Snapshot of Type 1 Diabetes

It happened again the other day. I was in a checkout line at the store when my iWatch sounded THE alarm, the loud one warning that my son’s blood glucose levels were low. I silenced the alarm as quickly as I could, but it was loud enough that the woman in line behind me heard it and took notice of what I was doing. She asked about the watch, and I showed it to her. I then volunteered that the alarm was from my son’s continuous glucose monitor. “He has Type 1 Diabetes,” I said, “and when his BG gets low, the alarm sounds. It’s a godsend at night.” She smiled with tight lips. “That diabetes is bad news,” she said. I agreed. “With all the video games and fast food,” she added, “I guess kids today just don’t stand a chance anymore.” The hair on the back of my neck pricked up. “Actually, my son has Type 1–Juvenile Diabetes. It’s an autoimmune disease. Nothing to do with lifestyle or weight.” I waited for her acknowledgement, but her face remained blank. I think I probably destroyed everything she thought she knew about diabetes. Mission accomplished!

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