#TalkAboutDiabetes – Diabetes Awarness Week June 2018

What do you struggle with when you’re talking about diabetes? It’s Diabetes Week 2018 (June 11-18) and the theme of this year’s awareness-raising seven days is the stuff we find awkward, embarrassing, difficult or even funny to mention.

Here are mine:

  • I don’t like telling people in general. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed; I just don’t like drawing attention to myself.
  • Jelly baby etiquette. When you eat sweeties in front of someone, politeness dictates you offer them around. But they’re the medicine that corrects low blood sugars*, so stinginess is understandable.
  • Explaining a hypo when you’re in the middle of one. Most of my low blood sugar episodes are manageable. But I can be in the middle of a conversation and my mind goes blank. “Bear with me! My mind’s distracted. It’s screaming ‘SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR’ at me. My word power will return in a few minutes,” is what I should say.
  • Or don’t talk to me. When I’m high, conversation is too much effort. Please don’t take it personally.
  • I don’t talk much either when I’m high because I’m conscious of the nasty taste in my mouth and am reluctant to impose halitosis on anyone.
  • And don’t take the grumpiness low blood sugars produce personally either. First aiders once told me about diabetics who punched people when they were low, so grumpiness seems moderate in comparison.
  • Please know that managing diabetes is like having a part-time job that you do on top of everything else.
  • If you manage to work out I’m hypo long before I do, be aware I’ll deny it in an exasperated fashion. “Flip’s sakes, no I’m not. Look I’ll even do the blood test to show you and here it…oh. Alright then.”
  • Sometimes when I say I can’t do something because of the diabetes, I might be using it as a fab, ready-made excuse. It’s not me, it’s you. OH NO! I’ve just given away diabetes’ best-kept secret!

*I told a little girl my jelly babies were medicine once. She gave me one of those, ‘why do adults lie to me?’ looks.

7 thoughts on “#TalkAboutDiabetes – Diabetes Awarness Week June 2018”

  1. My favorite is how to explain to the little kid int he cereal isle at the local grocery that eating a complete box of dry sugar laden cereal is OK in the store if you have diabetes. Yeah he thought I might be telling a fib so he went got his mom, who got the store manager who asked me what i was doing. I said I was eating Frosted Flakes. Why he asked? Because they are GREAT !!!!

    Yeah none of that worked out so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In 40+ years I’ve had that conversation so many times you’d think I have it down pat. lol Oh you are so wrong. I to this day hate telling someone just for conversations sake I am a diabetic. I have seen the look of terror or condemnation or confusion on the faces too often. I am one of those diabetics your first aiders told you about. At age 12 I had a bad low and the doctor had a nurse from ER come to our house to give me a shot of Glucagon. This was in the late 1970s and I preceded to throw said nurse about 8 feet across our living room. When I was much bigger, about 100 pounds bigger I woke up to 8 fire fighter/EMTs holding me down to get an IV started. When I had so much trouble with that first pump dropping me low they knew to show up when my address was on the caller ID in force to get me back to normal. It was more combative then raw aggression. If you left me alone I was fine, sort of. If you tried to get me to drink or eat anything then you had a problem. People who know me well and have never seen this side do not believe I am capable of it. A very dear friend of mine decided one day she was going to hold me down get me to drink juice. She is also by the way a diabetic. I was later told how I had tried to rip her breast off. I use humor when talking about these issue but in reality I am terrified of going low because of having been told these stories. I’m a lover not a fighter and the thought of loosing my control and hurting the ones I love is worse than the pain of ripping an IV out or even breaking a hand hitting it on something during one of these incidents. Some people I tell smile and say not to worry about it. I smile back but I can not help but worry. I have little to no memory when it gets that low but it hurts just as bad to listen to the person who just had to deal with it recount it to me. At times I don’t believe it but there are usually evidence of the truth. A needle scratch down my arms as the nurse was flung against the chair. The pool of blood on the bedsheets from me pulling the IV out. She never showed me but the bruise I left on my friends boob. They all leave invisible scars in my mind. I tell coworkers about my diabetes just to make them aware of what I can be capable of at those times. It is always a conversation I dread but find necessary. I also get a the “you can’t have that then can you” comment quite often. My response is that there is nothing I CAN’T have as long as I adapt to it. My insulin schedule (THAT is a hard subject to get across to a non-diabetic) is not a timing chart or amount chart but formulas of counting carbs and doing math.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You poor soul! I feel for you. (I once bit my dad’said finger when I was hypo as a child, quite hard too.) Horrid to feel low blood sugarss alter your personality so much.

      Like

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