I walk into a room of people. It’s a work meeting, and I am with a couple of colleagues. We’re greeted by about 8 others who all work for a large diabetes-related organisation. Two or three are from their Australian office, the rest have travelled from Europe. They’re here to meet with people working in the diabetes space to get an idea of the landscape in Australia.

We take our seats at a U-shaped table; we’re brought coffees. Introductions start. One of the overseas visitors tells us a bit about who he is, and rounds out his introduction by saying ‘I have type 1 diabetes. And I use Dexcom,’ he says, looking straight at me.

It’s summer in Melbourne and I am wearing a short-sleeved top. The Dex adorning the top of my left arm is clearly visible. I smile at him. ‘Snap!’ I say.

The meeting continues, with a lot of discussions and chatter. My new friend asks a lot of questions, some directed at me. I know what he is doing – it’s that thing people with diabetes who are ‘working in’ diabetes do. We try to learn how others manage living with a condition and working it too.

The meetings winds up; people start to chat with each other, continuing on from some of the discussions we’ve just had.

And the two PWD immediately turn to walk to each other. We shake hands and fall into an easy conversation. We speak about the challenge and responsibility of having diabetes while working in the space. We ask each other more questions and we listen carefully. And then we talk about our own diabetes, starting with ‘When were you diagnosed?’. I want to know how he found being diagnosed with diabetes after having already worked for a number of years for a diabetes-related organisation. We work out if we will be at any of the same meetings or conferences throughout the year.

The meeting is over. We shake hands again, and say good bye.

I walk to the elevator with my colleagues, thinking about the different ways people with diabetes connect. It happens like this. We find each other in a room. We see each other in a café. We opportunistically meet in a gelati shop. We bump into each other on the street. And we talk. We learn from each other. We gather information. We feel connected.

We get it.

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