This week, My husband and I are taking a few days to enjoy the mountain scenery. While we are gone, I have asked a few people to guest blog for me, and they have happily obliged.
Today’s post is compliments of the wonderful Martin Wood. He is a medical librarian, cyclist, diabetes advocate, and type 1 diabetic (since 1981). He’s also a great blogger with some great positive posts about living with diabetes. After reading his post here, why don’t you go on over and check out his site? He blogs over at Diabetically Speaking and tweets under the name of @woodonwheels.
Thank you so very much for blogging for me today, Martin! You are awesome!
As serious as diabetes is, sometimes I have to have a little fun at its expense. One of the go-to laughs I have with diabetes is joking around with people when they ask me what my pump is. Before telling them the real story, of course. Some of my favorite jokes about my insulin pump include:
- I’m a doctor. It’s my pager. I have it wired under my clothes just in case I’m somewhere loud and don’t hear it, it will give me a slight electric shock to notify me of an emergency.
- Actually I’m wired for sound, and will be presenting my research on winged monkeys right here at the top of the hour. NOTE: This one is especially fun if you’re somewhere out of the ordinary for a presentation, like on public transportation.
- I was so inspired by my Prius that I decided to become a hybrid myself. This is my battery pack.
- It’s a new kind of cell phone I’m testing, where the antenna is built into my clothes. The only problem is I have to take my pants off to answer the phone every time it rings.
- It’s a walkie talkie. (Followed by me unclipping it from my belt, holding it next to my face, and saying, “Copy that Captain 100, you are clear to hold your position.”)
The list goes on and on, and I usually pick up on something in the environment or situation I’m in to play off of. For example, I told someone in the library the other day that it was a mobile barcode reader. The point is to make it an ice breaker, so that the person I’m sharing with doesn’t feel nervous or embarrassed for asking. I want people to be comfortable with the fact that I have diabetes, because I certainly have to be. I use humor to open up an opportunity to educate and share a little bit of my world with someone who may be able to use my knowledge to help someone else, or even themselves.
We are advocates for diabetes every day just by having the disease, and certainly there are things we are more comfortable with sharing about it than others. But for the most part, I think people are curious when they see something like an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor, a blood test meter, insulin pens, and other tools we sometimes show a glimpse of in public. By sharing, not only are we increasing awareness, but it also helps us to live easier with diabetes ourselves.
So go ahead, have a laugh at the expense of diabetes. Make a joke about it. You can’t hurt its feelings. After a good laugh, you may be surprised to find that not only have you increased awareness and educated someone else, but your own outlook has improved as well.