Things Everyone Thinks Are Gross Unless You’re a T1D
The “Vampire Lick”
Type 1 diabetics lick their own blood. Yep, I said it. This is especially true for those of us who grew up with T1D in the days before CGMs, or those who choose not to utilize a CGM today. I mean, you can’t really expect us to have a plethora of alcohol wipes or tissues in our pockets every time we need to test, can you?
Speaking of finger pricking — there is an anomaly that sometimes occurs when we T1Ds need to squeeze our fingers a little to get a blood drop to emerge. Instead of gradually forming into a perfect, modest little drop of blood, it turns into a finger-geyser that spews upward and often right into our face. Good times.
Low snacks off of the floor
We have all found ourselves in this place, at one time or another. It’s a place we never want to be, or imagined that we would come face to face with — but there they were: our low snacks scattered all over the floor, with no other immediate options available to us. Skittles, glucose tabs and fruit chews all count as low snacks that have the potential for disaster if we lose our grip on them or if they come tumbling out of a bag. And then, we are faced with a pretty rancid decision. Ingest some floor gunk or have a potentially life threatening issue? Option A, it is!
Big, discolored and blotchy bruises scattered on our arms, abdomen and elsewhere are inevitable when one has to jab themselves with needles (and/or cannulas) as we do. Whether it be MDI injection, pump site changes or CGM sensor insertion, we are always left with little battle wounds that folks tend to notice immediately, while we aren’t fazed a bit.
Who hasn’t heard the whole, “Oh my gosh, I could never deal with needles every day, I don’t know how you do it!” Okay, friend. Yes, if you had T1D, you could, and you would. You know why? Because the alternative is: you die.
Playing with our food
Sometimes we will try to be really good and eat super low-carb at a restaurant, but the chef decides to cover our simple protein with a sugary sauce or pile on some starchiness like some mashed potatoes. In which case we have to dissect our plates a bit, taking matters into our own hands… literally.
Some adhesives that certain pumps or CGMs have tend to irritate certain skin types. There are ways to remedy that, such as using adhesive spray or adhesive prep wipes, but we have all run into annoying and not super appealing rashes as a result of those frequently used pump or CGM sites.
Late night low binging
Unfortunately, we can’t really choose when we get lows. In fact, they typically happen at the world’s most inconvenient moments. The best examples would be directly after brushing our teeth, or in the middle of the night when we are woken up by our CGM alarms and have to race down to the kitchen and guzzle some juice or stuff our faces with fruit chews — much to the dismay of our poor 3 AM stomachs.