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Looking Back: The Sounds of Diabetes.

After a discussion on Facebook last night about old school glucose meters (and the lancing/torture devices that went along with them), I was reminded of this post from December 2007 about the sounds of diabetes.  And since today is Chris's birthday (Happy birthday, Chris!  Or, as your daughter says, "Happy happy day!"), I thought it would be a good day to spend away from the Internet.  

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I was reading through the November issue of Men's Health at the gym a few weeks ago and came Sounds from my childhood with diabetes.across an article written by Jeremy Katz, the father of a child recently diagnosed with diabetes.  There were parts of this article that really resonated with me, but this sentence caught in my throat.

"The clink of the insulin bottles against my wedding ring was hauntingly familiar: I'd heard my father make the same sound a hundred times."  - Jeremy Katz

I immediately thought back to my own childhood, with the sound of the bottle of NPH as she rolled it against her wedding rings.  Every morning, she would wake up at 5 am to get ready for work, stopping by my bedroom to test my blood sugar.  Even though I was still asleep, the sound of her approaching slippers made my finger automatically stick out from underneath the mountain of blankets.  She would then roll the NPH to mix it up in preparation for my morning injection.

Clink ... clack ... clink ... clack.  

The glass bottle rolling against her rings in the early hours of my school days.  The stale and hollow beep of my old Accu-Chek meter after it had counted for 120 seconds in efforts to offer up a result.  The scratchy sounds of the cellophane wrapper on my Nabs crackers, or the shunk of the straw easing into my Capri Sun.  The hot fizzing of the urinalysis tablets as they cackled from their glass test tubes on the bathroom counter. 

These are the sounds of my childhood with diabetes.

Now, after 21 years and easing ever-faster into a new phase of my own life, there are new sounds that define my diabetes life.  The boop beep boop of my insulin pump as it boluses for lunch.  The whirring of the pump as it primes itself.  The quick thwap of the lancing device as I prick my fingertip.  The chalky scrape of glucose tabs rustling against one another in the jar.  The gentle click of the beads on my medic alert bracelet. 

These sounds have replaced those of my childhood.  I wonder what twenty years from now will bring.

Even though I now use Humalog insulin that doesn't need to be mixed, I'll roll the bottle against my rings and make myself feel like a child again.

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Wow, Kerri, I haven't thought about that sound of rolling my NPH bottle in YEARS!!

And I pulled out my very first One Touch meter the other night, and the huge pack I used to carry around in the beginning. Glad I've kept it to see how much things have changed (shrunk) in the last 20 years. lol

After 3 1/2 years of Elise using NPH, I still roll the humalog vial to hear that familiar "clink".

The other day we were at a gathering with other PWD and CWD. Everytime a dex would go off, I would reach for Elise, even though she hasn't worn it in 6 months. It's amazing what sound has the power to do!

Many Happy returns Chris.

and the tension mounts as I wait for the freestyle "BEEP"......
(still doing the lantus/humalog injects, and the freestyle meter,)
have an endo appt. next month to discuss the pump, CGM, etc., but, after your article, don't know if I'd adjust to all the new "sounds"...........=)
hopefully, this ol' dog WILL learn some new tricks, ya' never know................

Holy Flashback!!! Yes... the sounds! Just reading your post brought back those same memories.

Happy Happy Day to your husband. Same birthday as my grandmother. She's 94 today!

Kerri, love the way your use of "chalky scrape" in relation to glucose tabs. Most execllent.

Happy Birthday, Chris!

Jacob (5) once told me he didnt felt the infusion set go in as I change it at night in his sleep but said he remenbers hearing it...I use the sil-serter.


Oh wow the clink of the rings on the bottle!
I remember getting *really* upset when I was learning to do injections myself and the bottle didn't make the noise when I rolled it - my dad ended up taking off his wedding ring for me to put on every time so I could do it "right"!

I just got a replacement Animas pump (one of the buttons stopped working!) and while I was programming the new pump in my office, my colleague was chuckling at all the boop-beep-boop sounds and "Fur Elise"... which all sounded everyday normal to me!

Sometimes I think back to 17 years ago and realize how far medicine has come. Then I think to the present and realize how far it needs to go.

Sometimes I think back to 17 years ago and realize how far medicine has come. Then I think to the present and realize how far it needs to go.

ahhh thanx for this blog. I was just diagnosed in november and i read this every day...today im running so low... Life with type 1. Fun times :)

The fizzy sound of the urine test.

The rattle sound of the bottle rolling in your hands.

The click, click of my lantus pen.

And now the shunk of the inserter.

Many sounds...many meanings.

I still roll my Humalog bottle, ring clanking, every time I fill my Minimed pump reservoir. Old habits die hard!

Love love love this post! I never thought about the sounds of the big D but as I was reading them I could hear them:)
Thank you.

um I think the posts got mixed up... mine says its from Laura?
That's okay just confused?
oh and I have less lantus so im more in range today :)

I remember that noise! Used to hear it at 5 am when I still lived with my parents, usually after 10 minutes of loud meowing. My diabetic kitteh knew it was time for some food, then 30 minutes later more food (and a shot...)

My mom's rings made the same noise. I remember when I started to do my own injections, it never quite sounded right until I wore some kind of ring while rolling my NPH around in my hands. I still do it now, with Novolog, just to remember.

AWWWWW! yes! this actually brought tears to my eyes. I hated the noise then...what i would give to go back 23 years and hear it again.

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