John Pacitti mile six is for you!! John is the one that taught me that it is ok to be open about your life with diabetes. When John and I first started working together I had just started cycling and taking control of my diabetes. I was testing my blood sugar at work like I should have been but I was going to my car to do so. That summer a John started at the club and on the first day he broke out his blood sugar tester and tested in front of everyone. No shame as the number was out of range for John, he just announced what he did wrong and took insulin to get his blood sugar back in range. From that moment I had nothing but respect for John and his diabetes management. As the summer went on I started to come out of my shell and talk to John about diabetes and sharing my story. I'm not sure what effect that had on John but as the summer started to wind down John and I were battling to have the best blood sugar each day at break and at lunch.
Over time a true friendship developed and I became that big brother making sure John was ok while he was living the normal life of a college student. I would receive random texts from John about sports or golfing at the course and I would do my best to casually bring up diabetes. I would talk crap and tell him that I had a "perfect" blood sugar before work. That would open the doors and he and I would go back and forth about our diabetes management. In fact John and I would go and get diabetes medical alert tattoos together. It's not like being blood brothers but you could call us tattoo brothers. The tattoo was all Johns idea and proof that John is never going to hide or be ashamed of his diabetes. It took me a long time to realize that I shouldn't be ashamed of my diabetes and John had a big hand in helping me realize that.
John has just graduated from the University of Rhode Island and doing very well for himself. We have both started new jobs but I will still receive texts that have a picture of his blood sugar and that means a lot. As time goes by you learn what true friendship means and I have the pleasure of calling John a true friend. As I'm running the marathon I will be testing my blood sugar while running, I will definitely be testing my blood sugar on mile 6. I'm not sure if I will be able to get a picture of the result and text it to John but I'll try my best. He is the one who taught me that there is no shame in testing my blood sugar in public and testing in front of 30,000 other runners is the best way to say thank you to John for all of the help he has provided the past six years.