Life When Every Day Can Be a Medical Emergency
A couple days ago, I decided to walk to Chipotle. It was a little over a half an hour walk, and my blood sugar was in a decent spot. It was hot despite it being late. So I didn’t bring my bag. I hate correcting with sugar right before I eat anyways. With 10 minutes to go, my vision became blurry and walking straight became a challenge. I knew I was getting dangerously low even though my CGM read in the 100s. I began mentally attacking myself for trusting the readings before I left. I have to choose when to trust my medical devices because the accuracy can still be very poor. I didn’t know what scared me more as I walked those last ten minutes, sweating profusely and wondering if I was going to make it - the thought that anyone walking or driving right by me might see how I was struggling (surely they’d think I was drunk and not dying) or about no one noticing if I did pass out with no one to contact out on my own.
Last night before martial arts, I hated myself for trusting my meter again. It was reading high again, and I bolused before realizing I was low. I wondered if anyone noticed me shoving packets of fruit snacks down my throat before class or if they judged me for eating before exercising or having food near the mat. Diabetes isn’t THAT dangerous right? People just abuse their need for food to bring stuff into movie theaters and theme parks. It’s not like they could actually need that stuff at a minute’s notice, when an invisible but very real medical emergency is just part of a daily routine.
Most of the times people have noticed me treating a low, they haven’t been helpful. I’ve had people steal my ice cream out of my hand saying “YOU CAN’T EAT THAT” when my blood sugar was in the death range, I’ve had people come over to me as I try to stabilize my hand enough to spoon food in my mouth, lecturing me on how I should really eat better since I have diabetes, and I’ve had to learn how to put up with the mean looks some people give me when I have dessert, even after I politely explain that I can eat whatever I want.
Life is an everyday emergency for me, and I’ve had to figure out and manage everything on my own while simultaneously figuring out college and soloing life in general. So don’t judge or insult diabetics for eating anything and don’t assume that our special food rights are abused because we live in a reality when any moment, unprepared or even over prepared, could suddenly change to fighting for our lives without anyone even noticing.