‘Are you here for work?‘ It was just after 7am in LA, and the border security officer looked tired. He studied my passport, holding it up, comparing the photo with the even-more tired-looking, and rather dishevelled, person standing in front of him.
‘Yes. For a conference in Boston.‘ I said, trying to smooth my hair.
‘Oh, the diabetes one?’
‘Yes. That’s right.’ I said. My flight from Melbourne was full of people attending the ADA conference. I know this because I knew half of them. Plus I kept hearing snippets of conversation with ‘diabetes’ being thrown around.
‘My mum (mom!) has diabetes. Type 1. She should go.‘ He said. He flipped through my passport. ‘How long are you here for?’
‘Only for the conference and then three days in New York. I’ll be home in nine days.’
‘That’s not long after travelling so far,’ he said to me.
I smiled. ‘You’re so right. But I’ve left my family home this time. So I don’t really mind only being away for a short time.’
‘Enjoy the conference.’ He stamped my passport and was about to hand it back to me when he looked at me again. ‘Do you have diabetes?’
‘Yes. I do,’ I said. ‘I have type 1. Like your mum.’
‘Do you use a pump?‘ he asked.
‘Yes. And I’m wearing a CGM as well.’
‘My mom needs to talk to you,’ he said. ‘You look healthy. Keep it up.’ He passed me my papers.
‘Thanks. I hope your mum is okay,’ I said, noticing the concerned look on his face – one frequently worn by loved ones of people with diabetes. He nodded and I walked off, heading towards the baggage carousel.