A List, A Diabetes List

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Currently on Facebook — which, for those of you who don’t know, is an online social networking site — one of the things many of my friends are participating in is an exercise called "25 Random Facts." What it asks you to do, basically, is continue a chain letter. You’re to write "a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you," and then pass it along to 25 of your friends, and they’re to do the same.

What does that have to do with this week’s blog entry? Well, first let me acknowledge my wife’s suggestion I do something similar for a blog entry, but make the list about diabetes. Hmm. A list of random things about me and my diabetes? Sure, why not. I don’t think I’ll get up to 25, simply because I could list things all day, and because I’ll probably not be succinct when explaining each item. I’ll stop at 10.

1. Upon hearing about my diagnosis 2 years ago, my first reaction wasn’t dread or fear; it was more a curiosity about how my life would change. It’s in no way a comprehensive statement to say this, but in short I was excited by having to take this new challenge on. (And really, what else could I do?)

2. I love the world of hospitals, doctor’s offices, labs, waiting rooms, etc. The larger the facility, the greater the gut feeling of excitement I get (rather like waiting in line to go on a roller coaster). I had asthma as a child, so I’m sure the yearly visit to a large allergy clinic in Oklahoma City (I loved those trips) has something to do with my current love of the medical-industrial complex.

3. Those juice boxes for kids are my diabetic elixir. There’s a box in my winter coat, two in my work bag, a dozen or so in the fridge at home, and a few in the car. I love white grape. When my blood glucose gets lower than 100 mg/dl, sipping on one of those boxes through the bendy straw is wonderful.

4. I used to fret and worry about changing my insulin pump infusion site, reservoir, and tubing on time, right on time, every time. They say every three days. I’m not asking you to follow my lead, but I don’t fret these days. Truth is, I sometimes go many days over the recommended limit before replacing infusion sites or tubing.

5. Regarding #4: I’ve only had an infusion site infection once in almost two years with the insulin pump. A minor infection at that. (Also, I’m not delinquent frequently, either.)

6. If I forget to reconnect my insulin pump tubing to the infusion site upon exiting the bathroom, two to three feet of tubing will hang off my hip and swing around behind me, unbeknownst to me. My wife jokes about this, calls it my tail.

7. I hate to admit it, but when I do not want to do something (take your pick), one of the first excuses I want to grab is something diabetes-related. How can I blame needing to stay home on Type 1? I’ll come up with so many things (those of you with diabetes can probably come up with your own litany of diabetes-related excuses). But nine times out of 10 I usually do whatever it was I didn’t want to do.

8. I do not enjoy low blood glucose. I do everything I can to avoid this condition. And yet, when it does happen, there’s something psychological that happens. I get some pleasure when it dips below 70 mg/dl. I have to acknowledge this. It’s an in-the-moment thing in which all I want to do is sate my hunger, because of course that’s what my brain is telling me I need: food food food food…

9. I use diabetes as an excuse to stay up late. For example, last night I had a snack at 9 PM. I was going to go to bed around 11, but when I checked my blood glucose, it was at 80 mg/dl, and I still had several units of insulin on board. So, I grabbed a juice box, sipped slowly, and settled in for an hour of TV.

10. If, when pricking my finger with the lancet device for a blood glucose check, I fail to draw blood on that first click, without fail I will quickly and under my breath utter a string of some of the most offensive cursing I can muster.

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