I’m Jealous of Your Working Pancreas

Sometimes, I look at my friends and family members and think, I’m jealous of your working pancreas(es). 

It’s not their faults for having perfectly functioning organs – and believe me, I’m glad that they do work the way they should. I’d never wish diabetes on anyone, especially the ones that I care about and love.

But I can’t help but think to myself, it must be nice to not have to worry about any of the crap that I’m constantly thinking about. 

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How lovely it must be to order whatever the heck you want at any restaurant you walk into, without having to worry about how many carbs it contains or how much to bolus for it.

How freeing it must be to live spontaneously, to go out and about wherever you desire without having to lug around a bunch of supplies and snacks, because you never know what you might need to have on hand.

The last time I had these thoughts was when my best friend visited me a few weeks ago in Washington, D.C. We had an absolutely wonderful weekend together that was filled with excellent culinary experiences and lots of walking (we logged 30,000 steps in a single day). Even though we had a blast, I was having a difficult time with my diabetes all weekend long, probably due to all the unfamiliar foods we were eating and the amount of movement we incorporated into each day.

I remember being in the Museum of Natural History when I checked my blood sugar and it was sky high, no thanks to the falafel wrap and soft-serve ice cream I’d consumed for lunch. I felt so defeated – not only was my blood sugar high, but my feet were aching and I felt icky after walking around in 95-degree heat for most of the morning and afternoon. But as an eager-to-please host to my guest, I felt like I still had to paste a smile on my face and show her and her boyfriend a good time.

That’s when the thought came – I’m jealous of your working pancreas – and went….because I knew that I shouldn’t waste any more time or energy begrudging my bestie of her healthy, insulin-producing pancreas. I’m so grateful that hers works – along with many other beloved family and friends – and that she doesn’t have to worry about all the crap that I’m constantly thinking about.

Isn’t it funny – funny interesting, not funny ha-ha – how perspective can change from one moment to the next? How jealousy can turn into gratitude? It’s kind of awesome.

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Banana, No Bolus

I ate a banana the other day without needing to correct for it. My blood sugar prior to eating it was 96 mg/dL. I sensed and oncoming low, and trusting this instinct, I decided to skip bolusing (taking insulin) for it. Two hours later, I was 108 mg/dL.

How did I do it?

Did my pancreas suddenly start working again?

Was it a low-carb banana?

Was sorcery involved?

I’ll explain how it happened; no, my pancreas didn’t suddenly decide to start secreting insulin; no, because low-carb bananas aren’t even a thing; and sadly, no, though I do wish I was well-versed in real-life wizardry and/or witchcraft.

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It happened because I was running around like a maniac that entire morning. High activity levels can do a number – that is, lower the numbers – on a diabetic’s blood sugar. Between walking my dog, playing with him some more outside, and running errands, I scarcely had a chance to catch my breath from the time I woke up until noon. It was still mildly surprising, though, since bananas are a notoriously high-carb and fast-acting food. I’d expected to be at least 50 points higher from the initial blood sugar.

I was pleased with this outcome, but I still think that the voodoo magic – ahem, science – behind diabetes is just plain weird sometimes.