Notes: Today’s D entry is a double composition. I knew I wanted to write about my relationship with my diabetes, but didn’t actually know how angry I still was about the disease. Guess I have some work to do there. In the meantime, I went to Starbucks and cringed as I ordered my overly complicated decaf latte, because I realized that I had become the person that I myself had detested when I was working at Starbucks–a person we used to call a decaf bitch. I thought it was an interesting reversal of roles and deserved a write. So here’s your double-double D of the day. Enjoy!
Diabetes. I’ve had Type 1 since I was 11. A total fluke. There is no trace of it in my family tree. Just a fucking fluke. So now I’ve had diabetes for over 25 years and I’ve definitely developed a hate-on for this disease. Here’s a few things I hate about diabetes (in random order):
- I have to think about food ALL THE TIME. ALL THE TIME. Which is especially hard if you also battle with eating issues like I do. It’s also hard to just say yes to going out with friends for ice cream, or accepting a glass of apple juice or ANYTHING food related.
- People don’t understand Type 1 Diabetes. They often think I should be able to get rid of it, through diet and exercise, rather than by injecting myself with insulin 4-5 times a day. That is a completely different type of Diabetes. Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes has nothing to do with how much you weigh, or exercise, or what you eat. It’s just dumb luck. My pancreas just quit. It doesn’t work AT ALL. So please, well meaning people, stop telling me that your grandma has diabetes but she controls it by not eating sweets and by exercising a bit more. It won’t work for me. Your grandma is the lucky one. Her pancreas still works to some degree. Mine doesn’t work AT ALL.
- When I first got diagnosed with the diabetes, my family doctor told me that I shouldn’t worry too much about it since there would be a cure in 20 years. Well, fuck you, Dr. G. It’s been over 25 and there is still no cure.
- When I first developed Diabetes, I did a science project on the subject and also a speech or two. In it, my usual joke went something like this: I poke holes in my body over 10x a day due to blood tests and needles, so I figure that by the time I’m 25 I will have over 54 750 holes in me, and I’ll be able to rent myself out as a professional sprinkler. Well, I’ve passed 25 now and it’s not quite as funny. I do however have scar tissue and mark at the tips of every finger from poking holes for blood tests, so yeah, there’s that. Ha ha.
- I have a greater risk of developing heart disease, blindness, and leg amputations due to the fact that I have diabetes. Oh, and strokes. Can’t forget about strokes. And wait there’s also kidney disease. Definitely can’t leave out kidney disease.
- Every night before I go to bed I MUST give myself a needle. So impromptu sleepovers are out (not that those happen very often these days) and drinking until I pass out is definitely out. Not that that happens at all these days, but still, it’s out.
- And speaking of alcohol, it’s even harder to control with diabetes. Alcohol is a tricky friend in that it raises your blood sugar only to have it plummet a little while later, making it difficult to keep blood sugars consistent while drinking. As if I don’t have enough to control while I’m drinking.
- I drink Diet Coke (with Aspartame) as a treat, since I am not lucky enough to drink a Coke without injecting myself with copious amounts of insulin. The same goes for apple juice. It’s full of sugar. Natural sugar, but still sugar. So to treat myself, I drink Diet Coke. Not because I’m enamoured by all the chemicals inherent in sugar substitutes, but because I get tired of only drinking water. So (well meaning people, I’m talking to you again) please stop commenting on how my Diet Coke is going to kill me. I’m guessing Diabetes will kill me before the aspartame does, so just lay off, okay?
Untitled Starbucks Poem
I was once the barista
Behind the counter
Who snarled (politely)
At the well dressed women who
Ordered their decaf non-fat lattes.
Now I’m the WASP
Waiting at the counter
While the barista rolls her eyes
And hands me my latte:
Here’s your decaf, bitch.
Oh, how the coffee tables have turned.