Diabetes means your pancreas looks like a shriveled up noodle.

“Diabetes means your pancreas looks like a shriveled up noodle.” Haha… this is one of the things my family and friends had to say about Type 1 diabetes when I asked them what they thought it meant. Some gave me a legit answer and some gave me some humorous answers.

I have a habit of always saying things like “I’m low”  “I’m high” I forgot to turn my pump on” “I haven’t been getting insulin the last hour” “I don’t feel good, I think my blood sugars are messed up.” “You make my face hurt.” Things that might go over some of my friends heads or have them thinking I’m some sort of alien. Type 1 has been with me for so long I forget that not everyone realizes what I’m talking about. I just assume they know and you know what it means to assume. Ass-U-Me.

I thought it’d be interesting to see what some of the people closest to me think about Type 1. It has provided me with great entertainment…so here you go. I’m keeping it somewhat anonymous so I don’t embarrass anyone.

“It’s where you can’t have sugar bc your heart will stop….No….cause your pancreas can’t create life juice.” – Brother

“All I know is that you had to pee an unreal amount when you were little and it was annoying.  You have to pee a lot and take shots bc your pancreas is dumb. Your pancreas is so dumb it can’t do the one thing it was supposed to. It didn’t study enough.” – Other brother

“I know that you have to watch what you eat and there’s tingling in your in feet.” – Sister in law to which my brother responded “You’re just repeating what you saw in a commercial”

“It is early onset diabetes. No cause or nothing to cause it. Your body doesn’t process glucose and therefore you have to monitor it yourself and make adjustments. Having a good diet and exercise can help too.” – Childhood Friend *There is a cause to type 1…dealing with genetics..freak genes… and some environmental things… such as an illness (like chicken pox) can trigger the cells to destroy the pancreatic cells that create my “life juices” or insulin as it is commonly referred to as.

“I think of “juvenile diabetes,” though I know it’s becoming more commonly diagnosed in adults, too. It’s a chronic disease where the pancreas isn’t able to regulate the amount of sugar in the person’s blood. It’s not curable and it’s not fair.” – childhood friend

“It is a condition in which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep the body’s blood sugar (glucose??) levels stable. People with type 1 need insulin to control it whereas type 2 people can control it in other ways, i.e. medication, diet, etc.” – New friend

“I’ll be embarrassed if I’m wrong. Type 1 diabetes is when your  pancreas can’t regulate the sugar in your blood. So you need to test your blood and manage the insulin level yourself.”    When I asked for a childhood memory: “I remember being jealous. I thought it was neat that you checked your blood sugar and you had that gold medical alert necklace. And you had to go to a camp for type 1 kids and I was sad I couldn’t do that too.”  – Childhood Friend *Side note: Diabetes Camp was the WORST experience of my LIFE! Putting a shy introverted kid in a camp where I knew no one was my worst nightmare. I’m lucky I made it out alive… haha… I’m not being dramatic or anything… I would never be dramatic!!! NO!!!

“Diabetes means your pancreas looks like a shriveled up noodle.” – Childhood friend

“It’s a life time sentence given to children. Children that should not have to be burdened with dietary restrictions. Children that never asked to have to test their blood several times a day. Children that just want to fit in with their friends. To have the freedom to enjoy a piece of birthday cake at a party without the hassle. Adults that have to watch everything they put into their bodies. Doctor appointments. Fear they’ve done something wrong that could have terrible consequences. A lifetime sentence without the chance for parole except they never committed a crime.” – Childhood friend – She told me after this she wasn’t trying to be gloomy, but that she was just trying to think of the hardships and I’d say she was pretty accurate… at least accurate in getting into my mind on the matter.

“Well from what I have gathered diabetes is a condition where a persons pancreas doesn’t function properly enough to provide the body with enough insulin to stabilize blood sugar levels…as far as “what it is”.. That’s about all I know really.. I’m not familiar with the different types and the differences really.. I know there are type 1 and 2 I think.. And then I know there is juvenile diabetes and also my mom had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with me.” – New friend *Juvenile is type 1

All in all I think most people had the basic gist of it all…except my family.. and there were a few statements from friends that weren’t a 100% but they did good and that makes my heart happy. I was planning on gathering more from people because I’m very interested in what people in my life have to say about it, but I lack patience so I’m going to post this one and maybe do a part 2 at a later date.

