The Importance of Friends When You Have Diabetes


Sometimes, when you are sitting up, waiting to go to sleep but you can’t until your blood glucose levels decide to start doing the right thing, the thing any respectful person would do, toe the line, get into shape, give you a break, your mind starts to wander and you go over the line of tired and into the zone of the blood glucose monster, glassy eyed and surfing netflix to find something to keep you awake.

Sometimes, when you wake from a strange dream, sweating, your hands numb and your lips tingling, you realise your blood glucose is once again going out on its own, rebelling, tying you up in knots, sucking the very life out of your blood stream, and your brain screams “GET ME SOME SUGAR HUMAN”, you wake up and check your levels, mad terror in your eyes, knowing it will be low, but needing to see it in black and white, or grey, or pink should you have chosen a stylish monitor, and you drop the strips and the finger pricker rolls under the bed, and there you are, freezing cold in your underwear, brain screaming, sweaty palms trying to find the pricker in the dark so you don’t wake your sleeping partner, so you can see what you already know, that your blood glucose has decided to really step out for now, leaving just the bare minimum of its troops in your body to keep you alive, just.

Sometimes, when you are shoving in mouthfuls of glucose and snakes and chocolate and bread and anything you can get your hands on, as you try to get your brain to stop screaming at you and your adrenal glands to stop making you sweat and shake, and the pure terror of dying go away – you realise that a carrot probably doesn’t have carbs in it but you eat it anyway because it is looking at you and any food that is looking at you is pretty much had it in a hypo frenzy. Then you see the nutella and start eating spoonfuls right out of the jar and you sit on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night, eating until you feel sick and knowing that your blood glucose is actually going to do its trick of bringing too MANY troops on board now because your crap excuse of a pancreas can’t deal with it and the crap excuse for an artificial pancreas you are wearing won’t be able to keep up with the sugar tsunami you are creating inside your body right now.

Sometimes, you fall into bed and blood glucoseville and insulin land, are having a truce, and you drift off to sleep happy, settled, feeling free. And then you wake up in the morning and somehow, somewhere, extra blood glucose troops have climbed into your body, maybe like all those spiders you are meant to swallow in your sleep across your lifetime, through your open snoring mouth and it all starts again.

Sometimes, you just want a moment without this dance. A moment to stop feeling like you are always keeping all of these battles inside you. A time to put something in your mouth,  go for a walk, sleep, without having to look inside your body to check in and find out if you have permission to do so, or if you are stuck with the situation because someone else (DIABETES) has said so, just like when you were a teenager and your parents grounded you, like some twisted sugar torture punishment.

Sometimes, you wish your insides were different, your life was different, your choices were different, that you even had choices.

Sometimes, when you have had enough and you want to scream, you have to stop keeping the battle inside because a problem shared is a problem halved, as they say.

Sometimes, sweet sometimes, you can use your voice and another beta cell challenged person hears you and the stories of your terror, your night time binges, your days on end of balancing, checking, watching, waiting, become smaller and smaller and laughter gets bigger and you see the other, the other that is nothing to do with your insides, and you feel ok, good, happy, normal.

Sometimes you need a friend, most times.


1 Comment

  1. JasmineCabrera on May 14, 2015 at 6:56 am

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your personification of diabetes. Since I work mainly with type 2 diabetics which to me is understandable b/c you can usually trace the symptoms to something they’ve eaten, T1D just FRUSTRATES the TAR out of me…because I want to help. Autoimmunity is harder to manage.
    Thank you for sharing this. I’m looking forward to reading more from you!