Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tick Tock ya Don't Stop...


Hellloooooo there to the diabetes blogosphere and DOC! Yes, I am alive. Work has been nutty and I've been a brittle RA patient. Yeah. I went there. BRITTLE. But its ok because its Rheumatoid, NOT diabetes.
During my absence, I aqcuired a minion of sorts. Ok, not really. I haven't exactly hit her up for any favors or asked that she run any errands for me. Ohhhh but its coming. And by all of my pronouns, youve been able to deduce I met a girl. Her name is Cassie Giesberg, and she's kind of amazing. She was diagnosed with T1 the year I was born, and like your favorite bia, has made work with diabetes her life's passion as a diabetes nurse educator. I asked Cassie to hit me with a guest post, and hopefully this becomes a regular gig for her. So without further adieu....
{I'm playing Color Me Bad RIGHT.THIS.SECOND}

My name is Cassie Giesberg, and I have been a member of the T1 club for almost 29 years. I was diagnosed with T1 when I was 17 months old. My D-day is December 23, 1983. I have been through ups, downs, and some crazy technology (GlucoWatch, anyone?), but that's not the point of my story today.

Another thing that I have experienced is the common barrage of questions. I don't mind it really; I'm pretty open about my diabetes. It's not anything to be ashamed of--it just "is". However, I'm pretty sure some people don't know that personal space also applies to conversation.

I've received some pretty odd questions over time, and I think the strangest one by far is, "How do you have sex?" And what's even crazier is that I've gotten that one more than once. Seriously? Would you ask that to someone who doesn't have diabetes? And how do you answer that? By the way, since I'm married, I can talk about this.

Well, my go to answer is usually, "Well how do you have sex?" You know, it's really strange how many people don't want to answer that. So it's okay for you to ask me how I have sex, but I can't pose the same question back to you? Frankly, I don't really want to know how you have sex, and if you don't know how I do it, then you're probably too young to ask that anyway! And if you're nosy enough to ask that question, then you're also entitled to whatever smart-ass answer I have for you. Hmph!

But I will say this: there are some things that make it difficult and frustrating. For example, when you've had a butt-kicking low blood sugar (of say, 37?), you feel like, well, like you've had your butt kicked. That doesn't do much for the mood--particularly if you don't have any energy after fourteen juice boxes. Or, there's those good times when your infusion site gets ripped out. It's a little painful, a little annoying, but it's not a total deal-breaker. Then, there's the really fun one: when your blood sugar drops at a most inopportune time. Sigh.

There is fun to be had, though, other than the obvious. Sure being low sucks, but that can also be a good thing. You see, I've developed a rating system that makes me feel better because my husband and I can laugh at it--and it helps put the diabetes in the background where it belongs. Diabetes will not crash my party--especially during intimacy!

Its a pretty simple rating system, actually. For example, if you need one juice box afterward, then that means it was pleasant (or you can attach whatever mediocre adjective you find applicable); if you need two juice boxes, then that's pretty good--amazing, even. But if you need three juice boxes, DO NOT LET THAT GO!! Sure, you won't like needing three juice boxes, but you'll realize later on that it was for a good cause.

Now let me be very clear: I am not suggesting you intentionally drive your blood sugar low so you can tell you friends later on that you had three juice box relations. In fact, I try to plan as best as I can so that there are no interruptions. I keep my juice boxes and my Dexcom (if I happen to be wearing it) nearby, and I wait for latest possible time that I can disconnect my pump (so my two-hour window doesn't fall at a bad time).

I'm really just trying to make light of something that can be really be frustrating. For me, it takes the power away from diabetes during such an important time. My "rating system" lets me be just like everyone else. It's a funny story for me to tell later on.

So, to all you nosy people out there--that is how I have sex. Believe it or not, it is possible for people with diabetes to have relationships--awesome ones, even. If you feel uncomfortable hearing that, then imagine how uncomfortable I might feel when you ask me that.