All I ever really want to know

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Every time I meet someone with diabetes in real life (which isn’t often), I immediately have so much to say and so many questions. I just want to know… how are you going through this life? What are you doing? How are you doing it?  I want to know everything, although I honestly probably say less initially than I even would when meeting a non-diabetic person. Because it’s like… we don’t know each other *at all* but we also already know *so much.* So yeah, I don’t ask all of these things that I always want to know, which are probably way more than you’d want to tell me anyway… not because it’s too personal (or maybe it is, I don’t know) but really, I’m very interested in the mundane stuff. Like, let’s talk about showering for a minute. Last week my blood sugar was 85 when I went to take a shower and minutes later, shampoo suds dripping down my shoulders, I had to climb out and drink a juice box in my towel. It was cold and annoying. Has that happened to you? I am interested in that.

And dreams. Today around 4am I woke up to a blood sugar around 75 that, after I went back to sleep without drinking the juice box that I’d meant to drink, continued to drop. I had a dream that I was driving a car and I was hairs away from rear-ending someone. I was having a hard time concentrating on driving. There were really two Me’s in the dream, because there was Dream Me #2 watching all of this like a movie, trying to figure out what Dream Me #1 was doing, watching the car swerve, wondering Is she driving drunk? Dream Me #1 pulled into a driveway and stumbled inside and told her mother that her blood sugar was low. Dream Me #2, still watching, thought, Ooooooh, okay, she wasn’t drunk. Mom asked Dream Me #1 what my blood sugar was. 57, I said. I was trembly and weak. I woke up, then, and continued to be trembly and weak. Of course, I was low, and I probably don’t have to tell you what my blood sugar was when I checked it. But, just in case, I’ll tell you anyway. It was 57.

Do you ever dream about diabetes? Is it ever true?

Also, what did you eat for breakfast and how did you decide to eat that and do you eat the same thing every morning? How much insulin does your body need for half a cup of mashed potatoes–I won’t think better or less of you, of course, I’m just always curious about the different needs of diabetic bodies–and in what ways do you exercise and which finger do you prefer to prick? Where do you take your injections usually, or what is life like with a pump and has it ever fallen in the toilet, and what are you like when you’re low–do you get angry, do you cry? have you ever passed out?–what’s the highest your blood sugar has ever been and tell me the scariest moment of diabetes and the funniest and has anyone ever been mean to you about it and how old were you when you were diagnosed and did you feel like the world was ending? Are you lonely? How did your last A1C make you feel? (I know, I know, but I won’t judge you, I just want to know humans with diabetes and how they actually live, I can’t base my life off of what doctors tell me, I’ll lose my mind, I’ll hate myself. Let’s just be open and honest because we’re the ones living it. Let’s make it more livable for each other.) Do you re-use your needles? Are you shy about testing in public? Do you have a lot of late night lows and do you also get excited when your BG is exactly 100 and where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever found a used test strip lying around? How much do your friends know about diabetes? Do you talk about it with them; do you want to? At what BG number do you feel the most safe? How has your relationship with the illness changed through the years and are you more or less afraid? What are you most afraid of and what is your go-to cocktail and what is your blood sugar now? What does a BG of 350 feel like in your body and what’s the deal with ketones, do you really use those Ketostix or is it in the same boat as changing your lancet after every prick? Do you have trouble sleeping and what are you going to eat for lunch? Do you like coffee? Are you doing okay over there? Is there any way I can help? Tell me your stories and I’ll always be listening and I’ll answer all of your questions too, my friend. Don’t worry.

Do you know a lot of other diabetics and where did you meet them and can I ask them all of these questions too?

And really… where do you put your body, hour by hour?

And, tell me, please, how do you cope inside of it?

 

 

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18 Comments

  1. Avatar jaiecrit December 3, 2015 / 6:57 pm

    Your articles are always so touching, so moving <3

    • Sarah V. Sarah V. December 9, 2015 / 12:29 am

      Merci, Fabienne!!

