Nothing to be Ashamed or Scared Of
I have long thought that drinking alcohol with diabetes needs to be a much more widely discussed topic. Drinking is fun, but being safe while drinking takes planning. Backstory enters here: All growing up I saw a nutritionist & CDE every few months. These women felt like family and I enjoyed these appointments. When I was a teenager, one of them talked to me about alcohol. (I know who she was, I just don’t know which woman had each title.) I never believed that I would never drink, but I did know that I wasn’t ready at that time. She sat me down anyway and explained testing frequently and drinking water, and testing and eating food and testing. They explained how even if you see a high number, you don’t get as nervous as usual because alcohol raises you and then drops you. I think the most important thing I learned though, was at camp. GLUCAGON DOESN’T WORK WITH ALCOHOL IN YOUR SYSTEM. This is something I’ve known longer than I’ve been drinking and I share with everyone possible because I think it’s more important than anything else. The safety net that we so desperately avoid using is not available to us.
In high school, I knew plenty of people who drank. I was friends with some and I was not friends with others. When others asked why I didn’t drink, I just told them that I couldn’t because of diabetes. I knew that someday I would be able to, but showing that bright yellow label was easier than any other explanation. Plus, I was scared. I had the idea that feeling drunk was going to feel like feeling low. First, I don’t like feeling low, so why would I create this situation? Second, if I feel low, but I’m not, how would I know when I started to drop? This definitely worked to my friends advantage because I was the one who they could call on to drive, no matter what. When I did start drinking, I called my two best friends and we drank in a dorm room because I wanted to be in a safe environment with people I trusted. It worked, and my fears diminished. As I went through college, I drank more, just like most college kids do. I’m not going to say that I always drank by the book or that I always paid attention to diabetes. I didn’t. It worked for me, but that does not mean it will work for everyone. But I was always with people I trusted. I think that makes all the difference.
For kids & people now, they can drink differently. All because of this new resource Drinking with Diabetes. I think that this is beyond important, helpful and way overdue. For those of you who are wondering what to do, check it out. Read the information. ASK QUESTIONS. There are so many people out here who do drink, and we all know what works for us. I know that we’re all different and what we decide to drink and do varies between us, but what we do might be able to help you.