Holidays Schmolidays

I’m baaccckkk…..

I knew I wanted to write something tonight, but I couldn’t think of anything so I asked a trusty friend and she suggested a holiday post. If you hate this post please direct your negativity to your mirror and punch yourself in the face.

Holidays… what can I say? It’s a tricky time for a diabetic. Lots of traveling, non normal eating times, tons of food and dessert floating around all over the place…one needs to be a little extra diligent so they don’t go into a high blood sugar coma.

Uhhhh…turns out I don’t think I have the humor to do this post tonight… heart is a tad sad. Perhaps it is the winter blues, perhaps it is something else, either way I’m going to have to come back to this one because I think it will be a good one to write in the appropriate mood. Buuuttt I want to post something so I’m going to repost one of my favorites.. Top 10 Reasons it Sucks to be Type 1 Diabetic. And suck it does. That’s what she said.

Top 10 Reasons it Sucks to be Type 1 Diabetic

  1. You need to be a math magician. Count carbs, give the right amount of insulin to account for carbs, try to exercise and need to figure out how much less insulin to give so you don’t go low or high if you subtract too much. Blah blah blah. I could go on, but I don’t feel like it. So there! >:P
  2. Attachment disorder. I feel abnormally attached to my pump….I guess that isn’t really abnormal, it does keep me kickin’ and not cremated in a jar somewhere. However, I do feel practically naked if it is disconnected from me for too long. I may be liable to flip out and start running into walls repeatedly until I am magically connected again.
  3. Diet Soda. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE diet soda, but when I go to restaurants it is sometimes hard to distinguish if the waiter/waitress actually gave me a diet soda. If the fountain tank contraption thing-a-ma-bobbers aren’t set up right it can have too much syrup stuff and make a diet soda not taste diet. Then I have to ask the person(s) I’m with to test it out for me, while they look at me like I’m a nut job, and 8 times out of 10 they can’t tell themselves. Then I have to ask the waiter/waitress to get me a new one to be safe and risk them spitting in my drink for being a nuisance.
  4. Sugar Free Hard Candy. Evil stuff. Tastes like death wrapped around a dirty rock dipped in a packet of Equal. Some people (teachers, mostly) have tried to be respectful and give this to me as if to say “they care” but it actually makes me think they are trying to kill me. Give me the real stuff. I have an insulin pump. I can handle it.
  5. Bloody fingers. Yuck. Also, attached to this one is holes. I poke holes in my fingers, holes in my belly. I’m just a holy gal, I guess.
  6. Eating. I like to eat, but I don’t like being forced to eat because my blood sugar is low or not being able to eat because I’m waiting to stop getting high.
  7. Tubing on the pump. My pump has tubing…I’m sure most of you have seen it hanging out of my clothes. Lord knows people like to constantly tell me it’s not tucked in. Well, sometimes it doesn’t want to be hidden. Sometimes it wants to be foot loose and fancy free.
  8. Tubing on the pump. I already said this one? Well, I have more to say. Shock, I know. Sometimes when the tubing is hanging free kids and cats think it is ok to play with it like a string, and I don’t realize until I feel a tug on the part connected to me. Ouch, people.
  9. Insurance companies. Enough said.

And the last one is….. drum rollplease….

10.  Media Portrayal of Diabetes. Some medias get it right but most of the time no one distinguishes what type is being discussed (usually type 2) so all    the normal people remain uninformed and see all diabetes as fixable and preventable. “Can’t you just exercise and you’ll be better?” No! I have type 1, buttface! Get the facts. Then I have to go into the whole immune system thing and how my body just decided to turn on itself and the cells that fight off sickness in my body saw my pancreas cells as bad (even though they are good, very good) and visciously ripped their throats out. And then the people’s eyes glaze over and they stop listening and just nod.

