The other day, on another blog I write called Resparkable Vintage, I posted about my contribution for the upcoming JDRF Dream Gala Auction. That website is really all about my repurposed vintage handmade designs, but in that particular post, since I mentioned the JDRF Gala, as well as the fact that I’m a Type 1, I gave a brief explanation about Type 1, thinking probably most of the readers over there don’t know much, if anything, about it.
Mainly, I just said Type 1 is an auto immune disease, and that our bodies don’tt produce insulin on their own, so therefore we have to inject synthetic insulin multiple times on a daily basis to survive. I also mentioned that it’s a complicated disease.
And it is. It’s hard to explain to someone what all of that means- Because what does insulin do exactly? And that thing I mentioned about having to take synthetic insulin- how do you know how much to take? And when to take it? And what happens if you take the wrong amount?
Because, as anyone who lives with it knows, there’s no obvious or predictable formula for getting dosing amounts correct. And the way a low blood sugar or a high blood sugar makes one feels varies from person to person, and from day to day.
Here’s a small, seemingly unimportant example of what it’s like to have Type 1 that I experienced today. I can never be spontanious about eating something. If I’m at an event, as I was earlier today, and they happen to be serving lunch, I can’t just pop food into my mouth on a whim. If I had wanted to eat at this luncheon, I would have needed to know what exactly I would be eating, at least 30 minutes before eating it, so that I could take what I hope is the right amount of insulin to cover it. But since I didn’t know in advance, and they put a plate in front of me, I just said, “Oh no thanks, I already ate a late brunch.” It was a lie. And truth be told, I was getting a little hungry. But if I don’t take my insulin pretty well in advance of eating, my blood sugar will soar, and I will be on the diabetes roller coaster of high to low blood sugar for a good part of my day. And it will likely make me feel like crap.
So, I keep it simple. I say, “No thanks” to unplanned food. I eat my same (some would say boring) lunch most days because it’s just easier.
I also happen to be a picky eater by nature, so most people who know me (including my husband) just sort of roll their eyes at me, assuming it’s all about my pickiness when I say no to food. But I don’t even know which came first, my extreme pickiness, or just keeping my diet simple to avoid… well, COMPLICATIONS.
I don’t bother to explain these things. It’s easier just to tell a little white lie. “No thanks, my stomach’s a little upset.” Or, like today, “No thanks. I ate a late breakfast and didn’t realize there would be food here!”
Type 1. It’s complicated.