Thursday, August 19, 2010

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

I believe in telling the truth.  Honesty is the best policy and all that.  Even little white lies can cause a lot of trouble.  So I was surprised to realize that my pants are, in fact, ready to burst into flames.

It seems I tell lies on a regular basis.  Every day I lie about what it is like to live with diabetes.  Sometimes I wonder exactly who I’m lying to - the world in general or myself?  Either way, here are the most popular items on my Liar’s List.
  • It doesn’t hurt.  This is the lie I tell about finger sticks and insertion sets.  The truth?  Lancing my finger and squeezing blood out does hurt.  Duh!  So does the needle that plunges into me during a site change.  Um, of course!  But I guess I’m so used to it and so desensitized by it that the pain usually doesn’t register or I just don’t acknowledge it.
  • My CGM is awesome.  Don’t misunderstand.  I do love having a CGM.  As soon as a sensor expires, I put in a new one.  The information it gives is so helpful.  But the truth?  The technology still has a long way to go.  At times the readings are way off.  The weak signal errors drive me batty.  Some day CGMs will be awesome, but right now they are just better than nothing.
  • Diabetes can be a pain sometimes, but it’s not that bad.  You say this all the time too, don’t you?  When people give you that pity face when they find out you have diabetes?  The truth?  Diabetes is a twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week, no time off for good behavior life sentence that I put a ton of time and energy into managing.  Yes, I can manage it, but it sure isn’t as easy as I may make it sound.
  • I love having a pump.  I love my husband.  I love my cat.  I wouldn't ever trade them for anything in the world.  But my pump?  Well, making the decision to start pumping was absolutely the right one for me.  My diabetes control has gotten so much better since I attached myself to that little purple gadget I carry everywhere.  But would I trade my pump for a working pancreas? You bet I would.  That's not love - it’s just making the best of the options I do have.
  • I can eat anything I want as long as I punch the carbs into my pump.  Ah, my favorite.  Of course, this one isn’t exactly a lie.  But a more truthful statement?
    I can eat anything I want as long as I punch the carbs into my pump - but some foods will make me spike up too high anyway - well, most of the time they will - unless they make my blood sugar crash, which might happen at random - and some foods are just too hard to figure out the correct bolus for so I just don’t bother eating them - although some are worth eating once in a while even if I spike up some because I love them so and I can correct my high blood sugar back down without feeling too crappy - and really I can go on and on for days trying to explain to you the intricacies of food choices and how to bolus for them and all of the factors that can throw everything off but I see you are starting to doze off already so I won’t even go there . . . .

How about you?  What is on your Liars List? 


  1. You about covered it.

    My biggest "lie" is saying I am ok when I'm not.

  2. I never realized I lied so much...I'm wondering how much of it is for other people's benefit and how much is for my own sanity...

  3. Oh, so many on mine with my own unique T2, diet and exercise regimen. (and I'm sure I could come up with lies about being wife of T1, too.)

  4. Ahhhh.....AWESOME post....

    Oh, man, it tugs at my heart.

    Sometimes I feel like, if I answered truthfully, about all this stuff, it might sound like I was complaining all the time.

    Here's my LIES:

    1) When someone asks what's on my mind and I say "Nothing." -- Complete hogwash. I feel like I'm constantly scrutinizing Sugar's latest numbers, patters, and/or upcoming plans. It's always there -- in my brain, kind of like blinking. It just happens.

    2) "Fine". I use that one alot. Yup I'm fine. Her numbers are fine. Our world is fine. Nevermind that I have slept well in the past 5 years or that I can't figure out why she's been skyrocketing over 250 at certain points of the day (let alone how to correct it) or that health insurance and medical costs make all of our major life decisions, thereby leaving little to no discretionary spending.

    3) "She can't play today, because we just have too much going on." Well, maybe that's not a complete lie. But, for some reason, I HATE telling her/her pals that she can't come over because I need to keep tabs on things after a major correction or whatever. I'm always happy to invite her pals here, but there's one friend who is highly allergic to dogs and can't ever come play here. So Sugar always has to go there....and....sometimes, I just have to say no.

    Oh, there's more....thanks for this post.

    Despite it all, however, I do feel blessed. Blessed to have found the DOC and blessed to have the life I have!