“Yeah, yeah my (insert uncle/grandpa/dad) was just diagnosed, so I already know this.”  -random person

“Were you even listening to anything I said?” – me

“Uh…” – random person.

Just break the wrist, and walk away.

Please Don’t Ever Say This to a Type 1 (Prob Type 2’s too)

I have compiled a list of things that you should never say to me unless you want to get beat.

Now… this post is in good fun so to any family and friends out there who have said any of this to me…deal with it, yo. I’m 50% kidding, 50% serious. In other words I’m old enough that I don’t really care one way or the other if you say these shenanigans to me.

I don’t want anyone to stop asking me questions on my diseaseys  in the heazies (that’s what I’m nicknaming it tonight) I like informing people of the different types and what I do to keep on truckin’ so keep on askin.” I’m in the mood that I’m part country/ part gansta tonight.

Anyway here are a few for you.

1. “You need to eat something.”

This is a big one in my family and most of the time I’m told this when I’m completely normal…and by normal I mean my normal strange self. Proceeding this statement is people bringing me food after I already said I didn’t want anything… I’ve survived with this for 25 years…I’m well aware of when I need to eat something. I appreciate the caring, but please stop harassing me.

In my younger days they used to constantly give me rice krispy treats and muffins…. I swear, to this day, I can’t look at a rice krispy treat without getting upset and quite frankly, scared someone is going to try to make me eat it. I’ll probably have nightmares tonight. Thanks a lot, blog!

 2. “Have your kidneys/ eyes/ feet or whatever complication a type 1 can give you down the road failed you yet?”

Ummmm…seriously? It’s the “yet” that gets me riled. You don’t knowwwww me. You don’t knowwwww where I live. Just cause you know an old man that had problems doesn’t mean I will.

3.    “Should you be eating that?”

This one doesn’t bother me as much as it does other type 1’s. I’ve said it in previous posts. We can eat whatever you can eat…we just have to give enough insulin to cover it. Research and medicine treatments have come a long way since 20 years ago.  Join the 21st century why don’t ya?

4. “Why are you acting weird? Are you low?”

It’s my face. Shush it.

5. “Is that a pager?”

Yes. Yes it is a pager. I’m very important…. living in the 90’s and all that jazz.

That’s all you people get. Now stop harassing me for more blog posts!! Haha…100% kidding on that one!! Thanks for the support and requests.

And please don’t ever say these things to Type 1’s…foreva eva and eva evaaa? Yes.

You suck, Diabetes.

Some days ya just want to say “Suck it, diabetes.” And maybe you want to wrastle with your already dead, blackened, decrepit pancreas and punch it in the face.

Today was one of those days for me. For the following reasons:

1. I didn’t feel good and I was in a bad mood with a lot on my mind that I needed to figure out. When these things occur I am not exactly hungry and I find it annoying to have to take a break from feeling sorry for myself and try to find something to eat before I pass out. Diabetes is a rude brat. (And if any of you reading this are thinking I’m the brat I will punch you in the face.)

2. I opened my new pack of juice boxes I keep on hand for low blood sugars and realized I bought the kind that has “less sugar and naturally sweetened” blah blah blah. That’s all fine and dandy for moms wanting to feed their kids something healthier, but it kind of defeats the purpose for me. Not only does it not taste as good as the normal kind I now have to drink two of the darn things to equal one of the more sugary kind to get my blood sugar raised appropriately. Diabetes is a rude brat. (Don’t you dare think that about me, readers! Remember my earlier threats?)

3. Washed my sheets today and I hop in bed to get all snug as a bug in  my fresh clean blankets, roll to the side, and yep… feel the sting on my pump insertion site telling me I ripped part of it out. Now I gotta get out of my nice, clean bed and change out my site. Bleh. Diabetes is a rude brat. (Yeah, maybe I am a brat too. Deal with it, yo!)

On another note…. I was in Walgreens buying a lovely birthday card for a lady I work with and at the check out you can once again donate to JDRF. I hope you all think of me and my bad day next time you are checking out at Walgreens and open your wallets  a little more, maybe toss a buck or two JDRF’s way in honor of me and my fellow type 1 comrades.

