There’s rarely leftovers in the office kitchen that I would want to eat, but every once in a while there’s some extras in there that make me want to bolus. And sometimes, there are leftovers that I take creative liberty with so I don’t have to bolus. Like the pizza I found in there yesterday afternoon – cheese and pepperoni. This is a veritable diabetic land mine at first glance, but any seasoned ‘betic knows how to get around this one – peel off the cold cheese and pepperoni and toss the crust. Voila. Low-carb, no-need-for-insulin, not-gonna-ruin your-afternoon-sugars perfection.
So there I am, peeling the cheese off a few slices and making myself a nice little pile of salty goodness, when another employee walks in and gives me an awkward stare. I look back at her, hands covered in pizza grease, one slice of pepperoni already in my mouth and I laugh nervously. “No I’m not on the Atkins diet..haha…I probably look like one of those crazy chicks who doesn’t eat carbs on odd numbered days of the month….I’m totally not…I have diabetes so I usually eat low carb…its so easy…haha….why on earth am I still talking…..help??!!”
I realize almost as soon as the words come out of my mouth that my explanation was totally unnecessary and definitely makes me look crazier that I did when she just thought I was some weirdo standing over a trash can peeling bread and cheese apart….but I couldn’t help myself!
Sometimes, I feel like its my job to educate the entire world about diabetes – we’ve all been there. You tell someone you have diabetes and they say something like “well isn’t that curable through diet and exercise.” In your head, you’re thinking “Uhm, yeah, if that was true I would literally LIVE ON THE TREADMILL,” but what actually comes out of your mouth is “Actually, there are different types of diabetes…..” and then you proceed to explain 30 pages of medical text to that person, who probably stopped listening after you said “autoimmune disease.”
With any type of diabetes, we automatically feel judged – like other people are thinking you did this to yourself – you were fat, lazy, you ate too much sugar, you’re pagan, whatever it is that misinformed people seem to think you did to deserve this disease. It makes all of us feel like we have to explain ourselves over and over again – working against hundreds of years of stereotypes and misinformation. As tiring as it is though, I am all for education about diabetes – even if it is one person at a time. The tough part can be knowing when to give yourself a break – like when you are peeling cold cheese off leftover pizza in the office.