If I Didn’t Have Diabetes…

Every now and then I think about what my life would be like if I didn’t have diabetes. 

There are the obvious differences of course – no needles, no carb-counting, no retinopathy, etc. – but there are also more indirect effects of diabetes on my life that would lead to less obvious differences between my life with D and my hypothetical life without. 

(Hmm….I suppose if a cure is ever discovered, I’ll have to rename this blog Me Without D.  Not as catchy.) 

Here are a few of those less-obvious differences:

1. I would wear dresses more often.  Ever since I’ve been on the pump I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn a dress.  It’s just too difficult to find a place to put the pump, since I normally clip it to my waistband – something a dress does not have.  It’s not like there are no options for wearing a pump and a dress together, it’s just that there are no options that I like.  I even got the “leg holster” for the pump.  Surprisingly, I ended up looking not nearly as sexy as leg-holster-sporting Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith or Tomb Raider.  It just made for a bulge on the side of my leg.  Not sexy.  So generally I stick with a skirt or pants.

2. I would carry smaller purses.  Every purse I own has room for the requisite blood testing equipment, a spare infusion set and/or back-up insulin pen, and some goodies with which to treat a low if necessary.  Thankfully purses much larger than mine are still considered stylish.  I’m screwed if ever teenie purses become a fashion must.

3. I would carry fewer bags when travelling.  Closely related to #2 above, this is obviously because diabetes-related equipment takes up space.  Typically my blood testing equipment and pump supplies, including all manner of back-ups, travel in their own bag.  A bag I wouldn’t be carrying if not for diabetes.

4. I would still wear glasses.  I did wear glasses.  I don’t now.  Well, I sometimes do, but I usually don’t.  The main reason for this is my retinal bleed.  It clutters up my vision.  My glasses have frames that are fairly dark and fairly noticeable in my peripheral vision.  Since I can quite easily get by without them, I tend to prefer not to wear them.  This will likely change when I go back to work (i.e. from my current mat leave) and back to spending all day on a computer (instead of just spending a lot of the day on the computer, like I do now).

5. I would have more spending money…or more things or experiences that cost money.  Since most of my diabetes supplies are covered by either my provincial Pharmacare program or my insurance company, I’m not really complaining…I’m just saying….  My pump was paid for out of pocket.  That’s $7500 I could have spent elsewhere. My CGMS sensors are also paid for out of pocket.  That’s $50-a-pop that I could be spending elsewhere.  (Note:  My CGMS and I have not yet reconciled, if anyone’s wondering.)

6. I would have more free time and headspace.  Logging, carb-counting, going to appointments, changing infusion sets, doing blood tests, trying to figure out why things aren’t working, making changes and starting from scratch again, more logging, more carb-counting, more appointments…..need I say more?

7. I wouldn’t be so obsessive/compulsive (and I’m actually not using that term loosely) about forgetting something at home when I go out.  I’m not even only referring to diabetes-related items!  The fear of forgetting blood testing equipment or treatment for hypos has transferred to everything else – not only my phone/wallet/etc., but things like painkiller in case I get a headache, hand-sanitizer, Kleenex, gum….all those things that are good to have along, but not worth obsessing over.  Well, I quite handily obsess over them.  On the upside, I’m always prepared.  Always.  (Uh, perhaps this also plays into #2 and #3 above.)

8. I may not have had problems with anxiety.  This is another topic for another post, but suffice it to say that I have had some significant problems with anxiety in the past that I feel were in no small way related to my diabetes and needing to be “in control” of my body at all times.  More on this another time.

9. I wouldn’t have made friends with my CDE!  She and I hit it off so well at my appointments, and found that we had so much in common, that we ended up becoming great friends outside of the realm of diabetes!  She is one of my favourite people in the world, and I have diabetes to thank for introducing me to her!

10. I wouldn’t have ended up dropping all of my pregnancy weight, and more, before my daughter’s first birthday!  Granted, some of this can be attributed to the fact that my daughter is very active and I have to be very active to keep up with her, as well as the fact that she required a lot of carrying early on.  Still, it was my low(ish) carb diet that really made me start to shed pounds.  I went on this “diet” (still hate this word) in order to stabilize my blood sugar, and it worked – but with the handy side-effect of weight-loss!  I’m feeling great about my post-pregnancy body – and I realize that not a lot of women are able to say that!

11. I wouldn’t be in a book about diabetes and pregnancy!   I’m still pretty pumped about this one!

12. I wouldn’t be blogging!  Well, not about diabetes, anyway…


4 responses to this post.

  1. Amen to the more free time and headspace!


  2. Posted by Sarah on April 28, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Isn’t it odd to think about. I would say at least 60% of my thoughts have something to do with my diabetes, will my pump look ok under that super cute top?, how long will it be before I need to eat, what will I eat, what won’t I eat?… I’m not sure that I would be any where near the same person without this disease (in good and bad ways). I have always wished that I could have lived my college years without diabetes though. I felt so restricted!


  3. Posted by Sylvie on April 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Love the list…. #5 (more spending money) and #6 (more free time and headspace) are soooooooo true for me!!! I would also add that I would live with much more spontaneity….


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