Life is Sweet

Best idea:
Debase it.
Die, beast!

[glucose lizard]

I never realized how funny diabetes was until I was diagnosed. I mean, come on: how many other diseases can make your urine smell like fruit? That's almost worth it alone.

(Before we begin, though, I was wondering something. Is it just me, or does the molecular structure of glucose look like a lizard?)

Take the subject of diet. I got so much different advice that I didn't know whether I was coming or going. The endocrinologist said one thing. The local dietitian said another. The CF dietitian gave me completely different guidelines. Avoid sugar. Resume your normal diet. Didn't these people know what they were talking about? I was left thinking

Debate is
Base. Diet
is debate.

Let's move on, shall we?

Eyes of blue, and type 2

The most popular form of diabetes is type 2. Just why does it find so much favor? There must be a reason it's the front runner. After all, millions can't be wrong, can they?

It's probably not the fruity urine thing. Sure, it's nice for a party trick, but really, how much mileage can you get out of that?

No, I'm pretty sure that the reason type 2 is so popular is that people want an excuse to carry around hard candy. Jawbreakers, mints, rock candy. You can use glucose tablets if you want, but they're just not as much fun as the real thing in all its dangerous glory.

Activity Corner! Rate these blood sugar elevators from least to most effective:

  • Apple
  • Glucose tablets
  • Cracked wheat
  • Marilyn Monroe

That ol' type 1 thing again

To bleed or not to bleed; that is the question.

Oh, the field is rich. Blood and humor just go together so well. For example:

[Sorry, it's a visual joke.]

You can make your own t-shirt from this if you wish.

Some of the most fun I've had is watching people become uncomfortable when I take a blood sample. To me this is so odd it's funny. I have a history of fainting when I think about these things, but I can handle a simple prick without any fuss. Yet my friends who never faint don't want to try it themselves (I've offered). What's the deal? It's just a little blood, folks. Happens all the time.

Quick Quiz! Rate these blood-letting technologies:

good bad very bad
good bad very bad
good bad very bad

The answer is that none of them are good, but some are worse than others.

Beyond the Valley of...

The woodwork squeaks
and out come the freaks
Was (Not Was), "Out Come the Freaks"

Then there are us weirdos: those who are neither type 1 nor type 2. That's me! My diabetes was a side effect of cystic fibrosis. My pancreas digested a bit of itself, and now -- hey, watch out! -- my sugar's up, it's down, it's all around.

The most absurd thing about atypical diabetes is trying to describe it to doctors and nurses. "Well, it's like type 1, but not really. I got it as an adult. My doctor describes as type 2, but it's not a reaction to insulin; I don't produce enough. So... you decide!" They then have to figure out what pigeonhole to stick me in. It can be fun to watch them squirm a little.

Celebrity Corner

Famous Probable Diabetics in History

Hey, this isn't a modern disease, no way! Consider these famous people:

  • Jesus

    Atypical type 2; adult onset though slim. Note that his most famous moments involved piercing and blood. "Put your finger in my side", indeed. I bet he just wanted someone to see if his blood was sweeter than normal.

    Come to think of it, that would explain why that wine-to-blood transubstation trick sometimes yields a sweet vintage, sometimes sour. That guy has got to work on his controlling his levels.

  • Buddha

    Type 2. This roly-poly guy probably got no exercise. He spent way too much time sitting in lotus position. Type 2 in a big way.

  • Marquis de Sade

    Definitely type 1. Dead giveaway: bloodletting experience, of both himself and others.

  • Falstaff

    Yet another type 2. Big, stout, with a rich diet. Not the kind of guy to regularly monitor his blood glucose. See what it gets you? Gout, diabetes, and practically written out of "Henry V".

While we're on a historical kick, let's take a look at the merits of lancets over the centuries.

  1. Cleopatra's asp (not recommended)
    Pro: can double as a drug delivery device
    Con: Not the kind of drugs you want

  2. The St. Sebastian technique
    Pro: Only one treatment needed
    Con: Truly scary; downright 'arrowing, in fact

  3. Shakespeare's "bare bodkin"
    Pro: Effective, simple, concealable
    Con: Have to listen to Hamlet's whining (and he might stab the wrong guy -- again)

  4. Sleeping Beauty's spindle
    Pro: You'll be well rested
    Con: You'll miss the 2076 Olympics

Concluding Thoughts

And on that note, let's end with a thought for the future:

I can't wait until I'm officially labelled a "Diabetic-American".

I can just imagine the chant at the parade:

What do we want?
100 milligrams per deciliter!
When do we want it?

Last updated 13 March 2003
All contents ©1999-2002 Mark L. Irons except quote from "Out Come the Freaks", ©1981 Was (Not Was). "Blood Glucose Testing Sites" inspired by Ryland. Anagrammatic grooks inspired by Piet Hein.