Dinner With a Diabetic Friend

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I had dinner last night with Jon, a friend of mine who is also a musician and also has Type 1 diabetes. At some point in our career, we plan to team up with a few other diabetic musicians and form the band “The Diabeatles.” (If you know any diabetic drummers or bassists, let me know.)

We would ideally play diabetes fundraisers and birthday parties for 7- to 13-year-old kids with diabetes that would otherwise be lame (by kids’ standards) were it not for the cool band of diabetics and their Diabetasaurus mascot. (One day, a kids’ show, hopefully Teletubbies, Barney, or The Wiggles, will be terrorized by a Diabetasaurus. He will crash their party a la Godzilla, delivering his fire-breathing messages of handling pancreas malfunction, eating a healthy diet, and exercising. Phil Hartman would have made a great voice for the Diabetasaurus, but since he’s no longer with us, I make a strong case for Tom Waits. At least the show would have a great soundtrack.)

Jon and I worked together on a TV show called dLife, which is about all aspects of diabetes. We spent hours of our days eating salads from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, researching the history of insulin, and reading and watching movies on Banting and Best. (For those of you unfamiliar, Frederick Banting and Charles Best were the scientists who discovered insulin in 1921.) I remember laughing very hard at a scene in Glory Enough for All where Fred Banting buys dogs from a dodgy British guy in Canada to try out his insulin recipe. If you haven’t seen this movie, it may be worth a rental—if you’re into really bad movies.

Now that you know a little about my and Jon’s relationship, I’ll tell you that we went to Jimmy’s in the East Village of NYC and had a beer, a glass of wine, and a meal. Looking back on the whole situation, I think it would have been very easy for the staff and patrons of the bar to assume we were a gay couple, and now that I look back on it, I kind of wish we were. My girlfriend, Katherine, has a chocolate addiction, and chocolate and I are old enemies at this point.

Katherine and I are getting married soon, and it will be interesting to see how she reacts when I finally tell her I have diabetes. I’m kidding—she’s known since she first saw me stab myself with a FlexPen needle at dinner one night. Not that you’re interested, but I’m not having a groom’s cake at the wedding. I think I’m going to get an artist to design a fake one. So appealing and appetizing, yet so inedible.

So, Jon and I had a little nip of the booze, and we split everything we ordered. What did we order, you ask? A charcuterie plate and a seared scallop salad. A delightfully low-carb dinner that only required insulin if we ate any bread. I didn’t take insulin and my blood glucose was at 106 when I returned home. I had a little fruit before I got in bed to start reading about Woody Guthrie. He has an autobiography out that is off to a good start.

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