I have been harassed gently and repeatedly encouraged to write about my Type 3 for awhile now. I struggle with this, for multiple reasons. Okay, really only one reason: I don’t have a cool nickname for her. I want to call her A-Flizzle and make her sound gangsta, but I’m going to try and keep it real and just call her my girlfriend, Amanda.
I’d like to say that she is a Type 3 in training, but that wouldn’t be an accurate description exactly. We’re all in training. I mean, who really knows everything about diabetes…ever? Maybe just those doctors that say there will be a cure in five years. They seem to know everything. Until about 20 years later, when you realize they were full of baloney. But that’s a different blog post.
Amanda (aka, A-Flizzle) used to live near a friend who had diabetes. They would be out and about together, and she often found herself carrying a BG kit around in her purse. I think that is probably when she first started her Type 3 training. Fortunately, she never had to learn about the nitty-gritty details of diabetes life itself. As I’ve written before, us PWD’s can be very good at hiding our disease when we want to. For years I was one of them, and still am in certain situations.
One thing that I’ve been making an effort to do is to not hide my diabetes anymore. It doesn’t necessarily define me by itself, but it is a big part of who I am. I could hide it, and that is my natural instinct sometimes, but with age and time I find myself often asking a simple question about hiding my diabetes…why? It would be an absolute travesty to need help with a low blood sugar at some random and inopportune time and the people around me not know what is wrong with me or how to help me. I am an advocate for diabetes, and a major part of that is increasing awareness, educating others, and being a real live human bean that is trying everyday to show this disease who is boss.
With A-to-the-Flizzle, I’ve never once had to hide my diabetes, or any aspect of it. She accepts that I’m bionic with my pancreas on a string. She doesn’t find random gadgets attached to me as being signs of weakness. She doesn’t always know what I’m feeling, or what is going on when I say “I’m low” or “I’m high,” but she’s learning. Aren’t we all?
The CGM has been a real asset in her learning about my diabetes. She recognizes the beeping, and asks “What’s your pump saying?” I appreciate when she asks, because it’s an opportunity to connect my disposition (grumpy, tired, hungry) with my BG level. Sometimes they are related. But not always. That’s diabetes.
I live close enough to my CGM that I can usually tell what it’s saying just by the tones of the beeps it makes. Amanda hasn’t quite learned those yet, but she will (like when I’m sleeping and my CGM is yelling and screaming at me to wake up). In the meantime, she’s along on this diabetes journey just like me. She knows that if I say “I’m low, I need _____,” that it’s no joke. She’s learning that if I say, “I’m high,” it generally comes with a feeling of nauseousness, grumpiness, and all around lethargy.
The awesome thing about Amanda is that she accepts me AND my diabetes. One of my biggest fears is that someone might see me and the ugly side of D (like a severe low blood sugar) and hold it against me. From experiences I’ve had with others, I know that it is hard for a non-diabetic to not blame us for what this disease can do to us, even when we have the best control. They care about us, and hate to see us completely powerless, and natural instinct and lack of understanding wants to point the blame at someone. But it’s rarely someone’s fault; it’s someTHING’s fault. That thing is diabetes.
So this Valentine’s Day I wanted to share with all of you about my Type 3. I can have a great day with diabetes, and she cares. I can have a terrible day with diabetes, and she still cares. She never holds my diabetes against me, and I know that as long as I don’t give up, she won’t give up on me either. We should all be so lucky.