I am the kind of guy that that will test my sugar or inject insulin without even thinking about who’s around or where I am. I could be standing on the corner of 5th Avenue in the middle of NYC in the pouring rain and I will pull out my glucometer and and test my sugar if I feel it’s necessary. When I didn’t have my pump and I was injecting regular syringes or the pens, people would always ask; “doesn’t that get so annoying?” In my head I am thinking “um actually no, you asking me that every time I inject does though” Injecting then was like having to tie my shoe, I could inject anywhere except while on the move. You can tie your shoe just about anywhere except while walking – I have tried doing this on several occasions and it ended badly each and every time.
So this leads me to the curious friend of a diabetic. At my age I am always meeting new people, whether it’s co-workers, new neighbors, people I meet at my underwater basket weaving class… who knows, there are just random people always watching me while I check my sugar or even lay a hand on my insulin pump. It’s like they are watching to make sure I dont hit the red button on the back and end the world instantly. I have people say to me “what is that?” So me enjoying talking to people about it and educating them on the disease, I end up going into this long story. It never fails, no matter who I am talking to, their response is always the same. They say something like “I think thats what my uncle has” or “I think my grandpa had diabetes before he died”. I personally do not know how to respond to that so I just keep talking. There are two reason’s why; the first one is you just told me you think your grandfather died from diabetes or you think your uncle had diabetes? Next you are going to ask me how come your uncle would always inject into the vein in his forearm and why my diabetes is different. I dont want to be the one to have that conversation with you, ask your mother.
So after I am done clowning around I usually give them the simple explanation: “when I eat, my sugar goes up so I need insulin to bring it down”. I also explain that “sometimes it goes down too much and I need sugar to bring it back up and staying in that safe zone in the middle is the game I play with myself everyday of my life.”I also need to explain that this other thing that pricks my finger is what tells me exactly where I am. So usually around now they are nodding their head “Oh I get it now!” – but honestly they don’t. They will always come back to watch and say “wait, so when you give yourself more insulin it’s because your sugar is low right?” On average it takes 3-4 times to get it if the friend is a male and 7-8 times to get it right if the friend is a female (not sure why this is). In the end I smile inside that they care enough to ask and realize as a diabetic, I will always have curious friends.