Lemonade Life

Monday, October 23, 2006

My First Day at Work

Today was my first day of work at Portland General Electric, where I will intern with the media relations and community relations departments.

I woke up at 6 a.m. and fought with my family for hot water before fighting traffic on the thirty minute commute from my Quaint Bedroom Community into the Bustling Big City Downtown.

I have my own cubicle and a badge.

I'm wearing my favorite "office outfit," which is a pair of black capris, a cami with a soft, translucent ivory t-shirt, and my Nicole sandals that I practically lived in this summer. My ever-present purple pump is clipped proud and hopefully not too loudly to my right pocket.

Everyone seems nice and I already feel comfortable enough to make fun of people. Always a good sign. I have to be in a place where I can tease mercilessly.

At 1:00 p.m., I step into the elevator to head to the Portland Center where I attend classes. I was more focused on my growling stomach (which feels like it may crawl out of my mouth and go find food itself if I don't eat soon) than on the people around me. I went in and turned to face the elevator.

Moments later I feel a tapping on my left arm. I turn and see an older gentleman. He's very tall, dressed in a dark, tailored suit.

Did I hit or step on him? Is there something on my sweater?

He fumbles with something with his left hand.

A chargoal gray Medtronic Minimed insulin pump.

"It's not often you see one of those," he says

"Awesome," I reply, grinning. Then the elevator stops, and chimes, "Second floor." Mr. Business Pumper gets off the elevator with a colleague. I continue down to the first floor.

Walking on the streets of Downtown Portland minutes later, I pass Mr. Business Pumper and his colleague.

We grin knowingly, sharing that connection that only two people with diabetes could share after nine simple words.

This is why I wear my insulin pump on the outside.

8 Comments:

At October 23, 2006 4:31 PM , Blogger Sandra Miller said...

I love this post, Allison.

The last sentence gave me goosebumps.

 
At October 24, 2006 7:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on the job and that you like your environment. Thank you for sharing this, with all the talk of how alone people can feel with D, I think wearing your pump on the outside and making that connection can make a difference for someone else. You are just such a rockstar!

 
At October 24, 2006 7:25 AM , Blogger Keith said...

Yes, you're right Allison, there's a tight connection between those of us that have D and pumper's especially. When I see a fellow pumper I can't hardly contain myself... I have to introduce myself... except for the other day when I saw a 7-8 ish year old girl in the grocery store with a pump... it made me incredibly sad.

 
At October 24, 2006 8:44 AM , Blogger Allison said...

Sandra, that last sentence was the very first thing I thought when I saw Mr. Business Pumper on the street. I'm glad it means something to you, too.

Vivian, thank you! You are always so nice. If even one person out there feels less alone because of something I do, well, mission accomplished. It's the reason I do all that I do.

Keith, I get shivers when I see a pumper or someone testing. I hear, "Oh, I know so-and-so who has diabetes" so often that when someone actually says, "I have it too," I'm almost flabergasted. "You mean there are others!" Diabetes is such a silent, hidden disease that when you can actually vocalize or see a connection, it's incredible.

 
At October 24, 2006 4:22 PM , Blogger jennster said...

i love this. that is awesome. :)

 
At October 25, 2006 1:11 PM , Blogger Kelsey said...

Very cool Allison!

I'm so glad I'm a pumper now :)

 
At October 25, 2006 3:17 PM , Blogger Allison said...

Jennster- Thanks for delurking (or at least posting, in case this was your first time here)! I'm glad you liked it.

Kelsey - Yay! ::in best cheerleader voice:: Goooooo PUMPERS!

 
At October 28, 2006 11:35 AM , Blogger Johnboy said...

Allison, congrats on the job.

I admire the way you show yourself to others. It certainly invites making connections and generating awareness more than hiding does.

 

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