Lately, I’ve made it a point to talk to whoever is next to me when I’m on a plane. It’s almost like an exercise for me since I’m quite a bit reserved and introverted. But I tried it recently and was so blown away by the experience.
Just the other day, I met a woman whose family endured the holocaust. I talked to a little boy travelling alone who was my youngest brother’s age. He talked about baseball like there was no tomorrow. He was a gentleman too and helped me with my luggage! And I met someone who has a twin and provided me with insight on how I might be sensitive to my twins while raising them. And to every person I provided a lot of diabetes advocacy information. I felt like a travelling diabetes advocate. In fact, I guess we could all be in our own small way, right?
We know people are largely ignorant about diabetes so if we extend a little bit of accurate info everywhere we go we can do our part to help discourage all those myths and misconceptions out there.
What I was really excited to learn is that everyone I encountered was really eager to learn more about diabetes. Even the 13 year old asked me, “Tell me about diabetes, I don’t know anything about it but I hear the word on the news all the time.” They know it’s a big deal and many themselves are concerned about their own health. Also, people are smarter than we give them credit for.
I found a great way to get diabetes in the conversation, too. Just check blood sugar while sitting next to someone. I only did it because I needed to but it sure worked to spark an interest in the subject. And of course, instead of lick the blood off my finger I used a wipe. Except for in the case of the 13 year old. I did my usual routine and he thought it was pretty cool that I just “recycled the blood back in”. Kids say the darnest things.