Nobody asks to become diabetic. This diagnosis isn’t something people strive to attain. Wearing pumps and monitors, pricking our fingers, injecting insulin doses, and all the other things we do to stay alive are not glamorous or fun in the traditional senses. But when we all got that diagnosis, we all had a choice- do we pay attention to it or do we ignore it? A diabetes diagnosis, type 1 or 2, means that your quality of life is literally in your hands, in that insulin, and in that diet. We have a choice on if we want to live life in defiance of diabetes or in ignorance of it. Note that the choice is ours, not our doctors, not our loved ones, ours. Totally and completely ours. The only exception is anyone diagnosed under 18, then you should listen to your loved ones and medical team and let them teach you the skills you’ll need to make your own medical choices when the time comes.
With this ownership, you have a responsibility to both your health and general well-being to figure out how you can best take care of yourself and let others know how to help you. The worst and most dangerous thing you can do is keep your diabetes a secret. What happens if you go low at the grocery store and nobody knows how to help you and you aren’t in the Nutella aisle?! Not a pretty situation, my friends, not pretty at all. I’m not saying that you should scream “I HAVE DIABETES” from the highest rooftop you can find, although if that’s your thing then go for it, but I am saying that you should subtly let people know what’s going on. My favorite ways to let people know:
Wear a Medical ID bracelet: Subtle yet effective way to let people know what’s going on, especially medical personal in case of emergencies. Even if a stranger doesn’t know what you have, they can see the infamous symbol and know that they need to react to it. Mine:
*Note- this only works if you actually wear your ID, so make sure to chose something you don't mind wearing everyday for 12 hours!
Carry copious amounts of snacks and refuse to share them: Always with humor y’all- now that you’re diabetic, you need snacks! Your could go low at any time, especially depending on what you’re doing, so you should always have some quick sugar snacks on hand. My favorites are gummy bears, fruit chews, Starbursts, juice boxes, and PB crackers as a leveler. What happens when someone sees you munching away while low and wants a snack? Deny the shareable moment (unless you have extras) while explaining why it is medically frivolous for you to share your delicious snack. Works every time.
I find that these two methods are really the only methods I need to let anyone know I have diabetes because they are so straight-foward and pretty simple to execute- show up and snack. Letting people know about your diabetes is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe and healthy, it’s just a matter of deciding the best way for you to let people know. Everyone is different and has different communication styles, but I hope that these ideas help you realize that letting people know about your diagnosis can be as simple as wearing a bracelet or eating gummy bears.