If you made it to the end I thank you for listening to my rantings. You’re swell people.

Emily’s Silver Linings Playbook

Silver linings. Silver linings are defined as “a hopeful or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty.” I believe every difficult aspect of life can have a silver lining. You just have to look for it. Finding a silver lining for having type 1 diabetes is not too hard for me. As annoying as it can be at times, I’ve never had too much difficulty finding the humor in it as well as using it to my advantage when warranted.

I’ve pretty much already written a post about this called Top Reasons You Want to be Type 1 Diabetic..I just didn’t use the fanciness of the words “Silver Linings” oooooo…I am like soooo totes cool right now.

You know what? I’m having writers block right now so I am going to go do some Just Dance 3 on the Wii to get my brain waves flowin’…If I had a big trampoline that’d be better, but alas, I do not. Please starting crying for me. This is a tragedy.

Ok, I’m back now.

For me the biggest silver lining on being type 1 is probably getting away with whatever I want. Haha. Want to punch someone in the face? Do it. “My blood sugar was really low, like 20. I’m lucky I didn’t go into a coma and die.” Get really hyper for no blood sugar related reason and embarrass yourself? “I was soooo low… clearly I would never sing in a super high voice and prance around a room if my blood levels were good.” Want to get out of going to your Great Aunt Sally’s bagpipe convention? “I’m having some issues with my insulin pump. I’ll probably be on the phone with the supplier for hours….sorry ’bout it.” Not paying attention to someone who’s talking? “I’m sorry, I need to go check my blood sugar.” Works like a charm.

My next silver lining is more in my mind and not for every type 1 out there, but sometimes I feel like I skipped out on other illnesses and problems because of my type 1ness. I don’t have allergies, I don’t really get headaches or such things. I feel like God is up there saying “Yo, she’s diabetic. She doesn’t need any other problems on top of that.” Why, thank you sir. Thank you very much.

There’s more silver linings out there, but I’m ready to move on to another task of the evening. Like practice some guitar…which is annoying and I want to bash it against a wall in frustration most of the time…. whoah. I must have a high blood sugar right now. 😉

Terms of Endearment, Part 3

Did you think I was done writing about terms I use as a Type 1 diabetic? Nope. I have more. Many many more. How many of those I choose to share with you I don’t know yet.

“Death” – This is what I call sugar free hard candy. In a previous post I have referred to it as tasting like “Death wrapped around a dirty rock dipped in a packet of equal.” I still stand beside that statement.

“Count Pokeula” – This is what I call my finger pricker. He is a vampire. He stabs me on a daily basis and draws blood from my fingertips and forces  me to take my blood sugar. Evil S.O.B. that one is.

“The Slice and Dice” – I have had a few people in my day ask me if I could check their blood sugars for them and I do (after I change out the needles…no needle sharing here, folks.) Every single time I kind of jerk my hand in nervousness and instead of a straight up finger poke they get a little slice…sorry…but I did check your blood for you and…gasp…. it’s completely normal…. which leads me to….

“I want to punch you in the face” – Sometimes, maybe, I will think that I want to punch you in the face after I checked your blood sugar and it’s awesome because you hve a functional pancreas that takes care of all your needs..which leads me to…

“The shriveled up dead thing” – This is what I call my actual pancreas. I don’t know what it is supposed to look like, nor do I care to because I am a bit squeamish, but I envision my pancreas to be a shriveled up dead thing floating around my body.

“Mo money, mo problems” – I just wanted to say that.

“The helper” – This is the good samaritan who likes to say to a diabetic “Should you be eating sugar?” To which I would say “Should you be shutting your face?” Haha..no…I would never say that or even think it really. Well, not think it in a serious matter, at least.

“What’s your blood sugar?” – The response I get when I’m being exceptionally weird…which let’s face it…is most of the time. And most of the time my blood levels are normal. I’m just a weirdo.

 

I guess I’m done for now. I hope you all have a lovely morning/afternoon/ evening. And remember.. An act of kindness a day keeps the doctor away.

