Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Two Camps of Diabetes Observers

Diabetes is such a weird disease in that it's so private and yet so public.

Sometimes people who have seem me test my blood sugar countless times will stare, mesmerized, as I do it for fifth time that day. Or they'll watch me push buttons on my pump for my lunch bolus like it's the most fascinating thing ever. They don't ask questions. They don't look uncomfortable. They just look. Which is fine because, if I didn't want people to look, I wouldn't be so public about it.

Other times, like the other day, people don't notice a thing.


I attend a meeting once a month with the same people. As per usual in these kinds of meetings, everyone always sits in the same seat around the same table.

These meetings last half a day so I end up checking my sugar at least three times in a typical meeting. Check my sugar as in I dig through my purse for my glucometer, unzip it (loudly), prick my finger, draw blood, wait for the beep, suck up blood droplet in the test strip, hear another beep, suck the remaining blood off my finger, re-zip my glucometer and toss it back in my purse. Sometimes I then root around for my ziplock back of Dex4s and munch on some of those.

I also bring a snack with me to this meeting so I do all of the above and then I start pushing buttons on my insulin pump which also makes bizarre noises.

The other day I mentioned something about diabetes to the person who always sits next to me in this meeting.

"You have diabetes?!? I had no idea!"

Yeppers, I do. In fact I sit beside you, draw blood, treat low blood sugars, take drugs and count carbs every single month...and you don't notice a thing.

I'd like to think they'd notice if I slumped to the floor from a horrible low but I guess there's only one way to find out.

It's nice to have people in both camps though. Those who don't notice when I whip out a needle and stab myself right next to them in a staff meeting. And those who hear my pump beep 'low battery' and gasp "Is your pump ok? Is everything alright? Are you low? Do you need sugar?"

To which I always reply 'it's too late, I only have five minutes to live'.

And then I grin.

And laugh.

And reply 'my pump battery is low. It's really no big deal. I will tell you if I'm having a problem. Otherwise, you don't need to worry or make a scene.'

The next time they hear my pump beep, I'll get a grin rather than a scene and it's win win for everyone. 

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