You Know You’re Diabetic When…

A little Monday Madness, postponed this week to start your back-to-work New Year off with a smile.

How do you know you’re diabetic? When…

Any restaurant bragging about it’s amazing “pasta & pizza” is your definition of a Torture Chamber.

A really great day for you is defined as “90-120″ — which means nothing to most people you know.

Your “personal mission statement” is… um, “90-120.” Ditto on the 2nd statement above.

Unexplained electronic beeps make you start frisking yourself, and/or your pockets or purse — and you’re the only one in the room NOT searching for your cell phone.

Just hearing the word “dessert” makes your blood sugar rise.

You keep a calculator in right next to the napkins in your kitchen.

Eating a piece of fruit has become a MAJOR EVENT in your life.

Any word that starts with “glu” makes you wince.

You find teeny tiny blood stains on lots of your shirts, and near jacket pockets — despite the fact that you use the “lick method” a lot.

You constantly have the feeling that your life is a science experiment, and it’s NOT just your imagination.

Did you know, btw, that there was a Facebook Group on this exact topic? Yup, that group has over 1,000 members. (OK, there are hundreds of diabetes groups on Facebook, but this, IMHO, is the funniest one.) Do excuse the obscenity, but I just couldn’t resist posting this little graphical gem from member Amber Munoz:


A few of my faves from their list (You Know You’re Diabetic When…)

You say that you feel “high” in public and then wonder why people around you give you weird looks.

You have a debate about the best and worse glucose tab flavors, and take it seriously.

You think regular soda tastes completely disgusting.

You are abnormally good at multiplying by 15. Thank you, carb counting.

Sort of bittersweet, isn’t it, knowing that thousands of other people “get” these? What would you say is the biggest telltale sign that someone’s part of the PWD Club?


22 Responses

  1. CALpumper
    CALpumper January 2, 2008 at 9:51 am | | Reply

    Before I was on the pump:

    My parents finding syringe caps in my clothes pockets, my school bag or randomly strewn throughout the house.

    After I was on the pump:

    Finding the caps or “extra caps” to the insulin cartridges on the rug, near the garbage can.

    Finding used test strips in pockets of anything, purses, bags, glucose monitor kit, near garbage can, pretty much anywhere.

    My personal favorite, this has been going on for 22 years:

    Little pieces of tissues with blood stains on them found EVERYWHERE I have ever been!

    I told my parents that is what I would take to my grave, lol! (sounds morbid and I apologize for that but the humor in it, to me at least, cracks me up every time)

    Oh and of course I have to say, the “high” comment in public, I do it now just to get the looks so I can laugh! It is funny yet interesting how the same words can mean something entirely different to others. And honestly, they should have “oh shit” instead of “HI” coded into the glucose monitors! A little humor goes a long way!

  2. Ed
    Ed January 2, 2008 at 9:51 am | | Reply

    Saying that you need orange juice and not viagra to “get it up”.

  3. Living With Diabetes
    Living With Diabetes January 2, 2008 at 10:12 am | | Reply

    From Diabetes Mine

    Actually a combination of a couple of these items happened during my first period class. My Dexcom reciever kept going during my first period class — I teach computer science so random beeping always disturbs the class. I…

  4. WC
    WC January 2, 2008 at 10:47 am | | Reply

    Haha! Love the graphic! And I can definitely relate to the “I feel high” comment.

    A couple days ago I was sitting down at a restaurant with my wife, and I started replaying in my mind how pissed I got at my family when they decided that it would be OK to skip a meal on Christmas eve and just eat a big lunch, and I had to not so calmly remind them that it wasn’t really an option for me. Out of the blue, I told my wife, “I think I’m ready to try a pump.” She replied “Why did you bring that up all of the sudden… Because that guy has one?” And she points to the guy at the table behind us, who’s wearing a pump on his belt.

  5. Kathy (araby62 on TuDiabetes)
    Kathy (araby62 on TuDiabetes) January 2, 2008 at 11:15 am | | Reply

    “Shooting up” has a decidedly different ring to it (and so does “needle user”).

  6. Sarah
    Sarah January 2, 2008 at 11:49 am | | Reply

    I ALAWAYS have a bottle of Coke near my bedside or in the bathroom. Otherwise known as my “low Coke”. My husband knows that if there’s no Coke beside the bed, there’s no love. He always makes sure that my Coke is there and ready to go. ;)

    I have gotten out of the shower naked and soaking wet and walked into the kitchen just to get a Coke for the bathroom…”just in case”. ;)

    You know you’re a diabetic when…your purse is the size of Titanitc (no dainty clutches for me). My purse is stuffed full with glucose tabs, a bottle of Coke (my fave for lows…works best), testing kit, pump backup supplies, insulin and syringe, gluten and milk free snacks (for my Celiac and allergies), inhalers, alcohol wipes and Kleenex for finger sticks, Glucagon….

    My dress designer for my wedding gown made a matching purse for me to carry all of my stuff in. He called it “The Pharmacy”. Lol!

