Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yes, I'm a diabetic!

The diabetes police is everywhere. People tell you how to treat your diabetes, even if they have no clue what diabetes is about. They command you to poke your fingers and check your blood glucose (don't you think 8 - 10 finger pokes a day are enough??). Of course you have to tell them the number (then they ask what the number is supposed to be!) and then they give you that look while they nod their faces.. GGGgggggrrrr...

Conversation: Are you sure you can have a cookie? I thought diabetics were not supposed to have cookies...? What do you mean you need a regular coke? Yes, I need one, I'm low! But diabetics are not supposed to have sugar, are they??!!! AAaarrrgghhh!

Another anecdote: Are you experiencing a low? Hurry up and have an insulin shot!!! NO!!! Insulin makes my sugars go down even more! What??? But diabetics are supposed to take insulin!!! That's what I saw on TV??!!

One more: What insulin are you using ma'am? Apidra.. Apidra??? That's not insulin, you probably mean Actrapid? No, Apidra.. You must be mistaken ma'am, Apidra is not insulin. Yeah right, so what's in my pump?? water?? (this is what happened when the ambulance came to pick me up after a severe low - the doctor had no idea..)
It's pretty obvious why you're experiencing a low, ma'am, you turned off your insulin pump.. Of course I did! More insulin means I'm going to drop even more! (same doctor). As if..

Some mean well and are really concerned. They also know what diabetes is about and they know the difference between lows and highs. They ask you to check your blood glucose if they see you're not feeling well. That I don't mind at all. But the diabetes police is not welcome.. If you're interested, really interested, I'm more than willing to tell you about diabetes. I will tell you that the numbers are preferably between 80 - 120 mg/dl. I will also tell you that I rarely have a day that my numbers are in that range all day. I will explain to you what it means if my sugars drop below 60 mg/dl. You will hear that I don't feel well then. If I don't have a sugar intake at that time, my sugars may drop even lower, sometimes below 20 mg/dl. I will tell you that I shiver, that I feel nauseous, that I'm starved, that my legs feel like rubber bands. I will tell you that my mind isn't clear at the time. That I may refuse regular coke or juice although I desperately need one. That I may pass out if no action is taken. That I will not die, but that I do need help at the time. That most of the time I can help myself, but assistance is welcome if I'm not responding well. I will tell you that, if only you are truly interested.

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