Sometimes when you have a big condition like T1, it’s the little things in life that count. The aspects of diabetes that may seem completely trivial to others around us but are in fact some of life’s greatest achievements.
Moment #1 – 5.8
When you go shopping in Boots or the pharmacy, inevitably you will go past the diabetes section. (I was recently in Walgreens in America – their diabetes section was amazing!!!! It was a whole aisle’s length almost!) Also, inevitably, it will contain the test kits. Ever since I can remember, the number on the little picture of the monitor on the front of every single box was 5.8. Nowadays this has changed so for instance the one touch version IQ is 3.6 (why put a low/almost low number??? Surely this is not what we’re aiming for???) but the majority I find are 5.8.
So, this has become my all-time favourite number. I love it! I genuinely believed as a little girl that 5.8 was THE perfect number! I may or may not still believe this…. which means every time my own blood sugar pops up as 5.8 my heart does jump a little with pride as my blood sugar is not only good, but it is utterly AMAZING when it is 5.8 mmol/l.
Moment #2 – Insulin doses
This is a weird one.
(Yes, you could argue the first one is too, but hear me out).
I genuinely love it when my dual waves percentages split nicely. When you do a dual wave, you must select the percentage of the bolus you want to go in immediately and so also how much to go in over time. But for some reason, it’s quite an achievement to have a 60%/40% equalling something like 6.0u/4.0u. When it’s simple numbers and not something like 60%/40% being 3.6u/2.2u. These seem like random numbers! Well, they are kind of random numbers. But when insulin matches the info you put in, it’s like a mini achievement. Almost as if your insulin pump is agreeing with you! So, nice numbers are better. (Yes, I do realise I sound like a crazy person…….)!
Moment #3 – Fake flatlines
So, whilst a beautiful flatline on a CGM graph is a lot of hard work usually, occasionally (VERY occasionally) they will just happen for seemingly no reason. I’ll have eaten any meals, maybe done exercise or not been that focused on my blood sugars for the day and yet I have perfect bloods? Yes, admittedly it’s a good feeling to have put work in and be able to celebrate that by completely, totally ruining it with a ton of chocolate (turns out Nutella has more sugar than you even thought….. whoops!). But interestingly, it’s as equally good to check your sensor and be surprised by the reading of 6 for the last 3 hours. It’s like finding a pound coin. I found it totally by chance, it’s not mine and I didn’t earn it in the slightest. However… yay! I found a pound coin! Mine now! Finders keepers! Although I think finders keepers would be a given in this situation, considering it is my blood the sensor is monitoring. Anyone else wanting to claim my blood sugars would be plain weird….. though I think I’d give away that 15.7 I had yesterday.
Moment #4 – When a TV show gets it!
Type 1 diabetes is one of those conditions that is common enough it gets slipped into TV shows as plot lines, character development or just for a dramatic scene. Sometimes type 1 and type 2 are mixed up, a high (or low) blood sugar is miraculously cured in 5 minutes or the cause of diabetes is said to be due to being overweight. This is so frustrating! I totally don’t mind that diabetes is being mentioned, but if you state facts about conditions they should have been researched or at least proof read by someone with the condition, as TV is probably one of the biggest ways of raising awareness of multiple conditions aaaaand it’s annoying when a show you love gets something blatantly wrong, medical or not. I would feel the same if the show stated the sky was green. The sky is blue. Just like diabetes is not due to eating sweets. Right?! I’m actually not bothered if ‘diabetes’ in general is talked about, even though I know many people prefer the type to be specified, but as long as the basic facts are straight or nothing is wrong I just get much too over-excited that it is even on T.V. in the first place!
Here are some of my favourite mentions:
The Flash (Season 4 Episode 3) – A character has an insulin pump and a low blood sugar which I thought was pretty accurate. Also, being one of my all-time favourite shows anyway, I did almost faint over this one…… At the very least my chair almost broke as I fell off it in shock.
Silent Witness (Series 20 either episode 4 or 5 (Awakening)) – A ‘baddie’ is diabetic and it must be taken care of by the main character, I think there is a low blood sugar and even an insulin injection.
Body of Proof (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0P7iRCYCfo this is the diagnosis, there are some other videos too) – A recurring character, I think she’s a main character, is diagnosed and then treats it over a few episodes and I think there’s a set change! It is so scientifically correct too – I was SUPER impressed. It helps the actress has T1, she probably helped write the scene…!
There’s also been smaller mentions on Prison Break Season 1 Episode 1 or 2, Steel Magnolias, Hannah Montana,
Of course there’s been tons more not to mention the medical programmes or programmes involving emergency care such as Casualty, Holby City, Sun, Sea and A&E, Bondi Beach, 24 hours in A&E… I could go on. These have all dealt with diabetes really well multiple times each but if I started listing each episode of those medicine specific programmes I would be here all day!
There are big achievements with diabetes, like moving set site, going onto a new regime/insulin pump or conquering a fear. But, sometimes it’s the small things that keep you upbeat too!