The Late Night Arnold Palmer | Diabetic Episode #1

Today is World Diabetes Day so I wanted to celebrate by sharing a small piece of my personal experience with the disease.

My goal is simple: Start a conversation to raise awareness and lead people outside of my personal bubble to ask about the disease that impacts me, and millions of others, on a daily basis.

Thursday, February 18th - Hoboken, New Jersey

I just woke up, sitting at the edge of my bed with an Arnold Palmer tilted to my mouth.

How did I get here? I have no clue.

I’m now 26 and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the ripe age of 8 months old (God Bless you Mom & Dad ❤). I believe that if I wasn’t so in-tune with my body — and the reactions of a low — I would still be laying in bed slipping closer and closer to my death.

I’m on the East Coast of the United States. It’s 3:15AM as I write this. Around 5:15PM yesterday, my Animas pump ran out of insulin. It had warned me that I had 20 units remaining some 11 hours earlier. I ignored it as if I were hitting snooze on my daily alarm.

Having gotten ready for work especially quickly, I forgot to pack cartridges for my impending “Empty Cartridge Concert”. The alarm on that motherfucker is so loud — for good reason, I know, but it always embarrasses me. At 5:15PM, it rang. I was busy so I unwound the battery, silencing it.

Two hours sneak by. It’s 7PM and I finally take my first injection to cover my ever increasing high. At this point, I feel terrible as am almost definitely spilling ketones. Still, I grab a few drinks with a friend, eat some food and head home around 10PM. When I arrive, I refill my pump and administer one more injection to get myself feeling normal just a little quicker.

This one was for far too much and I knew it as soon as it went in. I told myself, “You need to stay up for another hour, or you’re in trouble.” If I didn’t, I may not wake up in the morning.

I lay back on my bed and I’m out.

Fast forward a couple of hours. My heart’s pounding, contacts still in my eyes, and there’s an empty Arnold Palmer by my bedside. After an indeterminate amount of time my blood sugar is still at 30, so I march down the street to the 24 hour 7-Eleven and pick up a more reasonable low covering drink; an 8 pack of JuicyJuice. The Apple variety.

Dealing with this disease day in and day out is exhausting. You try cutting corners and you find yourself dancing with the devil. I know I made a mistake, but fortunately I escaped death. It wasn’t the first time and it certainly won’t be the last.