal with sooky and dramatic people (who think that the fact that we have a needle out means we’re going to stab THEM) constantly. A lot more people will be making disgusted noises at someone pricking their finger than at someone who refuses the bruschetta entrée.
In the past 2.5 years that I’ve had diabetes, I’ve had many strange experiences while going on dates. At times, I see it as sort of a silver lining – if a guy is rude about me pricking my finger, he’ll be rude about a lot more and isn’t worth my time! I’ve had guys look at me like I just sprouted three heads and a tail, when 10 seconds before they were flexing their flirting muscles. I’ve had a guy (he was a bit of a health freak) tell me that if i just got my shit together that I could reverse it. One guy was so grossed out (back when I was injecting) he had to look away and do some deep breathing ‘to calm myself down’. Granted, that last one isn’t particularly rude but it was a bit ridiculous…grow a pair of balls buddy.
It’s really scary pulling my pump out…I’m essentially laying all my cards on the table all at once. Diabetes kind of forces you to just declare a private part of yourself within the first hour.
However, the guys mentioned above have been in the minority. Mostly guys (everyone really) are pretty chill. They get interested, ask a question or two and then we move on. Just how I like it. Most recently, one guy was so chill about it, it was like I’d said something like ‘I have a cold’. I was so happy about that I practically skipped home.
It still scares me every single time, telling someone I have diabetes. Date or no date. I know that’s probably a very stupid way to feel, but I feel like it immediately smacks this label on me, when I am so much more than diabetes. Call me the short girl, the brunette girl, the girl with the honking laugh, the girl who talks really fast – but for the love of God I can’t be known as the diabetic girl. I’m not ashamed of it, but I’d rather my personality be what leaves an impression, rather than the fact that I stuck a needle into my thigh.