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?