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[IP] great experience...kinda long

Hi everyone,
  I don't usually post to the list unless I really feel compelled to do so, 
but in this case I most certainly did!:)  I am studying secondary education 
at Central Michigan University and my minor is physical education.  In one 
of the classes I am currently taking, we work with students in special 
education every Friday, providing the only physical education they get each 
week.  A week ago, since my two regular students were absent, I was assigned 
to work with another student, Tom.  Tom is about eighteen years old and 
mildly mentally retarded.  He noticed my insulin pump and asked me what it 
was that I was wearing.  I told him that it was an insulin pump and that the 
reason I wore it was because I had diabetes and the pump gave me the 
medication I needed in order to function.  He got this shocked look on his 
face and asked if I was kidding.  Not quite knowing why he was asking, I 
jokingly said that although sometimes I WISHED I was kidding, I was telling 
him the truth in this case.  He still wasn't sure whether or not to believe 
me, and asked another student in my class (another college student) if I was 
telling the truth.  My friend said yep, I sure was.  Tom then came up to me 
and asked if the pump made me feel good.  I said yeah, it made me feel 
great, and then I asked him why he was so interested.  Well, it turned out 
that Tom has diabetes as well.  So we talked for a little while about 
pumping while we finished our basketball activity.  This week, Tom brought 
his mom with him to class and introduced me to her.  I talked with her for a 
long while about diabetes and the pump, she told me that this was the first 
time Tom had ever shown an interest in managing his health or in learning 
more about his diabetes.  He had been testing his own blood sugars all week 
and helping her figure out how much insulin to take.  He had never willingly 
done this before.  I guess that Tom had never had the opportunity to meet 
someone else with diabetes.  I don't know that Tom will ever use a pump due 
to numerous factors, but I was just so happy that talking about the pump and 
him meeting me and working with me encouraged him to start taking some 
control over his health.  And if it weren't for the pump, neither of us 
would have probably known the other had diabetes!  So I know this was long 
and probably not that exciting to some, but I had to share as it made a big 
difference in this young man's life and in mine as well!!!:)
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