Monday, April 9, 2018

A Lesson in T1D Lingo

Those of us with Type 1 Diabetes have kind of created our own language along the way. This language includes many words or expressions that people outside the community would raise their eyebrow at. This is a little dictionary of some things you might hear us say or see us write.  

Unicorn: When your blood sugar is 100 mg/dL (5.5 mmol/L). We call these unicorns because it’s a pretty magical level to be at. An all in all great number, and when we catch them, it’s exciting. 

Bolus: The insulin you give yourself prior to a meal, or as a correction if your blood sugar is too high. 
Basal: This is the dose that keeps your blood sugar at a good level between meals and while you’re sleeping, always working in the background. 

DOC: Stands for Diabetes Online Community. 

Pumper: Someone who receives their insulin by using an insulin pump. 

MDI: Multiple daily injections. This is what non-pumpers do. 

Diabestie: This is what you call one of your best friends who also has diabetes. I love my diabesties. 

Diaversary: This is the anniversary of the diagnosis date of a Type 1. Why would we celebrate the day we were diagnosed with a life-changing disease? Because we’re celebrating all the hard work we’ve put into keeping ourselves alive every day all year. 

Rage Bolus: Sometimes we do something that we regret later. And that thing is a rage bolus. Which is when you can’t wait the recommended time to let your insulin work, so you end up giving excessive amounts until you see your blood sugar coming down, in a rage. 

“Feeling high”: You’ll probably hear a Type 1 say that they feel high, or that they are high. You might even hear a parent of a Type 1 kid say that their kid is high. We want you to know, this does not mean what it sounds like. It means our blood sugar is high. Which is why someone coined the clever term “I shoot up to avoid getting high”. Giving ourselves insulin will bring it down. 

Honeymoon: At the beginning of a diabetes diagnosis, there is usually a period called a “honeymoon” phase. It’s when our pancreas’ are still working a tiny bit, so we don’t need as much insulin. 

Diabetic Hangover: How you feel after a long, sleepless night of trying to get high and low blood sugars under control. Exhausted, grumpy, and crappy. 

Pricker: This is what we call a lancing device. Because who has time to say ‘lancing device’?  That sounds too fancy. It’s the little tool we use to poke our fingers with to test our blood sugar. Synonyms include ‘poker’, ‘lancer’, etc.

BS: This isn’t the type of BS you’re thinking of. Although sometimes we feel like dealing with our BS is BS. BS in diabetes talk stands for blood sugar. Also known as BG, which stands for blood glucose and means the same thing. 

I hope this clears some things up for the people around us! Until then... we'll keep feeling high until we can get our BS down and hopefully we catch some unicorns.

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