Diabetes Blogs

4 Situations When It's Great To Be A Diabetic

I've been a Type 1 diabetic for 15+ years, and am a firm believer in the idea that if I need to endure blood sugar tests, infusion site changes, and a never-ending battle to stay alive for the rest of life, I am more than entitled to any small advantages I can access because of my disease. The following are my favorite, real-life situations that are made significantly more awesome by having diabetes. 

1. Your flight gets delayed, and/or there are no more available seats on your flight
When I was about 15 years old, I took a vacation with family and friends to the Dominican Republic. Vacation is great, but by the end of week one, you're usually ready to go home. We arrived at the airport exhausted and sunburned (I literally had sun poisoning all over my body, save for the spot on my stomach covered by an infusion site), only to find out that there weren't enough seats left on our flight, and the airline had planned to place us on the next one.... which didn't leave for another 12 hours. Upon hearing that news, my father & I looked at each other, and we knew -- time to pull out the diabetes card! [Disclaimer = We're experts in my family at playing the diabetes card]. My father made a scene about my insulin, I stayed quiet whilst trying to look sad and sickly, and voilà! -- there was suddenly room on our original flight, including an especially awesome seat just for me... in first class. 

2. You want to bring food into a movie theater/water park/etc. 
This isn't a specific story; rather a culmination of many. Every diabetic I've ever known has taken advantage of just how terrified most employees of any establishment other than airlines are at the mention of a person with diabetes. "Yes, of course, I need all of these snacks and drinks -- enough to feed and hydrate my entire group -- with me during the movie. I could have a low blood sugar!!" I've even brought Taco Bell into a movie theater (can't say I'm particularly proud of that one), because "I already bolused for this! I'll pass out if I don't eat it! You don't want that - do you?!"

In addition to this saving you tons of money on $5 water bottles and $8 popcorns, you'll make lots of friends who can't wait to go to the movies with the only person that can bring pretty much whatever they want into pretty much anywhere.

3. There's an incredibly long line at a restaurant 
I believe in line karma, and as long as you don't use this one too often, it seems the diabetes gods will allow it. When I was first diagnosed, I was an active Girl Scout troop member (samoas for the win!) prepping for a trip to Boston/Washington DC/Philadelphia/somewhere they thought we could learn something about history. It had been hours since we stopped for food, and the rest stop we eventually got out at had only one restaurant that was literally packed to capacity with people sitting, eating, and waiting in line. I may have only been a diabetic for a short while at the time, but my mother and I already had this whole thing nailed down. Cue my crazy d-mom (the best kind there is, by the way), who grabbed my hand, dragged me through the crowd of people, and marched up to the counter screaming something about insulin and an immediate need for food. Embarrassing? Yes. Did I get my food waaaaaay before everyone else? You know it. 

4. Disney World!
Rich Manhattan moms who hired handicapped kids so their family could cut the line at Disney World -- don't get any ideas! 

My family had planned a trip to Disney World shortly after I was diagnosed as a child. Because of the heat in Florida, and my relative newness to diabetes, my wonderful endocrinologist wrote a letter to whoever is in charge of these things stating that it would be unsafe for me to stand in line for hours under the hot southern sun. The result? I spent 5 days getting escorted around the park in a wheelchair like the 10-year-old spoiled brat I was, cutting every line, riding Space Mountain 5+ times while passing the same people still in line over and over again, and generally just basking in the glory of how freakin' awesome it was to have diabetes. 

Diabetes sucks. There's no harm in having a little fun with it. When have you used diabetes to your advantage? 

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