  5. Who knew, we are a pack of liars? I use all of those and I also use the I am okay one, which is really dumb. It especially happens when I am low, shaking, crying drinking juice, some sweet person asks "are you ok?" and I smile and say "Yes". No I am not okay! I could pass out any second and would they know I needed help, no because I said I was okay.

  6. Oy. We really are a bunch o' fibbers, huh? I think my biggest ones are the "diabetes isn't so bad" and "I can eat anything I want." I also suffer from the "Oh, I'll be fine - what were you saying?" lie when I'm low and trying to act like it's no big deal, like hiccups or a sneeze.

    I think I just want everyone around me to act like the D is no big deal, so I act like it is - I hate the food police, I hate that cocked-head pity look, I hate the busybodies who aren't just curious but think they somehow have a vote in how I take care of myself. Downplaying everything seems to be the only way to prevent those things from happening AND from having people act like I'm disabled or some sort of invalid.

    I guess lying is the lesser evil in this case?

  7. Great post Karen! I too didnt realize we are all a bunch of liars! Good to know I'm not alone. I have said each of those lies (except the CGM one, but only bec I dont have one).
    I too have been known to say "I'm fine" when in reality I'm falling apart dealing with a low.
    Do we do it for us or for others?

  8. The alternative to being a liar is to be truthful and honest. But you know what it gets me? I get called a cranky, downer -- someone who takes the sunshine out of the room. I guess people like smiling faces and happiness better than those who don't lie better, but either way, we're all in the same boat!

  9. Hmm, yes, sounds familiar. I guess we are all chronic liars. ;)

  10. This is a great post! I am new to diabetes, so friends/family are constantly checking in on me (which is very thoughtful of them and mostly appreciated), but I do find myself quickly jumping to the response "its not that bad"...I guess you're right that sometimes its just easier to go that route!

  11. When it comes t my daughter's diabets, I use the "f" word a lot... as in everything's fine, when it's really not. But as someone pointed out in a comment above, if you tell people how it REALLY is, you get characterized as Debbie Downer.

  12. I'm with you on all of them, but I got an especially good laugh at that last one. That's pretty much what runs through my head, but I never try to explain because I don't think anyone cares.

  13. I use the "I'm fine" lie all the time. I also use the last one about the food. This post was great, makes me realize I am not the only one with my pants on fire!

  14. Great post. One of Lia's favorite things to say is you can't spell Liar without Lia. She would agree with you, I think, on all of those points (she's even wearing a cgm for the first time this week and has said she could really do with out it. :)

  15. Very insightful post- you really nailed it. I wonder how many other behavioral things like this we could find if we could just step back a bit and look at ourselves? I lie for some of the reasons you mentioned- not to burden people, or because telling the truth would involve a much lengthier description/conversation than I want to give (or think my audience wants to hear). But I also lie because I know that, whatever it is about diabetes that IS bad for me at any given time, there are so many people dealing with things that are so much worse. So yeah, while we all could have it a lot better, there's a good reason we downplay the negatives.

    Oh, and i DO love my CGM :)


    I, too, am a habitual liar. I just didnt realize it till I read your post! :D

    My son was diagnosed with T1D almost 2 years ago... and since then I think I have lied at least a million times.

  17. Oh MY GOSH! Thank you - Thank you - Thank you! Thank you for your honesty. I knew it!

    When I posted my BS post (

    I got a lot of slack from adult T1 peeps saying that I was ridiculous and making things out to be worse than they are and just having myself a big pity party.

    It's so true - when you are honest about this damn disease everyone wants to make you out at a Debbie Downer or say that you are weak. It makes it hard to speak the truth - - - sometimes you just need to be honest and get it off your chest!!!!

    Thank you so much for your honesty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I applaud you!

  18. Been.THERE.Do.THAT. I was just talking to a friend today about how people say 'well at least it isn't cancer...blah...blah....blah.' Well guess what? Many cancers' have a cure. Type 1 does not. I have had to deal with this crap and lying since my son Joe was diagnosed 4 years ago when he was 3. I sooooo get this post. Thanks for sharing!

  19. I don't like to think of it as lying, per se. More like avoiding the whole truth to make conversations easier. Especially the "I can eat anything I want" one. That's probably the one I tell the most. And it's technically true but it's not the whole truth and not always a good idea.

