Humor. Outside of my diabetes team it’s the most important factor in keeping me healthy. If I wasn’t able to laugh about this disease I wouldn’t be sane. Yeah, my blood sugar is constantly on my mind but I’m also thinking of so many other things. Many times it’s a limerick or lame joke (seriously, I’m a professional lame joke teller). And a lot of times those limericks, lame jokes and other thoughts are diabetes related.
Before last semester started I had to attend the mandatory, always boring, orientation/introduction day to NMC. There were ice-breakers aplenty. My table was going through the “List the Top 3 Things You Can’t Live Without” routine. Here were my answers:
Number three just warranted several odd looks from my table-mates. Then I pulled out my meter, pen (this was pre-pump) and checked and gave a shot without saying a word. They all thought this was the weirdest thing they’d ever seen. Then I said, “Oh I forgot, by the way, I’m a Type 1 Diabetic.” The table let out their collective breath and smiled. That was way more effective than the list of ice-breakers planned by our instructors.
At the beginning of our hospital portion of clinical we all had to introduce ourselves and say something medically related that we’d experienced. The people before me had ACL repairs, broken arms, etc… And the instructor was giving us nicknames based on what we told her. So we had Knee, Vein, Arm…you get the picture. Well it was my turn and of course I said I was a diabetic and showed my pump, blah, blah, blah. The usual. “So, I guess you can call me, Pancreas.” The instructor liked it and is still calling me Pancreas even though my classmates’ nicknames are no longer used. But I don’t mind, I think it’s perfectly fine.
When I go out to eat with a certain group of friends one of them will ask me what my pancreas is hungry for.
Another friend will blame everything I do on my diabetes (jokingly, of course). “Kay, I know why you wore those ugly shoes today. You’re diabetic.”
Even one of my bosses will smile and loudly inquire about my drug use for the day.
And I have a lame pick-up line that I’ve been dying to use since I thought of it in high school. “You’re so sweet, you’re sending me into DKA!” I doubt I’ll ever use it, but it would be AWESOME if I ever got the chance.
And I’ve been known to say that I wear my pancreas on my arm or back. Of course, meaning my pump.
And come on, I’ve named my pump “O.” That way when it’s on me, which is always, I’m O Kay. OK. Get it? Get it? My blood sugar is OK.
When I’m bored in class I write limericks about anything and everything. Justin Timberlake, the weather, cats, state basketball. You name it, I’ve written a limerick about it. And diabetes definitely isn’t left out.
I’m a Type 1 Diabetic
My pancreas is really quite pathetic
This constant insulin game
Is thanks to an organ that’s lame
It’s really less useful than a stick
I’ve often been asked why my purse is so massive. I don’t say a word and just pull out my meter, back-up meter, extra pod, alcohol swabs, Novolog and Lantus pens, extra strips, glucagon, juice boxes, peanut butter crackers, suckers, fruit snacks and every other diabetic necessity out there. If my purse would ever be stolen I would be an utter disaster. But when friends see me lugging my Montana-sized purse around they always laugh.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that this is a serious disease that can wreak havoc on my life and body (heck, I’ve been there, I know first hand). But if I couldn’t laugh about it, it would be way worse.
I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I was a terrible diabetic for a while there. But now I’m in better control and living each day as it comes. Each day presents new challenges related to my diabetes and if I’d let each and every one bring me down I’d be a mess. Instead of looking at my 300 mg/dL reading on my meter and crying out of frustration I’ve found that it works better to be upset for a second and then joke about how much my pancreas hates me while I bolus to bring it down. It makes it easier for me to live with it everyday.
I’ve found that it makes those around me less nervous about it if I’m able to poke fun at it. There’s no need for those near me to be constantly nervous if I’m not.
My endocrinologist does a great job interpreting my blood sugars, my podiatrist was a pro at cutting out my nasty ingrown toenail, my ophthalmologist eases my fears about my changing vision, my family is supportive and my friends keep me sane. But what ties it all together is my sense of humor and ability to laugh and joke about diabetes.
So, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite diabetic jokes.
“Hey, you want a cookie?”
“No, thank you.”
“Come on, what’s better than a cookie?”
“Not being diabetic.”
Hahahahahahahahahaha, gets me every time.
great blog! & so true.
without laughter we'd all go insane. I think Jimmy Buffett said that-leave it to a diabetic to use it! ...and not cuz his last name looks like a never-ending feast of carbs, desserts & boluses! =)
Kay, you are so funny thanks for sharing this! You should join the contest going on now in the Contest Group.
What a great attitude you have towards your diabetes. I have had Type 1 for 52 years (I am 60yrs. young) and have always used my sense of humour to deal with it. There's no point in thinking "Why Me?" - you've just got to get on with life and roll with the punches...laughter works for me every time. I have always known that there are far worse chronic conditions than Type 1 OR Type 2 diabetes and consider myself lucky to have one that is managable and allows me to live my life reasonably easily with the help of a medical health team who works WITH me and allows me to make choices as to how it's managed.
Keep up with your jokes!