So, what do I love about diabetes that I don’t like to admit?
Getting extra attention from the people around me. Although I don’t really show it, I’m a little bit of an attention seeker at heart. I secretly love being asked if I’m okay. All I really have to do is pause for a rest and within seconds I’ll get “Frankie, are you okay? Go sit down for 5 minutes. Have a drink. If you don’t feel well, go home.” Dad will constantly remind me to take a tablet, have a hot drink and go lie down for a while (until I actually go and do all of those things), and Mum will have a panic attack if I tell her I don’t feel like eating anything. “You have to eat something!”
Giving off the impression that I’m a super healthy person. Whenever the topic of food comes up in the staff room at work, I’m the expert. I can justify my healthy lunches to others. I know how many carbs there are in those donuts for morning tea. I can make him feel guilty about how much sugar there is in that can of coke he got out of the vending machine. I can make her feel guilty about salting her lunch. But then again, I’m pretty much shooting myself in the foot on the days where I’m caught eating a Caramello Koala or walking in with a bag of Red Rooster for lunch!
Greater admiration from others. And sounding like an interesting person, I guess. One of the most common conversations I have with people is explaining what I have to do when I eat. It goes something like “So, I have to prick my finger to make sure my blood sugar is between 4 and 8. If its too low, I have to eat jellybeans. If its too high, I have to give extra insulin. Then I have to give insulin whenever I eat carbs, depending on how many carbs I eat. And by the time I’ve finished my rant and finally look around me, the whole room is listening.
And accomplishments. They somehow just sound ten times better when you tack the word diabetes onto them. I’ve completed High School. I’ve survived Year 12 exams. I’ve gotten a job. I’ve graduated from uni. I’ve travelled. I’ve scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And whenever I do make an accomplishment, whether it be d-related or not, it feels ten times better when I remember that I accomplished those things while dealing with type 1 diabetes as well.