First Dates


First dates are super tricky enough. Am I right or am I right? I’m right.

What the hell do I wear, he wants to see me Monday but I need a haircut and Lucy isn’t available ’til Thursday, I have to run home and make sure my kids feel supported by their single mother and then drive all the way back out to Chicago, it’s hot and my forehead sweats crazy town in this heat, I need to stop for gas, what if he is not as cute as his profile, what if he’s a bigot or his favorite show is Two and a Half Men?

Add to it: we are meeting for drinks at 7:30 but will that turn into dinner? I need to eat so should I eat before in case it is JUST DRINKS? What if I take too much insulin with the meal I eat before meeting him and I get low at the table? What if I get high and have to take several shots of insulin at different points and he thinks I keep going to the bathroom to vomit or do drugs? What if he sees my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) site and thinks I’m a horrid beast?

What if he hugs me, ’cause he likes me and we are getting flirty, and he FEELS my CGM? What if he asks me what it is?

“Ugh, it’s a thing. Damn it. I usually don’t have this conversation until it seems the fella wants to see me again.”

I take a sip of my Tito’s and soda and I wish my body was just intact so I didn’t have to f*ing do this.

“Do you have type 1?” he asks. “Is that a pump?”

I light up inside. How does he know to even ask it that way? Most people just say, “Do you have diabetes or something?”

“Yeah, I do have type 1, since I was a kid. It’s not a pump, it’s a CGM.”

He does not know what a CGM is and we speak about it enough for him to understand. He hears me say that it keeps me alive ’cause I get so low, so fast that I am on the verge of coma, seizure and/or death. He hears that it keeps me alive. So, it’s pretty damn important.

I show him a photo on the Dexcom site of what it looks like.

And he orders another drink.

I have survived another one of these conversations.

It is difficult having a device on my body. It reminds me every damn moment that my body is failing me and I need medical advances to stay alive. It reminds me that at any moment my body may just shut down simply because of a lack of glucose.

I have a super happy disposition. Like, for reals. I am happy that I laugh at everything; that I am stronger than most and have come out waving my fist wildly is some dismal situations, laughing all the while. That is the only way I can get through the constant pain and frustration of this disease.

To f*ing laugh at it.

So, yeah, guy I’m on a first date with. I’m a cyborg.

This article was originally published on Slacker Pancreas.

Read Type 1 + Looking for Love by Angela Wing.

WRITTEN BY Angela Wing, POSTED 02/06/17, UPDATED 10/06/22

Angela Wing lives outside Chicago and has had type 1 since 1999, age 18. She is a single mom to two teenagers, has a cat that doesn't seem to like her, performs improv weekly in Chicago, and writes her little heart out hoping to make dolla bills. While she loves fruit snacks, she really wants a cure for type 1 (T1). Until that day, she will use it as a comedic tool and excuse to get out of speeding tickets.