You May Love a Type 1 Diabetic if:
As the loved one of a type 1 diabetic you see the world differently; you see it in terms of peaks and troughs, highs and lows, hyper and hypo. To love a type 1 diabetic involves understanding how to give insulin shots, dosing and troubleshooting insulin pumps, understanding the different types of insulin, knowing the signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) such as sweating, pale skin and confusion. It is a real learning curve. And what is really amazing is the amount of knowledge that you gain about the disease and how to manage it.
You might love someone with type 1 diabetes if you’ve ever:
1. Rushed to the waitress/waiter and asked for a coke because you can see your loved-one is getting the tale-tell signs of hypoglycemia as the time between taking insulin and actually getting served food is too long.
2. Had to give an insulin shot to OR witnessed them injecting in public (i.e., the airport, restaurant, etc.) a millions times and you forget, when you see the look of horror on people’s faces as they are drawing up the insulin and injecting, that everyone else doesn’t do this daily too.
3. Planned many, many activities and events around meals.
4. Emptied pockets before doing laundry and found glucose tablets or gel a million times.
5. Had to explain to other people what exactly “is the difference between a type 1 and a type 2”….
6. Find it mind boggling that the rest of the world isn’t consumed with blood sugar everyday like us.
7. You get strange looks from the bartender when you ask if he has a sugar-free margarita mix.
8. Your butter holder in your refrigerator has never actually held butter, as that space is reserved for bottles of insulin.
9. You have one cabinet which houses a red bio-hazard sharps container.
10. You have seen things such as empty water bottles with used insulin syringes.
11. Never mind a waterproof case for your phone, you have waterproof cases to take your insulin supplies when you travel.
12. Woken up in the middle of the night to check your loved one.
13. Have a dedicated cooler to bring food and diabetic supplies for trips.
14. You have become a human calculator when calculating grams of carbs/units of insulin.
15. Have cried at the unfairness of others (including yourself) who get a perfectly functioning pancreas while your loved one has to deal with this daily.
16. Prayed for a cure.
For those of us who love a type 1 diabetic, we have a special bond to our type 1’s because we understand the true life and death struggles that they contend with every day. We understand that life is precious and that we can’t take our health for granted.