    But people tend to want simple, short answers. So I just sum it up for them. Sure I could tell them the "whole truth" but a) it's not always pleasant and b) it would probably take a lot longer. So I'm ok with "lying." It works for me! ;-)

  20. I think I fib so well with a big smile on my face that our immediate family doesn't even know how very difficult this disease is on us and Sky.
    I have recently turned over a new leaf and am trying to be more honest about this with people without sounding like a complainer.

  21. We're fine too. :) Thank you for being honest here, even if everyone else doesn't want to hear it.

  22. The biggest lie I tell myself is "I can do anything anyone else can do."

    I try to live my life with this ideal in mind, and am quite optimistic about giving most anything a try, but the reality is that there are things that someone without diabetes can do that I simply cannot. But I don't let that rule me. 99 times out of 100, I still give it my best shot, and maybe tweak it a bit to accommodate my specific needs.

  23. My biggest lie to myself is, "My bg is high...this rage bolus isn't going to make me drop like a stone." O_o

    Great post!!

  24. Oh my gosh! I use that last line ALL the time. It's too complicated to explain to people.

    What's worse is the ones who don't understand Type 1 versus Type 2. Are you sure you can have that piece of cake?....

  25. Love. Love. LOVE THIS. It's like you're in my head, man. :)

  26. I LOVE this post! Today is my birthday, and a big one at that, and I can't wait for the "are you sure you can eat that piece of cake?" line from my family members (none of them have D). Anyway, thanks for your honesty and so happy to know I'm not the only Pinocchio out there!!!!

  27. This is a great post! It's so true for me as well (does that mean I'm also about to burst into flames?)

    My favorite was the pump one. Because you're right. I don't really love the pump. If I had a choice to pump or to pancreas, that isn't even a choice. I guess the truth is that I hate it less than giving shots every time I put something in my mouth... and even when I don't.

  28. This post was SO true. We are all little sneaky liars aren't we? :P
    I think I also use the lie that I'm okay when my Bloodsugar is REALLY high or EXTREMELY low.

    I agree with everyone else that commented before me... Do we lie to ourselves for our own sanity? Or do we do it for the benefit of others?

  29. Great post! "Diabetes can be a pain sometimes, but it's not that bad." That lie really hit home for me! Yes, we manage, we cope, we make the best of it, but really diabetes just plain stinks.

  30. Haha, this is SO true. Really made me smile, I'm not the only one!

  31. I'm a liar lol love it! Love this best

  32. Great post (and comments). Just this morning I've probably said "I'm good" several times and instead was thinking "I feel like crap 'cause I'm high and waiting for this insulin to do it's work."

  33. Well said, I hadn't thought how much we lie about the D until now... and thinking about, I lie on a daily basis too mainly about being ok and not ok

  34. Awesome post. I love it. Thank you for outing your true CGM feelings. I really can't stand it, but everyone says how it's so great. Now, I know I'm not the only one! And your comments on "I love my pump" were spot on!

  35. This is so true!

    I tell people that I can eat ANYTHING I WANT but I will return a sode if it's not diet and say, "I cannot drink regular soda" when in fact.....I can.

    Take care!

  36. SO freakin' refreshing. I JUST came across your blog tonight and want to give you a huge high five. So glad I found you. Thanks for speaking the truth, Sister.

  37. Great post Karen. I love it. Feels good to let the truth out about how things can suck sometimes.

  38. I know there are already 40 comments here saying what a great post this is, but I'm still going to say it. Great post. Thanks.
    The lie I tell most often is, "I'm fine."
    What I'm really thinking usually when I say that is, "I'm not fine, but I'm already taking care of the situation." Really, if I'm coherent enough to answer that question, "Are you OK?" then why would anyone else need to know?
    If I'm low, I'm probably being asked that question after I checked my blood sugar and started snarfing down glucose tablets or a juice box.
    If I'm high, I'm usually being asked that question after I checked my blood sugar and bolused.
    Do I really need to say anything else about the situation?
    Good job, Sherlock. You figured out that my blood sugar is out of whack. What are you going to do to help me?
    Maybe I'm getting a little over-excited about this.
    And no, people don't like to listen to me go on and on about diabetes. I know because I've tried it.


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