So it’s the last hour of my day at work and I really want to head next door to the Hipster Paleo bakery for a cookie. But I am due for a CGM calibration and still coming down from a late lunch. Giving more insulin isn’t really an option, so no snacks for Jen.
Seriously though, what non-PWD would have to think about that? In this world of instant gratification, if you want a cookie, you go find one and eat it. Not for me. Eating cookies involves math and predicting the future outcome of your decision of consuming that cookie. Most of the time, the effort isn’t really worth it. (And the hipster bakery charges a lot for those cookies… so I just saved my blood sugars AND $2.75! Sweet! Not really…) I also hate doing math. So…
Anyway, here is a list of things that non PWDs may not actually think about too hard about, whereas I often spend TOO much time thinking about.
1) Consuming pizza in any form. Because one standard slice of mall pizza can have upwards of 51 grams of carbs and ten zillion grams of fat, thus causing your sugar to spike not once, but TWICE over the course of up to 12 hours. Why do I know this? See title of blog post. This also applies to Chinese food.
2) Shopping for pants. Not generally an issue for most, but apparently women’s pants are allergic to pockets. This makes carrying insulin pumps, glucose tabs, snacks, chapstick, cell phones, and so forth really difficult. Don’t even get me started on dresses.
3) Battery power. It’s a little bit of Russian Roulette when you go to sleep with your insulin pump battery on the last possible tick mark before it dies. Because of the pump dies… well let’s be frank… I could die. There have been one too many cases of PWDs never waking up from “pump malfunctions.” It’s a little different than when your cell phone battery has 20% life left, isn’t it?
4) Traveling. There is no such thing as “packing light” for a quick overnight trip. My suitcases aren’t small because I’ve usually packed well equipped for an Apocalypse. Insulin pump supplies, snacks, hypo remedies… and maybe an extra pair of shoes… are usually in my stash. I really have no idea how I traveled for a week in Europe using only a carry on suitcase and a large purse.
5) Restaurant dining. You order from the “Eating Healthy” menu section of restaurants because it’s the only section that prints carb counts in their menus. Then you wonder why you eating there in the first place. (Seriously IHOP… turkey bacon is just nasty.)
6) Strange beeping noises? Yeah, that’s me, sorry. I’m don’t silence my alarms either. So I’m THAT person in the theater. You’re welcome.
7) Scheduling appointments, meals, life. I prefer to have my dinners at 5:30 or 6 pm. There are days when that doesn’t happen. Sometimes, I eat at 9 pm because life throws me curve balls. But – usually there aren’t regrets because I like to stay busy. However, when your basal and bolus rates change nearly hourly in the evenings, a heavy meal before “bedtime” generally doesn’t go over very well. So while I’d love to just have a late meal, I’ve mastered the art of eating quick meals in 10 minutes flat and managing not to ruin my digestive system.
8) Other health issues! Long term, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a slew of other issues that can also kill you or make life difficult in general. Heart disease, neuropathy, thyroid issues, kidney disease, etc. etc. So I get checked for these issues about every 6 months whereas someone my age with diabetes probably wouldn’t think about it. (Never too late to start though.)
9) Medical insurance and job switching. Not gonna lie. I’m f***ing expensive to keep insured. Sure, the typically 30ish year old could probably go without health insurance (until 2014) and be okay. The average bottle of insulin to keep me alive is about $125 retail. My insulin pump… about $3500, sans supplies. So generally, when I’ve accepted positions, my first question is typically “what kind of medical coverage do you offer your employees?” I’ve turned down available positions because of the lack of insurance and I’m struggling about what to do when the day comes that I can’t be a full time mom and full time employee anymore.
10) A misinformed society. While I try to keep my condition discrete, sometimes it just comes up in conversation. (See #6.) Naturally, I get the “oh, my uncle’s niece’s cousin had that and just did the South Beach diet and got rid of it… can’t you do that?” Do I launch into a full on public debate on how I don’t have what she had… or do I just smile and nod? Usually it’s the latter, even though I really want to do the former. Many. Many. Times.
What’s on your list?