    I also must note that he designed a pocked to hold my insulin pump. Realize that this is not easy to do with a fitted mermaid style…but it was well hidden and I looked fabulous! How many non-diabetics can say they got a custom made wedding dress that could be made to accommodate their insulin pump?

    I also have test strips *everywehere*. My bag and purse are currently home to about 30.

    You know you’re a diabetic when…your friends ask what your “numbers” are. And their not talking weight or your past dating fiascos.

    You know you’re a diabetic when…your friends either forget you have diabetes and you get mad (I.e. “For the last time, that’s my insulin pump!”), or they remember that you have diabetes….and yes, you get mad at that too (“My friend can’t eat that…she has diabetes”)!

  7. Doug MacLeod
    Doug MacLeod January 2, 2008 at 6:35 pm | | Reply

    You know you’re a diabetic when anything that ends in “ose” makes you queasy.

    I loved the comment about the response to beeping. I used to be trained by the ringing of a phone to respond, now it’s the sound (and vibration) of my pump. Makes me instantly grab for my chest, where the pump is hanging by its pouch!

    Thanks for the wonderful blog. After 44 years, I still have a lot to learn!

  8. Anne
    Anne January 2, 2008 at 8:13 pm | | Reply

    you know you’re diabetic when you squeeze your fingertip and it starts bleeding in 3 places. :) :(

  9. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell January 2, 2008 at 8:41 pm | | Reply

    You know you’re a diabetic when your cubicle mates ask if you’re OK after hearing the *@&(# Dexcom alarm because you missed the initial buzz. They’re a good group.

  10. Hannah
    Hannah January 2, 2008 at 9:16 pm | | Reply

    You know you’re diabetic when your husband, while changing clothes when getting up for work, tells you he found ANOTHER test strip in his shoe.

  11. Mark
    Mark January 3, 2008 at 7:33 am | | Reply

    You know you are a diabetic (I wear a pump)and you set off security alarms when you walk into shopping malls.

  12. Luis
    Luis January 3, 2008 at 9:37 am | | Reply

    Folks with phenylketonuria / PKU (I’m not one, btw) know your pain, especially if they’re pregnant or are trying to get pregnant.

    (The good numbers are 2-6 mg/dl blood phenylalanine instead of 90-120 [don't know the unit] blood glucose, but the sheer incomprehension on everyone else’s part is the same.)

    The irritating part is that there’s no handheld monitor yet. You have to send the little paper with the blood spots on it in to a lab and get the results back days later.

    One of the nice things, though, is that diabetes is well-enough-understood these days that you can say “it’s kinda like diabetes” and at least get a glimmer of recognition.

    Anyway. On with your regularly scheduled blog comments.

  13. Dave
    Dave January 3, 2008 at 10:11 am | | Reply

    I love the “oh s…t” picture – how perfect!

    Happy New Year!


  14. Joanna
    Joanna January 4, 2008 at 5:02 am | | Reply

    You know your a diabetic thats for sure when just like the other I automatically reach for my pump when I hear beeping going on. You know you have diabetes when the first time in 31 years you go into DKA and your co-worker is ready to shove sugar down you and you think how your going to muster up the strenght to push her away if she comes near you !
    Happy New Year to all : )

  15. Norine
    Norine January 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm | | Reply

    Oh my gosh! This was the greatest blog!

    You know you’re diabetic when pals at work have to wait to leave to go out to lunch together while you check your blood and they just don’t get….

    You know you’re diabetic when you have little Juicy Juice boxes in every backpack, purse and beside your bed and there are no toddlers around…

    You know you’re diabetic when your pump alarm goes off and the person you are standing next to you looks confused and asks “what is that noise?” lol

    LOVED the Oh Sh*T on the meter….absolutely should say that instead of HI !!! lol

  16. Bodyhealthadvisor
    Bodyhealthadvisor January 5, 2008 at 9:13 am | | Reply

    I can relate to you guys as my father is also diabetic. When I first learned about his diagnosis, I did alot of research and feel that it is useful to share what I discovered in my personal blog at

  17. Janet
    Janet January 6, 2008 at 11:37 am | | Reply

    I have a name for all those test strips you find EVERYWHERE (in the silverware drawer, under the car seat, stuck to the bottom of your foot). I call it “Diabetes Detritus.”

  18. Ivan Roseland
    Ivan Roseland January 7, 2008 at 10:17 am | | Reply

    I gotta say, I love the graphic. Anyone offended by that language should avoid going outside. 8^)

    As for the you know you are a diabetic thing.

    You know when you get pulled over on the highway for speeding a tad and when the office asks if its ok to have a look around the car you have to warn him that the driver door pocket is a no hands zone. Then you are stuck explaining how all those uncapped sharps got there. Finally he still manages to offend you by suggesting you could still be a junkie.


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  21. Heather Cameron
    Heather Cameron November 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm | | Reply

    You know you’re diabetic when you crave oatmeal instead of chocolate…

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