Friday, January 26, 2018

5 People With Diabetes Walk Into a Bar

So unfortunately we didn't really walk into a bar. But I did ask these fun little questions to collect answers from some friends and see how we all compared. This was too much fun and I had a feeling all our answers would be slightly different.

1. Your blood sugar is 8.9 mmol/L / 160 mg/dl. What do you do?

Ashlyn: Correct... unless I have IOB, then I leave it alone.
Kayla: I would leave it. I can’t correct if it isn’t over 200 or I will drop too low.
Craig: I correct! 160 mg/dl is my Dexcom "high," so I immediately start taking insulin (unless I've previously corrected for it and am waiting for that to kick in).
Michelle:  Leave it. That’s exactly where I’m comfortable.
Kerri: Consult my Dexcom graph and go from there.  Single numbers can be misleading snapshots of what my blood sugar is doing, but putting that number into the context of my CGM trend graph helps me decide if that 160 mg/dL is going to be corrected or if it’s already trending down. Or up.

2. What is your biggest diabetes pet peeve? 

Kerri: My biggest diabetes pet peeve is definitely diabetes. Full stop.
Ashlyn: My biggest pet peeve is when people walk up to me and TOUCH my devices on my arms. When did it ever become okay to touch a stranger?!
Kayla: People say “You don’t look like you have diabetes.” That’s a really hurtful comment to hear because type 1 Diabetes is an invisible illness. You can’t tell if someone has type 1 or not by looking at them. Society has been taught only about type 2 Diabetes and we need to spread more awareness on type 1.
Craig: When your blood sugar is high at night and you take your correction and wake up two hours later and nothing has happened. And then you do it again, and again, and again, and then it's morning and you've gotten no sleep and you're still out of range.

3. Would you rather be high or low?

Ashlyn: Low. Being high makes me feel disgusting.
Kayla: I would rather be low than high. Being high is the worst to be. Having highs are the worst because sometimes I throw up!
Craig: Being low is the worst feeling in the whole world but at least I can eat something and be back in range in 15 minutes; however, when I'm high it can take hours for that to get back in range and then I feel crappy that whole time. Low wins out barely.
Michelle:  High. As per the last question.
Kerri: Ugh, this is a rough question.  My knee jerk reaction is to prefer a high blood sugar over a low, because lows immediately make me feel like both my safety and the safety of my children is at risk.  But long term highs compound and cause the stuff I have nightmares about, so that’s not optimal either.  Can I go back to being 160 mg/dL? 

4. Pump or MDI?

Craig: Pump! I did MDI for my first 10 years with T1D and I don't think I could go back.
Kayla: My pump! It makes Diabetes mentally easier on me.
Michelle: MDI. Good old school syringes.
Kerri: Pumping all day, for me.  My brain is scattered and if I didn’t have my insulin attached to me, I’d forget to take it.  That, and I was never a fan of poking my skin repeatedly throughout the day. 
Ashlyn: Pump.

5. Your BG is low and you have nothing on you to treat it. First thought?

Kerri: Ooooh, a scenario!  Am I stuck  in traffic?  Because if that’s the case, I definitely have some rogue Cheerios or some smushy granola bar smuggled away somewhere in the car.  (My car is never truly “empty” or “clean.”)  Am I on a run?  Time to sprint and see if I can use some adrenaline to boost my BG, or perhaps knock on a neighbor’s door to see if I can borrow a snack.  But the truth is that being low and without something to treat it with is a scenario I fear a lot, and actively plan against.  I don’t carry this giant purse without reason. 
Ashlyn: Where is the nearest vending machine?
Kayla: I will eat my hand if I have to live at this point! Jk.
Craig:  More often than not this is my real life—I'm really bad at remembering to buy more low supplies. I hang out with enough people with T1D (like when I go running with Type One Run) that someone always has an extra something to give me, but if I'm not with them I just find the closest food I can, like juice at Starbucks, 7-Eleven, McDonald's.
Michelle: I’d wonder how many times I need to be in this situation to learn my lesson, then go try and find a store or vending machine.

6. You’re on your way to an important appointment/meeting and realize you forgot your insulin at home. Do you go back home or leave it? 

Kerri: I go back.  As soon as I realize I’m without insulin, I know the panic will set in, which will cause my stress levels to skyrocket, which will cause my blood sugar to rise.  (See also:  I probably have an insulin pen in my car, for just in case moments.  See also:  the comment about my car never being truly clean or empty.)
Kayla: I would go back for my Insulin. Nothing comes before my health.
Ashlyn: Depends on how far away and how long the appointment/meeting is. If it’ll be a long day, I go back and risk being late.
Craig: It would depend on how far away I'm going. If it's not that far and I don't plan on eating, then I'd just go to the meeting. If I go a little high for an hour or so, no big deal in the long journey of my life. If it's far away and I won't be home for many hours, I'd go back and get it.
Michelle: Leave it and hurry home after.

