Monday, April 6, 2015

10 Things Type 1 Diabetics Know

There are things people without Type 1 diabetes just don't fully understand. They need to experience these things first hand.

1) The value of a juice box. This is HUUUGGGGEEE!!! Juice boxes have saved my ass countless times. I do not share my juice boxes with anyone. My daughter knows not to ask for them anymore, because she knows I will tell her no. I keep a supply in my house, some in my car and in my purse. When a low blood sugar hits, they are a life saver!

2) What we can eat. Trust me. Upon diagnosis, we have to visit nutritionists. And we keep seeing nutritionists on and off through the years. Telling a diabetic what he or she can or cannot eat is a cosmic no-no. We got this shit down.

3) Cynicism in a cure. Type 1 diabetes generates billions of dollars every year. Because of this, many Type 1 diabetics believe a cure will never be found. A cure might show up every once in a while in the headlines, but it quickly goes away and is never heard about again. Do not tell us we are being cynical. This is a belief that is firmly engrained in a lot of us.

4) It cannot be controlled 100 percent of the time. This is well nigh on impossible. So many things can throw Type 1 diabetes off track - exercise, diet, illness, stress, emotions, sleep, excitement, road rage, alcohol - the list goes on and on. Do not expect us to be in control all of the time. It will not happen. As one of my endocrinologists told me, you have to be a detective to figure out what the problem is when it goes wacky.

5) Apocalypse = death. The long and the short of it is, we need insulin to continue breathing. If the apocalypse hits, we are not going to live very long. The only chance we have is looting every pharmacy we come across.

6) The feeling of a perfect blood sugar. One can only describe it as euphoric. It does not happen often. To me, that perfection is 100. Not 101. Not 99. That one single number can make my day . . . at least until I test my blood sugar again.

7) The feeling of a too high blood sugar. HOLY SHIT! That is what you scream in your head (or out loud) when you get an ungodly high number. Not only do you feel terrible physically, but your brain is all cloudy from the excess sugar floating around in it. Insulin is your only hope and if you are not careful, you can take too much, which will plummet your blood sugar, which will cause you to reach for one of those precious juice boxes.

8) An indifference to needles. We have taken so many injections throughout our lives, needles no longer scare us. And we will laugh at them unless they look like they should be stuck in a horse. The only problem I have when I get vaccinated is I want to give myself the injection. I'm a pro and I hate giving over my professional power.

9) The feeling of coming out of a low blood sugar and finding you had a free for all pig out. This has happened to me a lot. I come out and I see empty juice boxes, cookie crumbs, empty chip bags, half filled microwave popcorn, melting ice cream. I hate myself afterward because I am way too full and I know my blood sugar is going to kill me in about an hour.

10) The bond with a fellow Type 1. When we come across one of our own (unless we're at a child's diabetic camp), we feel an attraction, a desire to strike up a conversation. It usually starts with asking about how much insulin is used each day and then war stories are shared. Sometimes the bond lasts for years. Other times, it is short lived, but it is still there.


  1. My step dad has diabetes. It sounds like hell!

    1. It has it's hellish moments. We live normal lives, just constantly aware of what's going into our bodies. I've had it since I was 6, so I don't really know anything else.

  2. I love the 10 Things Type 1 Diabetics Know. My Niece has Type 1 and after reading this I have a better insight into what she goes through. Thank you.