A few weeks ago I was in the ER with ketones. Trace amounts had grown to large amounts due to my severe swore throat. I drove myself there, my 14 year-old daughter accompanying me, to get an IV and avoid going into DKA. It totally worked and I didn’t die. Phew!
The ER doc, however, didn’t know what the CGM on my arm was. Riddle me what!?? He actually asked me if it was a nicotine patch. I wanted to punch him in his medical doctorate degree face. I explained it, said it was a Continuous Glucose Monitor, even said the words, “it monitors my blood sugars and sends the readings to an app on my phone.” He then said, “Oh, an insulin pump.” Again—riddle me what?!!
Managing this disease with the social acceptance of the constant jokes about it is already really difficult. I really don’t have a problem with joking, especially about serious stuff. Jokes about friends dying and being so poor that government assistance is required, is funny. But the confusion of type one and type two is such an emotional drain. It gets really exhausting to constantly explain the severe difference between them, including to my own family.
Then take into account that medical fucking doctors don’t know what a CGM is?! Good gravy, things just got more difficult.
I don’t even say, “I have type one diabetes” anymore. When someone asks me what the CGM on my body is, at the gym or in line at the pharmacy, I say that “my pancreas doesn’t work, and that can kill a person, but this helps me stay alive.” It’s a damn mouthful! But I much prefer to say this than to use the dreaded word “diabetes”. I wish beyond all wishes that it was called “pancreatic failure” or “pancreatosis”.
But, alas, it is not. I have type one fucking diabetes. Hopefully, if I need an ambulance some day, the EMTs will know what it is.