I, inadvertently, invented a game with the one student at school who also has Type 1. While walking in the hallway a week ago, we crossed paths, and I simply said “105.” This number had been my most recent blood sugar reading. The kid smiled and said “nice!”

The next time I saw him, I said “161.” This time, he responded, “Aw man, 265!”  So the game began. Other students who witness our exchanges always look confused, as though we’re speaking in code. I suppose, we are, in a way. They ask him what our numbers mean, but he just smiles and says, “figure it out.”

And so we’ll keep playing each day in the hallways, but we won’t keep score. I’m not sure we can keep score, with all of the variables that affect a blood sugar–bolus rates, basal rates, carb counting, glycemic index of the food we eat, illness, amount of sleep (or lack thereof), stress, exercise, even the temperature of your office.

The game isn’t about keeping score. It’s not even about who has the number closest to 100. It’s about remembering that we’re connected through a shared reality, a shared patience. A game that helps us, or at least helps me, feel a little less invisible in my experience with a chronic illness.

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