Insulin Smells (and other diabetic discomforts)
Diabetes is uncomfortable for a lot more reasons than people think. Allow me to explain:
- Insulin smells. Have you every smelled insulin? It’s this smell that’s slightly reminiscent of melted plastic, a doctor’s office, and commercial grade cleaning product all in one liquid. Pleasant, right? Wrong.
- Needles are sharp. As we all know, needles are sharp because they, you know, have to pierce skin. We poke ourselves with needles constantly- to inject insulin, to put on CGM sensors, to set up insulin pumps, to have blood drawn, etc etc. Do you think it’s comfortable to get poked by needles? Weird, neither do we.
- BLOOD. Sometimes there is blood and sometimes it gets e-v-e-r-ywhere. Fingerpricks are obviously one of the reasons we see blood a lot, but God help you if you have your needle setting up a little too high because now you’re got a miniature river of blood. This is especially uncomfortable when you’re testing in a public place because nothing is more alarming to strangers than a bloody napkin.
- Public needle deposit boxes. No fellow bathroom goer, I’m not using this needle deposit box to get rid of my illicit drug laced needle tip, so save the judging for the rest of the people in the mall.
- Doorknobs. Pumps require tubing. Tubing often spools outside of your clothes, vulnerable to wind, rain, and doorknobs. It’s like when you tie one end of string to a tooth and the other to a door knob and close the door as hard as you can, but the result isn’t a lost tooth.
- Pharmacists know what’s up. Ever walk into a pharmacy and the pharmacist knows your name, prescriptions, and your birthday? No? Guess you must not have to spend that much time at your local Walgreens like I do..
- There are carbs in all of the things. Bananas, peas, pasta, beer, soda, lettuce, black beans, jelly beans, cocoa beans- you name it, they’ve all got that dreaded c-word in them to a varying degree. You know how much time we diabetics spend counting carbs? Hint: it’s a lot.
- Public restrooms. 9 times out of 10, there is no viable shelf or counter space in a public restroom. This is uncomfortable and awkward because hello, where do I balance my meter when the amount of counter space is negative? On the toilet paper roll? On the baby changing table? What do I do if someone with an actual baby and an actual dirty diaper situation walks in?! Awk-werddd.
- Medical waiting rooms. Sterile, uncomfortable, and decorated with furniture straight from an 80s movie. Not only that, people in there are sick! Coughing all over the place, sniffling up a storm, threatening to throw off BG control with a shared cold. Thank goodness we spend a good amount of time here.
- Rogue test strips. Oh I’m sorry, did I drop my used test strip on the floor? Is that weird or are we on a level where that’s okay...?
Anybody else have examples of how diabetes is just plain awkward?