Monday, September 26, 2011

The strange language of Diabetes

"You had better be high, Mister!" has been said to my teenage son more than once while in a public venue. People have looked at my like I was the world's worst parent.  Who in their right mind suggests that its a good thing for their child to be high?

"That will be twenty, plus, thirty, and five, plus another twenty-two. Did you get that? Do you have the total?"  said at the dinner table with onlookers wondering why I am about to "charge" my son for his meal.

"Are you using a temporary basal? Do you think it would be a good idea? Were you really active?"  receives a strange look from friends and questions as to what in the world we are talking about.

"Did you fill my cannula?"  results in "What's a cannula?"

DRI does not refer to the thrash band Dirty Rotten Imbeciles.
CDA is not just the Canadian Dental Association and when we speak of the CWD, we are not referring to Chronic Wasting Disease.

An insulin pump is not a cure, a pager or a cell phone. It is a medical device.  Glucagon is not used when someone needs more insulin.  Type 1 diabetes is not the "bad kind" its the kind that happens when your pancreas no longer works. No, his pancreas will not decide to work again at a later date. It gave its final notice almost 12 years ago and will not be returning to work until such time as it is forced to do so by a "cure".

Bolus, basal, cannula, carbohydrates--they are all words that we use every day. Bolus should not be "blouse" no matter what spell check believes.  Basal is not basil.  A cannula really is a small tube that is inserted into the not  surgerically but by a small needle that my son inserts and removes himself on a regular basis. Carbohydrates are a measure of food energy not just something of concern for those on Atkins.

The world of diabetes brings you into a world of new words. It takes commonly used words and changes them in a way that causes us to get strange looks from average people.  We try to educate them.  We try to help them to understand our language. Some try to get it, others just give us that blank look and we know that nothing has sunk in. Despite that, we go on knowing that we will continue to use these common words in our strange way until a cure for Type 1 diabetes is found.

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