Diabetes Blog Week: Memories

I’m late, but I’m here! And that’s okay. I even have a personal Facebook message from the lovely Karen Graffeo, founder of Diabetes Blog Week, to prove it. 


Here’s Wednesday’s topic: Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

I thought and thought (and thought and thought) about a single diabetes day that stands out in my memory, and I’m not sure I have one that I haven’t already written about. Or one that’s interesting enough to warrant an entire blog post. Instead, I present you with a list of my all-time Top 10 diabetes moments.

Here they are:

1. The time I left a purse full of syringes at school, and almost got detention for having them on campus.

2. Leaving my insulin pump on a boat while I snorkeled in Key West, and getting out of the water to find my blood sugar (and my pump) right where I left them. Hooray!

3. The time I felt kind of low while walking around in New Orleans, then checked my blood sugar, learned it was 26, and freaked out. I think I downed about 170 ounces of Coke right afterward.

4. Using a CGM before they were readily available. I had to have it “installed” at the Endo’s office, then wear it for 24 hours and return it. I got sick and had a fever (and super-high blood sugars) during those 24 hours, so the test results were null and void anyway.

5. My pump running out of battery power just before midnight on New Years Eve 2003. A nice cop who was standing outside the bar I was at drove me to different drug stores to find a new one.

6. Every single time someone’s asked me about the cell phone clipped to my pocket.

7. My very first endocrinologist office visit, where the doctor turned the hot and cold water taps off and on to demonstrate the pancreas and liver working together in a non-diabetic kid’s body.

8. The first time I had a scary low. I was in 7th grade, lining up to walk down to the cafeteria for lunch, and my vision started to go. Oops.

9. Bumming rides to the drugstore my first year of college for insulin refills.

10. Arriving at Disney World in July of 2011 to find Sara, Martin, Jess, Scott, C, Karen and Brian waiting for me by the Monsters, Inc. ride. Then eating ice cream with Kim. Then, several hours later, meeting Scott Johnson, George, Kerri and Lee Ann. That was a good day.

Fantasy Diabetes Device: Take My Autoimmue Disorder — Please.

Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be. Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc.  The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

This is a hard one. A really hard one, because my first, second and third inclination is to answer the Fantasy Device question with one answer: a normally functioning pancreas. How glorious that would be!

But “pancreas” is the obvious (and best) answer. And if I can’t have the shiny new insulin-producing organ I want, I can at least have some fun and flexibility with my diabetic life, can’t I? That’s where my imaginary device comes in: It’s as yet unnamed, but I have filed for several patents, and marketing focus groups are well underway.

Like the CGM, it’s an addition to the whole pump system I’ve got connected to my person, but it works more like a remote. My fantasy device allows me to bestow my diabetes on other people for abbreviated periods of time.

I’ve heard my loving mother and generous husband say it over and over again: “If I could take this disease on for you, I would.” I appreciate the sentiment, and I love them both so much for saying it, but I don’t know if I’d feel right giving them all the diabetes forever. I would, however, feel comfortable letting one of them borrow it for a  weekend.

They’d be responsible for the blood sugar control (or lack thereof), suffer the temporary consequences, count the carbs, inject the insulin, do the fingerstabs. And I’d spend the weekend sleeping and running and dancing around and eating and drinking and being productive. Then I’d take the diabetes back. It is my nasty little pet, after all.

Think of the temporary freedom! The empathy and understanding the device could foster. The fights, too: “I don’t want to take your diabetes next weekend! I did it last month!”

The most satisfying part, though, would be sharing diabetes with strangers. The next time someone made an idiotic comment about “diabetic folks who just don’t take care of themselves,” I could let them borrow mine for an afternoon — just so they can see how easy it is!

And if I ever again, God forbid, find myself stuck in a conversation with someone who’s all excited about their voluntarily carb-free, gluten-free, low-calorie, paleo raw diet of food items that begin with the letter S, I can give them my diabetes for a while. “Here,” I’ll say, “Sounds like you need a real problem to focus on!”

As soon as they started to whine too pitifully, I’d take my diabetes back. Everyone has their Stupid Life Thing they have to deal with, and for now, this is mine. I’m sure that just knowing I can give my diabetes away for an hour or a day would make the really tough days a little easier. Right?

Finding Friends

It’s Diabetes Blog Week again (yay!), and today’s topic is as follows: Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!!  Let’s all find a new friend today!

This is hard for me, because I feel like all of the blogs I know and love I’ve come to know and love through the greater DOC.

I could go on and on about how much I love and admire Kim at Texting My Pancreas, or talk about how Jess’ empathy and kindness shine through everything she posts. We could discuss Karen, and how I draw on her pregnancy journey and all-around radness when I’m feeling defeated, or touch on the d-mom genius of Joanne and the way she writes about caring for a CWD day in and day out. I love everyone, but pointing them all out makes me feel like that person who just discovered Keyboard Cat and is like, “Hey everybody! Look at this new awesome funny kitteh that I found on the Interwebs!” Yes, it’s hilarious, but duh. Everyone already knows.

So, let me continue my string of obnoxious gestational posts and talk about my newest DOC friend, Katie at Princess of Pavement. A few weeks ago, I was complaining about the frustrations of being pregnant and diabetic and not knowing who to listen to, and Scully was like, “This other person is pregnant, too!” And poof! There was Katie, being just about the same amount of pregnant as me, and writing posts about it with all kinds of re-enactment pictures. Hooray for simultaneous life events and helpful DOC connections!

Katie pees in containers too! And she sends pictures of her pregnant belly to terrified strangers! And, she’s a runner, which I always pretend like I’m going to be one day, so she’s an inspiration, to boot.

Thanks, Katie — and everyone else whose blog I read — for helping to keep me sane. Or at least feeling a little bit less alone.