  2. Avatar Christine December 3, 2015 / 7:33 pm

    I want to be your diabetes friend! Email me any and all of those questions, and I’ll be happy to connect<3

    Christine from Denver

    PS My sugar is 116 right now and I just ate a persimmon because even though I'm about to have lunch (almonds and salad), I don't feel safe at 116. 🙂

    • Sarah V. Sarah V. December 4, 2015 / 3:27 pm

      Yay, yes! I’ll email you!

  3. Avatar Anna December 4, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    Sarah, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months (found it right after getting diagnosed) and love this post. I so wish I knew more diabetics in real life. It feels lonely at times, even with a great support system… and then you read one post like this and think “everyone else with diabetes is feeling/thinking the same things!”.

    • Sarah V. Sarah V. December 9, 2015 / 12:30 am

      Aw, thanks!

  4. Avatar Donna Mitchell December 6, 2015 / 4:43 pm

    I love you, Sarah V. I love your honesty, bravery, and vulnerability. I don’t have diabetes, but I’m learning about it. From you. I hope that reading your posts and trying to understand what you deal with on a day to day basis will somehow make me a better, more sensitive human being. I’m learning so much from you, Sarah. Carry on. ?

    • Sarah V. Sarah V. December 9, 2015 / 12:31 am

      Oh, thank you, Donna! I love you too.

  5. Avatar Avery December 6, 2015 / 5:01 pm

    This post is exactly what I’ve been thinking lately!! I’ve been reading your blog since I got diagnosed and I really love it, especially the quotes. You can email me too if you have time, I’d love more diabetic friends 🙂

    • Sarah V. Sarah V. December 9, 2015 / 12:32 am

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoy the quotes. I’ve always been a quote collector. I will email you 🙂

  6. Avatar Martha December 8, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    I love this post. I feel the same way too, and I love that you actually spelled out so many questions. It’s a weird feeling of kinship when you meet another PWD because truly they are the only ones who can truly understand what this life is like.

    • Sarah V. Sarah V. December 9, 2015 / 12:32 am

      Thanks, Martha 🙂 The kinship is so important.

      • Avatar Martha December 9, 2015 / 6:24 pm

        And my favorite question is “what’s the weirdest place you’ve found a used test strip?” When I left for college my mom told me she and my brother kept finding them for months. She still talks about that and it was 30 years ago!

  7. Avatar Dana December 24, 2015 / 8:32 pm

    Sarah, I’m belated with this comment, but this is such an amazing post! I think these things ALL THE TIME. I don’t have any friends with diabetes in my life, just the occasional person I’ve met over the years here and there, so I am constantly wondering about what everyone else does in their every day life. Seriously, feel free to email me any or all of these questions and I promise to answer them! 🙂

  8. Avatar SilviMichelle August 19, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    I’ve met a lot of other Type 1s at “adult diabetic sleep away camp” through Connected In Motion! But even with an entire weekend together it’s never enough time to ask and answer all of the questions I have! I just found this post and I love it! I know this is late but you can email me too if you want another Dia-buddy 🙂

    • Sarah V. Sarah V. August 19, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you! I just recently found out about Connect In Motion and think it is amazing. I’d love to do something like that 🙂

  9. Avatar Abigail September 16, 2016 / 2:21 am

    I also just found this post and it made me cry, like full on sob haha. I’m not entirely sure why, but maybe it’s just because no one ever really asks these kinds of questions and sometimes I wish they did. There’s so much that goes into being a human with diabetes that people who don’t have it will never really understand. Even the littlest things can be a big deal. The questions about feeling like the world is ending and what number makes you feel safest really hit me. Diabetes can be so scary some times and I kind of wish people understood that. I don’t want sympathy or anything like that it’s just that it can be hard feeling alone and feeling like I have to act like everything is fine. Thank you for this!

    • Sarah V. Sarah V. September 16, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      Beautifully put. “There is so much that goes into being a human with diabetes.” Sending love!

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