I’m settling into my life with diabetes and ultimately, the whole experience has been a lot easier than I thought it would be. However, there are a few pretty annoying aspects of everything. I’ve decided to make a list:
- The Bag: I left the hospital with the most hideous bag I’ve ever seen to carry my supplies. It was a smushed cheap camouflage lunch box. Seriously. I had to be seen at Panera with that thing. Short-term, I bought a black make-up bag from CVS. I was surprised when I found some great bags online made specifically for carrying diabetes supplies. I got mine from this SITE and love it.
- I DO NOT Have Type 2!: Everyone has been really supportive, but there’s been a lot of confusion between Type 1 and Type 2. I frequently hear things like, “Can you eat that?” and “I should have more healthy options around the house.” After I explain the difference between T1D and T2D, some people get it automatically. Others are a little slower, and the conversation continues.
- Counting the Carbs: I’m sure I’ll get better at this, but as a diabetic newbie, I can’t just look at food and estimate the amount of carbs in it. I found an app, MyFitnessPal, which helps with carb counting. I look forward to the day when a) I can know about how many carbs are in what I’m eating without looking it up, and b) I can input the insulin just for the thing I’m about to eat (like at a party) so I can snack on food over a period of time (like I said, can’t wait for the pump). I guess I could give myself an injection every five minutes when I want another cookie, but… no thanks.
- The Honeymoon Phase: So, I’m heading into the honeymoon phase right now, and it sucks. It’s so hard to get my BG up when I’m low (which is pretty often) since my pancreas automatically produces some insulin when I eat something now.
- The School Lunch Ritual: Lunches have, sadly, become the most stressful part of my day. First, I scramble out of class as the bell rings, then I head to my locker and grab my violin (since I have orchestra class after lunch). I wash my hands in the bathroom and scramble to get my BG reading. As mentioned above, it’s often low, in which case I run back to my locker and get some food (if I remembered to stock up from the last time I was low). Here’s the scene most days: Me, running out the door, juggling my diabetes bag, my violin, my music bag, the apple juice, and my phone; Me, trying to stick the straw in the apple juice while running; And me, jogging the seven-minute walk to the cafeteria while I try to look up the nutrition facts for today’s lunch online. When I get to the cafeteria, I head to the bathroom for my injection, already about five minutes late and hope I managed to guesstimate the carbs should there be any food left.
… So, yeah. Every day’s a struggle. But it’s getting better.