Anniversary Blog! The Poetic Diabetic: Why Diabetes is an Art not a Science 2/1/2022

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Welcome back to The Poetic Diabetic!


Typically, when writing these blogs, I usually format them like a typical student blog post, something that wouldn’t look too alien in a Scholastic News magazine. That is a tried and true formula for a successful blog, but it’s pretty bland. Go on The Onion News Network, and you’ll see eye-catching titles like “8 best languages no one has heard of” or “top 10 most pretentious instruments of all time”. Now that’s the stuff that gets headlines!


In order to ensure the success of my blog, this special article will be a top 6 list, following in the footsteps of the ever reputable news network “The Onion”. Introducing your new clickbait title :


Top 6 Reasons Why Diabetes is an art, not a science

a.k.a. The Hidden Difficulties of Diabetes


  1. Exercise tends to make me drop very low. There’s nothing like feeling the burn from a long run or finally making it home after a twelve-mile bike ride. For a normal non-diabetic person, the act of working out should be mindless and relaxing. For me, working out is stressful, and often time-consuming. While I can’t put any exact number on how low I drop, thirty minutes of intense cardio plus thirty minutes of weights causes my blood glucose down by at least 100 mg/l. Just to work out, I often have to eat a carb-filled snack. That almost negates the whole point of working out! If I don’t turn off my insulin and/or I don’t have a snack, I’ll go low and have to pause my workout.
  2. Being ill causes my levels to skyrocket. Almost everyone’s had a common cold at some point. For most people, they can just brush it off. Sure, they might have to take a day off or two, but that isn’t a major disrupter to their health. Whenever I get sick, my blood sugar typically needs to raise to fight off the infection. For some god-forsaken reason, my body decides to raise my blood glucose to above 300 on most of my sick days, with insulin doing very little to actually lower it. This means that even on the mornings after my sick day, I still feel unwell from the effects of the prolonged high.
  3. Missing meals causes me to slowly go low over time. It’s not an uncommon practice in my house to skip breakfast if I’m running late for school. Before my diabetes, this wasn’t really a problem. Yeah, I’d grow hungry before lunch, but it was my fault. If I wanted to eat, I should have gotten up on time. With my diagnosis, skipping meals became a bit of a problem. Mostly, skipping breakfast would be fine. I eat lunch like five hours later anyway, so the long-term effects of fasting don’t really kick in. The main problem I face is with dinner. If I skip dinner or have something without any carbs, I tend to slowly go lower during the night. More often than not, this usually ends up with me going low at four in the morning, a personal pastime of mine!
  4. Speaking of being up at four in the morning, and it’s association with diabetes, being up a four in the morning really doesn’t bode well with my diabetes. Like many teens, I’m not unfamiliar with the concept of pulling an all-nighter. In fact, my regular sleep schedule tends to start with me falling asleep past midnight. Still, that’s not what you’re all here to hear about. The days after particularly turbulent nights of sleep are usually one’s filled with the sounds of constant high alarms. It’s like my phone’s taunting me for not choosing to snooze on my wake up alarm and sleep in. If I were to guess why this was happening, I’m guessing the hormones associated with restlessness affect blood sugar as well, since it feels like every hormone affects blood sugar.
  5. Shooting insulin into muscles supposedly increases the effect threefold. This one hasn’t happened to me often. I usually use my trusty Omnipod to manage my insulin, and have needles that don’t usually reach muscle. Still I had this happen to me one time when eating pasta. As some of you may know, injecting insulin into muscle increases the effect of the insulin, while also shortening the effect of the insulin. I had a bit of a conundrum, as I went low while waiting for my meal, just to go high later thanks to the long-burning nature of pasta carbs. My Dexcom readings looked like a sickle (please google if you don’t know the instrument), going from flat to a dramatic curve. So, I wouldn’t recommend shooting into muscle; it also kinda hurts too.
  6. Snacking, I do it, you do it, I probably do it more than I should. It’s a very common pastime to me, and one I got quite lucky with regarding my diabetes. After all, it’s an illness where the medicine’s literally candy, what more could a hungry teen want? Still, I honestly overindulge in the sweets. Even if I do bolus, continuously eating carbs slowly raises my blood glucose. I really should stop doing that, but damn, Reece’s Cups are too good.

So, that’s my top 6 list. I wanted to write more, but I didn’t have any more good ones to write about. Plus, as usual, this blog is approaching the one thousand word mark. I hope you liked this new type of blog, though! It honestly wasn’t as experimental as I planned it to be, but it was still fun writing something with a different structure. From one diabetic to another, see you later!


And remember, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but too many, and the endocrinologist will make you pay.


Oliver Shane