 

 

Terms of Endearment – Part Deux

Two days ago I started on my Type 1 Diabetes Terms of Endearment Part 1 post. I was going to give it a couple weeks before I did part two, but I am procrastinating right now on doing the things I know I should be doing…like laundry, dishes, recycling the 20 or so empty water bottles laying around my house…you know? All that really really amazingly awesome stuff you are just sooo excited to do so you decide to do anything but that. Well, here I am, ladies and gents. Part Deux commence!

“The Drunken Sailor” – This is what I refer to when my blood levels get so low I start resembling a drunken sailor. One minute you’re fine and the next you snap out of the low and find yourself in a sailor uniform with no recollection of how you got in it.

“Alma, check your battery.” – This is actually a quote from Sister Act. Whenever Fred (my pump) gets low in battery, he beeps at me. Beep Beep Beep. I speak beeps fluently so I’ll translate for you. He said “Alma, check your battery.”

“The Stare” – This is what I refer to when I see a stranger staring at my pump. I can almost hear what they are thinking. “Why does that girl have a beeper?” “Doesn’t she know it’s 2013?” “What a weirdo” “Do you have any more gum, more gum, more gum, more gum? Do you any more gum? Gum.”

“I’m frrreeeeeee” – This is what I think between infusion set changes when I have no pump site attached to me and I feel like a normal human being. I’m frreeeee. It is only a 5 minute or less space of time every 3-4 days, but I’m freeeee!!! Sometimes I’ll shower between site changes and then I’m freeeeee even longer!!!!! It’s beautiful.

“Crowns” – This has nothing to do with diabetes. This is what I say instead of “crayons” Lately, my friend…rude friend….at work has been giving me a hard time for this. She also laughs at me and stares at me when I am in pain from crossfit and can’t get out of my chair. She is also going to read this and she should know she is rude! RUDE! I kidd I kidd…I mean she really does do this and will read this, but I think it is funny. Like her face. BURN!!!! Hahaha…I think  know I’m funny.

“You’re killin’ me, Smalls.” – This is what I tell Pumpies (my pump) when he unclips himself from my pants pocket and dangles at my side, pulling at my pump site, trying to rip the tubing out of me. He is literally trying to kill me…. even though that is very unlikely to ever kill me….sooooo yeah.

“This is a stick up, give me all your money” – This is my feeling on the days the bill comes in for my diabetes supplies. I have insurance, but first I have to meet my deductible then I get it 100% covered…SO basically the stick up is the first half of the year. Sons of Bees.

Annddd that’s all for today folks. I really must do my chores now…..but first I think I’ll go on a walk. Yes, that is exactly what I’ll do. And then maybe go to the store and look for stuff I don’t need. Like a dog. A lab. A yellow lab. A male yellow lab. A male yellow lab named Winston. Someone give me money so I can get a dog…..A male yellow lab named Winston. Or Fred. Or Herbert. Herbert Fitzpatrick the 4th. I think I would name him the latter. I’d call him Fitz for short.

Terms of Endearment – Part 1

Here are some Type 1 diabetes terms of endearment I like to use on a regular basis.

“I’m high” – When the blood sugar is high…sometimes can cause a sleepy dazed look which people might actually mistake for a drug induced high….I’m just high on life, man. Peace, love and happiness.

“I’m low” – When blood sugar is low. If a diabetic ever says this around you get them some sugar, but whatever you do, DO NOT let them inside a grocery store! Terrible things may happen….lime jello might be bought. For the love of God, keep them away!!! Oh the humanity!

“We got a bleeder.” – This happens when I prick my finger and it continues to bleed after a longish (30 second) period of time. It’s annoying really….especially if you touch something not realizing and leave a trail of blood…kind of gross…to other people…I think my blood and wherever it lands is awesome. Sometimes I reread what I type and I don’t make sense….deal with it, yo.

“Son of a!!!!” – This happens when I change my pump site and it is  a hurtful one. 7 times out of 10 it doesn’t really hurt, but when it does…SON OF A!! That’s gonna leave a mark. (Tommy Boy) I hope most of you got that..otherwise we can’t be friends.