7. Do you like being asked about your diabetes or not? Or could you take it or leave it?

Craig: It depends on how the other person is asking. If they're genuinely interested, then I'm always happy to talk about T1D, but if I sense judgement or disgust, I don't feel like I always have to fight that battle. Sure, we're all advocates for T1D, but we're also people too and sometimes we just want to get our coffee and leave the store without dealing with all that negativity. You have to know what battles are worth fighting or you'll burn out.
Kerri: I like being asked, most of the time, if someone is looking for more information, or to see if I’m doing okay.  I appreciate their concern and friendship.  But if you want to peek over my shoulder and run commentary about my CGM graph?  No thank you.  You can go sit over there, please.
Ashlyn: Yes! I love it when people ask because I love to educate!
Kayla: I love when people ask me about my Diabetes. I got Diabetes at 16 so I was never teased or made fun of in school for it. I never hid what I have nor am I ashamed to talk about it. I never get sick of educating others about type 1 Diabetes.
Michelle:  Yeah I’ll take any opportunity to educate. Sometimes I’m tired though.

8. How much do you care about your A1C on a scale from 1-10? 10 being most.

Michelle: 4? Because more and more data is coming out that the A1c doesn’t really reflect your diabetes health. For example, I know my control isn’t optimal. I’m usually on a rollercoaster. But I come out of it with a good A1c, because when you average all those highs and lows, it looks good.
Ashlyn: Eh... 3. With all of the data that I have at my fingertips daily with technology, my A1C is just another number.
Kerri: I’ll put my concern on the 7 level, so long as my A1C isn’t truly high.  Perspective matters.  Time in range matters so much to me, as does standard deviation.  But I’m an old school PWD, and my A1C is synonymous to a report card on my diabetes.  It’s a hard habit to break, that feeling of judgment and fear.
Kayla: I do care about my a1c but I don’t let it get me down. As long as I am trying my best that’s all that matters. I would say a 7, I care for health reasons. Just to control long term complications.
Craig: I think that A1c is a very stupid number that doesn't tell you anything about your control. I remember being 5.8% once and my endocrinologist being mad at me because I was low so often and that really changed my perspective on what "control" is. Now, what matters to me more is the amount of time I spend in range. I care about my A1c in the sense that I want to be healthy and my blood sugars to be in range, but the actual number is pretty meaningless to me.

9. You see something you really want to eat but it has 90 carbs. Do you eat it?

Yes! Bolus worthy!
Kayla: No. Not taking chances on feeling like trash!
Craig: Always. Just because we have T1D doesn't mean we aren't people. Live your life and fit diabetes into that, don't fit your life into diabetes.
Kerri: No … wait, what is it?  Is it made with lemon?  I might be swayed for something lemony. 
Michelle: Depends on the day but yes. Then take all the insulin. Cheesecake? Heck yes.

10. Do you believe there will be a cure in 5 years?

Ashlyn: I don’t think so, sadly. I think we live in a world where money rules everything and right now, diabetes is too big of a money maker for anyone in the right industries to really want to cure it.
Kayla: No I don’t think we will have a cure. I think we have been controlled by the government with the pharmaceutical industry. I really hope one day we do have a cure though.
Craig:  Nope. I don't worry to much about finding a cure, just making life easier for people living with T1D. Humans have never cured an auto-immune disease, so I don't expect curing T1D to be easy or quick.
Michelle: I wish I could but I struggle to believe it! Then at the same time I want to be hopeful for all these little kiddos being diagnosed. But I do really struggle to believe it.
Kerri: I hope so.  I always have hope.  But just in case, I’ll keep working hard to live well with diabetes.

You can find the friends who I tortured with these questions here:

Instagram: @ashlynmarie.t1d

Instagram: @frenchiegang_

Instagram: @betacellpodcast

Instagram: @sixuntilme
Facebook Page:

Until next time!


  1. Biggest diabetes pet peeve: people see my pump and ask "is that a pager????"

  2. 1.I’d leave it unless i’m about to eat something that’ll probably get me high in a few hours.
    2.checking my bg before eating anything cause i can’t trust myself 🤦🏻‍♀️ Also, almost 95% of stangers touch my libre sensor or my insulin when i’m doing my shots it’s like wth i don’t know you 😶
    3.High cause sometimes i don’t even feel it unlike lows.
    4.Never tried a pump so MDI.
    5.I’ve got anxiety so I know for a fact that i’ll always have something with me to treat a low cause this scenario is always in the back of my mind but if it does happen i’ll either run for help of freeze and die there’s no between.
    6.It depends on how long i’ll be gone and also the disrance if it’s close by i’ll just hurry back home when i’m done.
    7.I usually love talking to people about diabetes cause i might be able to raise some awareness but some people are just a lost cause i try to wrap it up and run away as fast as i can.
    8. Probably an 8 cause i can’t handle the disappointment in myself and the wave of anger coming from my doctors and family if it gets a bit higher.
    9.Depends on what the food is tbh.
    10.I don’t think so. I’m with Ashlyn on this one.

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