Code Word - "Shoot Up."
But sometimes, those terms drop from the mouths of our friends, and the sound always amazes me.
Like yesterday morning, I was having a marathon phone conversation with Batman, and she mentioned that she told one of her co-workers about me having diabetes. "I was like, yeah, Kerri is a type 1 and she wears an insulin pump ..." and she kept talking but the phrase "a type 1" stuck in my head. Batman and I don't talk about diabetes much, but she's one of my closest friends and this language has become part of her vernacular almost by osmosis.
It's my diabetes and my disease to manage, but my closest friends and family members are so tuned in to it that they don't even notice anymore. Needles in my purse are par for the course. Looking at me and casually mentioning, "Ker, your wire is out," happens all the time. "Whoa, that'll empty out a pump," after seeing a huge dessert delivered to a table. Smooshed granola bars and stashes of juice boxes have found their way into everyone's glove compartments, and I'm not even sure they realize it. Numbers like 98 and 112 become amusing - "Hey, that's like a perfect blood sugar!" - and people's mentions of "juvenile diabetes" are quickly corrected as "Yeah, they used to call it that but now it's type 1 diabetes."
"Oh my gosh, that looks delicious You think like 40 grams of carbs?"
"Dude, let's go in the water. Throw your pump in the cooler!"
"We've got everything we need for the hike: water bottle, sunscreen, and sunscreen."
They "get it," but the best part is that they don't realize how much they've "gotten it." Their level of understanding is so intrinsic and instinctive that they barely notice.
I rely on these people so much. My meter gives me blood sugar results and my pump delivers life-sustaining insulin, but my emotional health is nurtured and cared for by my outstanding support team. It blows my mind to think about how many people are really needed to keep me healthy. My endocrinolgist and my primary care physician monitior my physiological progress and keep me steeped in information. My ob/gyn keeps tabs on my reproductive system and helps me prepare my body for baby. My retinologist watches out for those pesky eye issues.
But there's so much more than just the doctors with initials after their names. There's my mom and dad remind me that regardless of how old I become, I'm still their daughter and still their worry. My brother and sister, who know how to support without smothering. My close friends, who make sure my life is as free as theirs, but just in case, they keep juice at the ready. And my husband, who loves me in sickness and in health, not letting diabetes define our relationship - or us.
"Oh, the food's here. Time to shoot up."
That's a phrase only a diabetic, or a person who cares for a diabetic, would understand.