Today I’m supposed to write about my diabetes bloopers. And they’re supposed to make you laugh. Unfortunately, I don’t really have much to write about, besides the usual low stories. Maybe I’ve just forgotten them!
During the summer when I was sixteen I had a run of severe hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) events. I think the blooper was that I was in the peak of puberty and hadn’t decreased my “school insulin dose” to my “summer insulin dose”, hence I ran low. Each of these “severe” lows found me unresponsive. In fact, I remember all of them (there were three), I just couldn’t talk at the time (unresponsive). Anyway, the third time I was a “mother’s helper” for a family on Cape Cod. I remember waking up, knowing I was low and making my way to the hallway, where I stood in front of the open bathroom door and stared at the dad who was shaving or brushing his teeth…in his underwear. I don’t know how long I stood there, trancelike, but eventually I went to the refrigerator and got some juice. More embarrassing than funny, I think.
The bloopers that I find much more funny (in retrospect) are those committed by innocent and uninformed people without diabetes. For instance, I once entered a shopping mall and saw a man slumped over on a half-wall. A security guard was next to him, and I just knew he was low. I ran over and asked, “Does he have diabetes? Is he low?” and the security guard said, “Yes, but don’t worry, we already got him some water.”
And my all-time favorite…I was on an airplane on my way to a diabetes conference. The woman I was traveling with and I got talking to a pair of venture capitalists in front of us. They were asking us about some diabetes equipment in which they were considering investing. I made a casual comment to the effect of, “I wear a pump and that doesn’t bother me,” to which one of them responded, “You have diabetes? I never would have known!! Is the diabetes what makes you look so young?”
I will continue to make it my mission to teach people the truth about diabetes, and clear up misunderstandings. But in the meantime, I think it’s ok to get a good laugh about some of the things people say!