I have type 1 diabetes, I’ve had it since the age of four (which equates to roughly 22 years of living with the disease).
While yes, having diabetes can be a drag, there are moments which crop up where having diabetes can be quite advantageous.
My own experiences bring to mind five particular highlights where having diabetes was actually of great personal benefit, if only for a short period.
5. Avoiding chores
Upon moving in with my long-suffering lady love, it was only fair that we equally shared out responsibility of the household chores.
Like many people, I passionately dislike chores, and found that one afternoon when drying the dishes upon testing my blood sugar levels I was low.
“Sit down,” my partner said. I procured a bottle of Lucozade from the fridge and indeed sat down, slowly sipping, with an ever-growing smile on my face.
This is not the kind of situation that happens too often, however. Admittedly, I tried this again weeks later – despite having a healthy blood sugar reading – and was asked to “Prove it”. I couldn’t, so I was back on dishes duty.
4. Going ballistic on the dance floor
Very rarely can people successfully flail their limbs like a lunatic in a nightclub dance floor and not draw confused looks from fellow club folk.
However, people with diabetes carrying blood glucose meters are in a position of strength. We can test our blood sugars and know just how berserk we can act to our favourite tunes before an energy boost is required.
If, like me, you need the majority of the dance floor to cut all your shapes efficiently, you need not worry about onlookers, as if anyone asks you to explain your moves, informing them of your diabetes eradicates any embarrassment.
3. Getting out of unappealing events
Everyone has done it. Lying to get out of a really rubbish event you were scheduled to attend is practically compulsory in human beings.
An aspect of diabetes, however, is that quite often there are legitimate reasons you cannot make certain functions.
Be it a clinic or retinopathy appointment, a bad hypo, or the need to collect an emergency prescription, these occurrences have all come to my aid as reasons to avoid an event that would otherwise fill me with dread.
2. It’s a conversation starter
More often than not, injecting or medicating your diabetes in public, especially on public transport, can result in some questioning your actions.
While some may choose to simply reply: “I have diabetes”, the possibilities for some friendly conversation are there to be exploited.
If in the vicinity of an attractive girl or boy, the completion of your medication can be followed with some expert charm to prospective secure a dinner date.
Alternatively, if in a foreign country, your diabetes could help you make new friends that may serve to make your stay all the more memorable.
1. When you know it’s love
A slightly more sentimental moment is when you realise your partner is probably the one to spend the rest of your life with.
Having a hypo in the middle of the night, for example, is a giant hassle for people with diabetes. If you have been dating someone for a few weeks and they volunteer to get you some sugar, you can’t help but feel quite moved, as well as grateful.
Once my partner not only understand my diabetes, but went out of her way to help me control it, I knew I’d found a good one.