Conversations About Diabetes, 1985 - 2008
Family friend: Would you like some Sprite?
Me, age 10: No, thank you. That's got sugar in it.
Family friend: Oh. Well, how about just a little?
Me, age 10: No, thank you. I can't have any.
Family friend: How about if I mix it with water?
Me, age 10, disgusted, to mother, hours after the above exchange: I didn't know that WATER HAS THE POWER TO TURN REGULAR SODA INTO DIET SODA!
Me, age 20, to nurse in hospital, following appendectomy: I need more insulin.
Nurse: The orders say you're only supposed to get insulin every four hours.
Me: I understand, but because I've had this glucose IV drip, my blood sugar is now higher than 300. I need more insulin right away.
Nurse: [Ignores me, walks away]
Me, when nurse returns: When are you bringing me the insulin?
Nurse: The doctor said to only give you insulin every four hours.
Me: Right. But my sugar is now 3 to 4 times higher than it should be, which is dangerous and very bad for me. The way to make that stop is to give me more insulin, regardless of what the order says. This is what I do: I take extra insulin when my blood sugar is higher than it should be.
Nurse, in surprise: Oh! You do this at home, too?
More people than I can count, upon observing me checking my blood sugar: Ohhh, are you shooting up now?
[Inner Monologue: Yes, and if you hang around, later I'll teach you all the finer points of freebasing.]
Me: No, I am checking to see how much sugar is in my bloodstream. That tiny thing I pricked my finger with is not a syringe, and does not put anything into my bloodstream. It's just for getting a blood sample.
More people than I can count, upon observing me checking my blood sugar: Eeeeeeeeew! I don't know how you do that. I could never do that. Ew!
[Inner monologue: Well, if your choices were do this or die, you could probably do it.]
Me, on a good day: Well, if your choices were do this or die, you could probably do it.
Me, feeling murderous: [Tight smile]
More people than I can count, upon learning I am diabetic: So, you ate too much sugar, huh?*
[Inner monologue: Yes. I ate too much sugar. So much so, that at the age of ten, my body had finally had enough, and my pancreas BROKE. It's all my own fault.]
Me: No... no one knows what causes type I diabetes.
*Particularly ironic considering that my all-natural-granola parents didn't allow sugar in the house when we were kids.
Me, to the company that makes my insulin pump supplies: I have not received any supplies in two months now. I realized I had an outstanding bill but that was paid about two months ago.
Customer service rep: Hm... there was a hold on your account...
Customer service rep: Did that payment you made just clear?
Me: No, it was paid about two months ago.
Customer service rep: Oh, I see that your orders were canceled just recently.
Me: Why were they canceled?
Customer service rep: Because there was a hold on your account.
Me: Yes, but that was two months ago.
Customer service rep: Well, on our end we didn't know, and Billing canceled it, and --
Me: It's all on your end, you're all part of the same company. And canceled or no, I still need to live, right?
Customer service rep: Well, yes.