Friday, May 1, 2015

Just Ask!

The other day I went out for brunch and to skip all the intimate details, I will go straight to the point.  I had gotten french toast, because I hardly ever treat myself and when I asked for sugar-free syrup and the told me that they didn't have any - I didn't fret, I just knew I would bolus for the regular syrup.   After all I am eating french toast...why not add a few more units of insulin to the mix.  One of the people at my table then told me that I shouldn't be eating what I was eating because I have diabetes. While, I smiled politely and explained that I have insulin (crazy right?) and the insulin will cover the food that I am eating; therefore, within reason I can eat whatever I want... similar to ANY OTHER HUMAN.  The rest of the conversation went pretty much downhill because this person knew more about diabetes than I did and isn't that frustrating!

I know this happens on a daily basis to everyone living with any form of diabetes. I don't really let it bother me, although I am sure this is coming off as it is.  I just am more so baffled that there are so many diabetes experts out there that don't bother to get their MD, like come on! If you're an expert, then surely you should be a doctor and a researcher and an author, and please while you're at it, find the cure!

In a way I want to blanket statement it, I AM HUMAN, I DO HUMAN THINGS.  Like the whole Jenner interview and the conversations that come with that, we are all human and while some of us have limitations or prefer something that isn't the 'norm' then who cares? why do we assume things for others? Why can't I just know, yes maple syrup has lots of sugar, but don't worry I have insulin.   It doesn't matter what others are doing unless it's affecting you directly.

The biggest lesson of this is to just ask. If you're curious, just ask.  Don't assume that someone can or can't do something. Don't assume that someone is okay or someone is unhappy. Don't assume that the person needs help or doesn't need help.  It's so easy to ask questions, "How do you count carbs?" "What is an insulin pump?"  "What does high or low blood sugar mean?"   JUST ASK!

And to answer some of the questions I have gotten in my diabetes lifetime here we go:

"Can you eat that?" Yes, I can eat anything that you can eat. I just have to work my pancreas manually, while yours is automatic.

"What do you feel like when you have low blood sugar?" Everyone can feel different and sometimes it varies for me as well. But usually, I feel shaky, hungry, faint, and I sweat a lot.

"Do you take insulin when you're low or high?" I take insulin 24/7 but that is complicated to explain without hand gestures.  However, when I eat or my blood sugar is high, I take insulin. When my blood sugar is low I eat something.

"Were you born with diabetes?" Not that I know of? I wasn't diagnosed until I was eighteen, but I am type 1. I know, I know the 'juvenile diabetes' wording is confusing.

"Do you wear the pump all the time?"  Yes!  Except when I am showering or swimming, or if I take it off to change and forget it on my bed, go to Walmart, do some shopping then realize I forgot it.   But yes, all the time.

"Do you have the bad kind of diabetes?"Okay, this is one of those questions that I believe comes from the heart, but when it exits the mouth it becomes a hot mess.   I have been asked this countless times, and that's okay, at least it's a question and not a statement.  I don't know what kind of diabetes is bad, all of them? I have all kinds of diabetes.

"Have you had a low blood sugar or high blood sugar before?" Nope, never, I'm perfect. KIDDING. Oh my, when I get this question, I can't help but laugh.  Some people will call it an episode, or go real deep and ask if you've ever been in a coma.   I think those who only know of people with type 2 diabetes, or they are of the older, super old generation, they think high blood sugar is insane, like anything over 12.   So, when you say things like, "my blood sugar was 20!" which is ridiculous but, as a type 1, not insane, old people freak out. (Like my Grandma...)

"Did you get surgery for the pump?" One time I was at the dentist, mouth open with tools plucking at my teeth and the dentist was talking about MY diabetes to the dental assistant.  She said that, "Kayla got surgery for her insulin pump." While I couldn't defend myself, re: mouth. I had to give the death stare through those sweet sunglasses they put on you.

While I know there are many other questions, and like I said, I don't mind. So ask away!