I was at a party a few weeks ago where someone mentioned they weren’t going to eat any more cookies because getting diabetes would be the worst thing in the world. I informed them of the inaccuracy of their statement without disclosing that I have type 1 diabetes. The people at the party who know I have diabetes were not in the room. I wasn’t in a fighting mood or a “talk tactfully and succinctly to get my point across” mood, so I left the room.
As I was repeating this story to a friend this week, I realized that what sticks out in my mind as a major diabetes moment and what sticks out in my friends’ minds can be quite different.
There was a festival in town one weekend and I finally felt like I had made friends and they wanted me to join them. Who am I to say no to doing things with friends. Everywhere I looked there was delicious food. What was I going to have. Not if. What. I/we made my/our decision. I told my friends this was not a decision we could back out on because our choice had so much sugar (more than anything else there), that I would go low if I pre-bolused and then decided on something else. I think I guesstimated that it was something like 80 or 90 or possibly even 100g of carbs. I programmed my insulin pump and let the sound of delivery be music to my ears next to the kids laughing around us. We reached the front of the line and it was sold out. “You can go to our store tomorrow” they said. I had to immediately figure out what to do. This is the moment my friend realized how panicky life with diabetes can get. I mean, I was sad and disappointed and nervous about going low, but I bought multiple other things to get to the carb count. I’m sure I also had airheads with me. But it was a super hot day so if I got super low or went low super fast, this would’ve been a day I would have just wanted to stop and sit. No matter where I was. I don’t remember going low that day (doesn’t mean I didn’t), and I don’t remember going high (doesn’t mean I didn’t). I remember so many other wonderful things. Now I know that diabetes panic is part of someone else’s memory from that day.
I don’t think of this as a panic moment. I don’t think I appeared panicked. I know this friend has been around for more panicky moments. Did I hide those? If I did, why? I think I’d be safer if friends know when I actually panic and when I don’t. I believe it would keep me safer in an emergency. But, I really like this story. I like that a quick change of plans made this okay. I like that to me it’s funny and to them it wasn’t. I love the different views of how we dealt with it. I like that a simple story taught them more and more about diabetes. No one is going to learn it all in a day. Every experience teaches those around us, even if the lesson isn’t what we intend.