What type of diabetes do you have: Type 1
When were you diagnosed: December 2, 1993. My 17th diaversary is coming up! As it's my favorite number, I'm going to need to come up with some form of celebration....
What's your current blood sugar: Meter says 126, Dex Jr. says 119
What kind of meter do you use: One Touch UltraLink for my pump
What's a "high" number for you: More than 140 mg/dl, now that I'm trying to get the Holy Grail of a sub-6.0 A1c
What's do you consider "low": Less than 65 mg/dl
What's your favorite low blood sugar reaction treater: Apple juice when I'm home, but Lifesavers or Sweetarts if I'm at work
Describe your dream endo: A doc who
- listens to me
- actually answers my questions
- understands that they might know medicine but I know my body and what it's like to live with this disease
- who treats me like I'm an active participant in my own management - that I don't just want to be told what to do, but WHY I'm doing it so that I can take care of myself better and better
What's your biggest diabetes-related fear: For me personally, blindness. I've already got minimal retinopathy, and I get sick thinking about it getting worse. For others: I want to have kids at some point, and I know I'm going to be a wreck while pregnant (what if my BGs boil the baby?!?) and after (when will B lose me? Will I see my kids grow up?).
Who's on your support team: 1) B's my biggest cheerleader, a source of strength, and the only person I know who routinely makes jokes about my loser/failure pancreas. (Please picture me having to defend the thing. "It's not its fault! It was my overachieving immune system!") I couldn't do half of what I do without him on my team. 2) My other biggie is the D-OC. Cheesy, maybe, but it's been revelatory to "meet" so many people who live with diabetes every day. I didn't go to any camps growing up, didn't know any other T1s. It's only been the past year or two that's brought me into this community and it's been an incredible comfort.
Do you think there will be a cure in your lifetime: No. I think there will be more tech advancements, and we'll get more tools to help us live healthier, longer lives. But I don't think there will be a cure - and if there is, it won't be available to us veterans. Still, preventing others from getting this disease that's such an albatross? I'd be down with that.
What is a "cure" to you: My body being able to regulate its own blood sugars without math, injections, food weighing, finger sticking, sweatbetes, glucose tabs, or anything else from me.
The most annoying thing people say to you about your diabetes is: Oh, GAWD. How can I narrow it down?!?
- "But you're not fat!"
- "You have it really bad, huh?"
- "Are you sure you should eat that?"
- "You have diabetes? My grandma/aunt/coworker did, and they died/lost their leg/went blind..."
- For people who have it: That it's no big deal. I know too many people who don't take their meds, don't take care of themselves, ignore their disease because it takes sooooo long for those complications to rear their ugly heads. I wish 32-year-old me could go back to 18-year-old me and say "Dude. Don't fuck up in college. That 13 A1c you're gonna get? Yeah. That's going to damage your eyes." I'm sure a lot of suffering people wish they could go back and shake their younger selves.
- For people who don't: That it's no big deal. That it's not as deadly as cancer or AIDS, that we all brought it on ourselves, and so it doesn't warrant attention or funding or research. That we should all just stop eating cake and quit our whining.