Nope, I'm not going to give you the typical symptoms like thirst, peeing a lot and fatigue. I'm going to give you 10 ways you know you have diabetes--my 10 things I find myself needing to consider because I have diabetes. My list emerged after I saw a TV segment about how America is in love with lists. Magazines and books are chock-a-block with them, "10 ways to conquer your phobias," "The 7 best cities to live in," "153 things to tell your lover in bed and out," etc. The reason lists are so popular is that they make magazines and books fly off the shelves appealing to our "quick-fix" in simple-steps mentality. I will admit after seeing that report on TV, well actually during that report, I battered my brain to come up with a catchy list title for the diabetes myths book I'm working on, but alas I am still title-less. Nevertheless it did prompt my list of 10 ways I know I have diabetes.
1. I find myself screaming, "How many carbs are in that pancake? You don't know?!" My day is filled with stuff ordinary people never think about.
2. Shit, shit, shit! (and really I don't usually curse) I wasn't going to walk this morning because they predicted rain and now the sun is blazing! Should I? Shouldn't I? Do I risk going low, do I have to eat when I don't want to? Shit, shit, shit! How many other people beat themselves up for wanting to take a walk?
3. I am afflicted with a major form of terrorist torture--sleep deprivation. "I'm so tired, can't I just lie here and fall asleep?" Nope, gotta get up, go into the kitchen and stick a needle in my finger to test my blood sugar. Sunday morning replay: "I'm so sleepy, can't I just lie here just a little longer. It's only 7:30 for goodness sake." Nope, gotta get up and stick 3 needles in myself!
4. "Hmmm... that's a cute designer diabetes accessory, it would carry all my syringes, vials, test strips." God, did I really say that? Do I really have to consider that? I want out of this club, never mind the cute accessories.
5. Wiping blood off my counter, my cupboard, my shirt, yuck my food, with absolutely no abhorrence, hesitation or dismay.
6. "When's dinner? When? You sure? Really? You're sure now?"
7. Glucerna just made a cereal for diabetics -- a product just for us, hmmm...I noticed there an "us." I don't really want to have to notice there's an "us." Yet now we're worthy of marketer's attention, right up there with aspirational Lexus drivers, Tide-detergent soccer moms, Sex and the City Garnier hair-coloring singles, and boy, "those special people with diabetes."
8. How often do I really have to go to my endo? I just found a prescription to get blood tests taken July 30, 2007, oops.
9. Sneaking lunch into a noon movie, no sweat, but how will I be able to see my syringe to dose in the dark?
10. Geez, I just tested my blood sugar and I just forgot the number! Alzheimers? Dementia? Who cares, now I have to do it again!!! Geez :(
In the back of my head, always, is a constant calculator of all the things I'm tabbing, analyzing and noticing just to take care of my diabetes, it feels like a second job. It's actually a marvel and a huge disappointment that no one else seems to notice all the noticing I have to do. Except, unfortunately, you.