Between checking blood sugar levels, counting carbohydrates down to the 0.1 decimal point, and injecting insulin, diabetes management can feel like you’re holding down a full-time job.
Except, you know, you never have off-days.
Not fun–especially if you’re already employed. And so, the word ‘fun’ may be the furthest thing from your mind.
But here’s the thing. When it comes to coping with chronic health conditions like diabetes, it seems that fun and laughter are the best medicine (well, okay, along with medication and insulin).
Best of all? It’s free, unlike diabetes supplies, which can cost an arm and leg (with the amusing irony that if you don’t get them, you might actually lose a limb)—apologies for my dark humor.
But back to the topic at hand–how is it ever possible to have fun with diabetes?
Well, instead of giving you non-helpful advice commonly found in self-help books, like ‘focus on the positive,’ and ‘live in the moment,’ here are 3 specific (and unconventional) ways to have fun with diabetes.
#1 – Bet on the total carbohydrate of your meals
Chances are, no matter if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes (and regardless of whether you need insulin shots), you can tally the carbohydrate total of every meal in your head without breaking a sweat.
So, why not bet on the total carbohydrate count of your friends’ (or colleagues’) meals with them? Unless they’re fanatic calorie-counters, the odds are in your favor. Oh, and–here’s a sneaky suggestion.
Why not use the ‘Bolus Advisor’ from Diabetes:M? It’s way more developed than most bolus advisors out there, so you’ll always have the accurate figure. Wink.
That said, please note that I’m not advocating gambling–money doesn’t need to be involved. You can aim for non-monetary winnings like the loser of the bet will have to do something embarrassing, or treat the other party to a meal, etc.
It’s really up to your imagination. Have as much fun as you want with it!
#2 – Score dates with diabetes ‘prick-up’ lines
It’s challenging enough to find your soul mate under the best of circumstances. I mean, just look at the amount of swiping that takes place on Tinder.
And when you have a chronic condition like diabetes, searching for ‘The One’ becomes even more complicated. Try explaining to your date why you have to count carbs during dinner (‘no, I’m not on a keto diet!’) or eat before you go for a walk.
There’s a good chance they won’t get it.
However, I’ve found that you can circumvent this with a creative solution: screening your potential love interests with diabetic ‘prick-up’ lines. If they understand your joke, you know they’re well-familiar with diabetes and may even be a fellow diabetic!
Oh, and if they don’t immediately go ‘ew’ after you’ve delivered your line, you know they’ve got the same type (pun intended) of humor as you. Score.
Not too good at coming up with original pick-up lines? Here are a few you can reference:
- Who needs glucose tabs when I’ve got you?
- Oh look, my CGM arrows pointed me straight to you!
- Is that your insulin pump, or are you just pleased to see me?
- I’d never feel low with you around!
- Can you check your blood sugar? I would love to have your number.
#3 – Play the ‘D-card’ for diabetic-specific perks
Having diabetes can seem extremely negative–it does bring with it a whole list of ‘’don’t’ and ‘can’t,’ after all. But did you know there are certain circumstances where you’re treated to some unexpected ‘perks?’
Here are a few examples:
- Deciding on restaurants for get-togethers – Going out to eat as a person with diabetes doesn’t have to be difficult. Thankfully, though, most of your friends and colleagues most likely aren’t aware of that. Make use of the opportunity to decide on the restaurant of your choice for social gatherings! And nobody will say anything even if it’s the fifth time you’re deciding this week.
- Bringing food and drinks into ‘prohibited’ venues – ‘Wait, what? Can’t I bring food and drinks in here? I’m diabetic.’ A quick flash of your insulin pump, metal bracelet, or doctor’s note, and nobody can tell you not to bring in food or drinks.
- Leaving awkward situations as and when you wish – Part of being an adult involves having to deal with uncomfortable situations. For example, when your partner’s ex tries to talk to you. But say something along the lines of, ‘Oh, it’s time for my insulin shot,’ or ‘Sorry, I need to check my blood glucose levels now,’ and you can leave. Immediately.
While diabetes isn’t the most fun thing in and of itself, hopefully, you can now see that you can still have fun with it.
Having witnessed first-hand the debilitating effects uncontrolled diabetes can have on family members, Gene Lim is passionate about using the knowledge she has on the chronic condition to help people with diabetes learn how to best take care of their health while living a full, vibrant life.