11.11.14

This Is When Diabetes Gets Weird

The Weird Diabetes

Periodically, I’ll ask Amber about a recent observation about my own T1D life, “When X happens, do you feel like X?” She promptly shoots me a quizzical glance and responds, “You always say things like this to me and I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced that specifically.” If you’re not following me yet, be patient, this is where diabetes gets weird.

Our bodies are complicated. The king of this complexity is the nervous system–especially the sensory feedback. Being a T1D presents unique insights into the nervous system. These insights are everywhere.If you listen carefully, you find your language. Your language is different than mine. It’s full of clues. What drives the language? Blood glucose levels.

When I’m high, my eyes get foggy. I blink at double the normal rate. My breath gets weird. My mouth is the Sahara. I pee like someone who has coffee on an IV drip. I am a slug.

When I’m low, my brain is the chicken with its head cut off. Hunger is the primary feeling. I get anxious. My lips turn blue. I sweat in a cold room. I try to do 20 things at the same time without committing to anything.

These sensory signals are all given by the body, telling us that something’s up. A friend recently commented, “You having diabetes has made you so much more aware of your body.” It’s true though. Survival requires it. We’ve developed a sixth sense of sorts.

Today I discovered a new sensory signal. My pulled hamstring hurts more when my blood sugar goes high. Pretty weird right?

How about you? Have any of your own weirdness to share?

Former co-founder of DiabetesDailyGrind, Ryan's mission is to motivate others with diabetes to live their own authentic life. Most days, when not in the hospital during his medical residency, you can find him on the bike, surfboard, or yoga mat. He believes in the power of clean eating, and loves his Dexcom.

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