Diabetes and happiness – do they go together? On Tuesday night, the #OzDOC tweetchat asked that very question and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

The longer I’ve lived with diabetes, the less inclined I am to be positive about it. I spent a lot of time in the first fifteen years being very ‘rah-rah-rah-diabetes-won’t-stop-me’ about it all, but in the last few years, I seem to feel that there are two words that more than adequately sum up how I feel about diabetes:


I am not an unhappy person – I’m annoyingly chipper and perky most of the time. I just don’t feel that any of my happy nature can in any way be attributed to the fact that my beta cells are AWOL.

Maybe I’m burnt out – diabetes burnout, end-of-year burnout, thank-fuck-diabetes-month-is-nearly-over burnout. I’m exhausted and trying to think about how happiness and diabetes fit just made me realise how they don’t.

So to put a positive spin on things, I’ve tried to come up with a list of things about diabetes that do make me happy. It wasn’t easy, but here we go.

Diabetes happiness is:

  • Day five of a pump infusion set
  • Working out that even with the low cartridge warning, there is enough insulin in my pump for the night and I don’t need to get out of bed, find insulin, refill old or fill new cartridge, rewind pump, load and prime cartridge and infusion set… (AKA delay much needed sleep)
  • Sitting down to a meal of mystery carb content food, closing my eyes, SWAG-ing a bolus and winding up under 7 two hours later
  • A healthcare professional calling my name at the exact time of my appointment, resulting in no need to sit in a waiting room flicking through Readers Digest circa 1984
  • The sound of silence – no Dex alarm for five or more hours
  • Naked showers – days where the planets align and I need to change both my infusion set and sensor on the same morning, standing in the shower with absolutely nothing on my body at all
  • Finding a couple of rogue glucose tabs at the bottom of my handbag when I am stranded in the middle of nowhere and get a ‘fall rate alert’ alarm on my Dex
  • Diabetes in the wild
  • A night of no disturbances – no alarms, alerts, treat-me-now lows or need-to-pee highs
  • Walking through a crowded room and not having anyone say ‘What’s that?’ while pointing to my arm
  • Catching an impending low and treating it perfectly
  • No.Rebound
  • Seeing complete strangers wearing blue on Fridays and thanking them for raising diabetes awareness without even knowing it
  • Renza, I see no sign of diabetes-related eye problems’
  • A door handle that doesn’t get in the way
  • Bras that fit perfectly and perfectly house my pump
  • Diabetes friends who swear as much as me
  • The end of stupid lists about diabetes.