Most people with diabetes have experienced the range of emotions and responses upon first disclosing their living with this disease. By now the responses are clichéd and expected, but they all happen – to all of us.
“So that means you can’t have sugar?”, “You don’t look diabetic” and so on and so forth. But things get a little more interesting when you start to talk about the specifics of your diabetes management.
I maintain a balance of analog and digital tools for my diabetes needs. From the digital age, my continuous glucose monitor, affectionately named Hal Jordan, is usually by (or on) my side most of the time. My CGM alerts me when my blood glucose goes too low, or too high. After acknowledging the alarms and notifications it’s up to me to act. My insulin pens are from the analog world. There are plenty of people with diabetes utilizing the latest and greatest insulin pump technology to maintain desired blood glucose control. These devices provide a degree of both control and freedom to satisfy the needs of race car drivers, broadway stars, cooks, and regular non-celebrities living with diabetes – but a pump is not the only solution out there.
I’ve been on syringes and insulin pens for my entire “diabetic” life and I think, for the most part I’ve got a decent handle on how this diabetes thing works. Sure, there’s a good amount of trash and clutter to deal with after a day of injections, but I’m grateful for the tools at my disposal that keep me healthy so I’m not going to start bashing my insulin pens – literally or figuratively.
But sometimes when I tell people I give myself insulin with injections I can see the immediate response in their eyes. I can tell their picturing scenes of Pulp Fiction (non-kid friendly language) or The Rock (also non-kid friendly language).
I know an adrenaline shot is not the same as insulin but to the uninformed, what’s the difference?
My thing is, there are a number of ways to manage diabetes, regardless of type. One method isn’t more correct than any other. Once method doesn’t validate a disease more than any other. And to drive the point home, one method of treating diabetes doesn’t invalidate any other method of treating this disease. I choose to use insulin pens to keep my A1c in a healthy range and counteract the silliness of diabetes. Just because it may seem a little different or difficult to comprehend doesn’t mean I’m not in control.
Remember folks, your diabetes may vary. And contrary to public perception, yes, you can do this.
We are all unique snowflakes with failed or overworked pancreata (?) and I don’t think it’s worth anyone’s time to poke holes in treatment methods.
And no, I was not tempted to do one of those “what [blank] think I do” memes for this post. I hate those things.