“Is this Diet?” – A diet soda is not always recognizable in a restaurant setting. Just accept it if I ask you to try my soda and tell me what you think of it’s diet/ non-diet status.

The Blood Fountain Gusher – This is what I refer to when I prick my finger and blood literally shoots out my finger tips. It doesn’t happen often, but it is a sight to behold when it does. I should probably be a super hero. I shall from this day forward only respond to “Emily the Finger Blood Shooter Outer”…. that sounds pretty legit and awesome, right? Not lame at all….no, sir. Not lame at all.

“Your mom goes to college.”  – That has noting to do with diabetes I just wanted to quote Napoleon Dynamite. Gosh!

My Beeps/ Pumps/ Pumpers/ Pumpies/ Fred – A list of some of my nicknames for my insulin pump. It prefers to be called “Insulin Pump the 3rd”, but I just think that’s too pretentious and I refuse to give into the demands of my beeps.

I’ve decided to make this post a Part 1 of a series  because  even though I have more diabetes terms I like to use, I’m ready to move on to a new task for the evening. I call it put on the jam jams and jam. A delightful time that consists of pajamas and the singing (or off key bellowing) of lovely tunes…like the Avett Brothers or some other really awesome band.

Low Blood Sugar Grocery Store Blues

Tonight marks another low blood sugar in the grocery store night…. went in for some chili powder and walked out with the loss of my dignity.

Background: Worked out tonight without my Continuous Glucose Monitor of which could have warned me of a low blood sugar and to top that I did not use a “temp basal rate” on my pump before or during workout, which would have decreased my insulin rates as I worked out and thereby kept me normaler. “Normaler”….it’s not an actual word, but it should be.

Purchases:

1. Jell-o Pudding – this sounded delicious at the time…too bad I did not think to purchase milk to make it.

2. Lime flavored Jell-o. I’ve said it before, but I don’t like Jello. The only time it appeals to me is if it is in the form of an alcoholic shot or I have a low blood sugar.

3. Trash bags – I actually needed these and there was a coupon on the box.

4. The movie “Just Go With It” – I just watched this and definitely did not need to buy it. Who buys DVD’s these days when you can just buy and download instantly through the internet? That’s right. I’m down with the 21st century, yo.

5. Kraft Mac and Cheese (I got the blue box blues) – too bad this is another item that requires milk…

6. Juice boxes (a low blood sugar staple for most diabetics)

7. Peanut Butter

8. Grape Jelly – already have a full jar of this in the fridge that I barely use.

9. A kit-kat – Ate this in the car before driving home.

10. A suduko book – I don’t even know..guess I wanted to improve my brain a little.

11. Crayola Crayons (or as I say “crowns”) and a Minnie and Mickey coloring book. 

12. A 1000 piece puzzle of a castle…I think I reverted to a 10 year old child…

13. Oreos – it should be noted that I already had bought Oreos earlier today…of which will be taken to my co-workers tomorrow by the demand of a good friend who knows I don’t want that stuff in my house no mo. Thank you, friend.

14. Diet Dr. Pepper – Oh, I curse the carbonated deliciousness of this drink. I’m trying to not buy soda for my house and only drink water when inside these beautiful walls.

15. Crush Orange Single Serving Drink Mixes – similar to the Crystal Light packets you put in a bottle of water. I don’t know what to think about this….will it just be an orange flavor? Will it some how turn my water into a carbonated orange drink? I’ll find out tomorrow.

And best of all when I went to check-out I got distracted by the candy in front of me and handed the cashier my phone instead of my coupon for the trash bags. He gave me a strange look like I was a weirdo so I gave him a look like “What’s you problem, man?” He just handed me my phone back and I put my head down in shame.

Thankfully, I went back to the store later and was allowed to return the movie, coloring book, puzzle, jelly, and oreos (I still have my first package for work tomorrow..minus 3 cookies…ok, ok. 4!). I don’t think they are technically suppose to allow the return of food items…but oh well…works for me! 

And…Yes…. I did not even get what I went in there to buy in the first place. Chili powder. Luckily I located a pack in my cupboard. If I had known this, this whole event could have been avoided.