Saturday night, me, my fiance and several other friends in the 26-to-33 year-old-range went out for a friend’s birthday to play lasertag.
Yep, you read that right. A bunch of adults went to a kids lasertag arena and shot at each other with big plastic guns for two hours. And we had a rockin’ good time. I grew up here in San Diego, so I got a good chuckle out of the fact that we were at an establishment I’d last frequented in the sixth grade. It was one of the best Saturday nights I’d had in a while, even though we got bossed around by a group seven-year-old-boys who were all on the Red Team and seemingly out for blood that night. Good times.
Between games we stepped into the front entryway to await our next round. I watched across the room as a boy who looked about 10 years old and his dad walked up to the counter. The dad set down a big red bag and dug around in it for a second before he pulled out the telltale black zippered meter case. He opened the kit up for the little boy, and I could see that it was an OmniPod. The boy lanced his finger and tested. He looked up at his dad when the number came up. They were too far away for me to hear what they were saying, but I knew they were thinking through some d-management. It looked like the boy bolused, and no sooner was that case zipped up was that kid running off to catch up with his friends who were already suiting up for the game of laser tag.
That moment brought back so many memories for me. I thought about those same birthday parties I went to as a kid. The parties where everyone got cake except me. The parties where your next game of laser tag was dependent on what that damn meter said. Those times where diabetes made you feel different or left out. You’d be hoping that for one day – just one day – that your numbers would behave so you didn’t have to miss out on anything. It’s tough enough being a kid sometimes. Add diabetes into the mix, and it’s a whole new ballgame.
It made me smile though too. I thought about how cool it was that kid had the OmniPod. Pumps weren’t even wildly available when I was first diagnosed. For me to have a piece of cake when I was a kid meant I had to bolus my Regular insulin a half hour ahead of time, but also be careful I didn’t go low while running around like maniac at a laser tag party. That kid could wirelessly turn down his basals, bolus rapid-acting on the fly, and have his pump give and estimated carb count for cake from it’s food database.
But most of all, I just hoped that he felt like a normal kid. Because every 10-year-old deserves to play in all the laser tag games they want to, diabetes or not.