Are you a "Bad Diabetic?"

Reading (and posting to) a few threads today made me wonder: Am I a bad diabetic?

I don’t mean that in the way the phrase is sometimes used (uncontrolled, non-compliant, etc.). Though, I may or might not conform to some doctors’ recommendations, I certainly meet most of my endo’s treatment plan. What I am referring to is my tendency to push the envelope/bend the rules when it comes to my use of medication, technology, diet and supplementation.

Some examples of my “transgressions” (and I believe there are many) are:

  • Keeping CGM sensors on for multiple weeks (usually three for me)
  • (corollary of above) - changing a transmitter, but keeping the same sensor
  • Reusing / refilling pump cartridges
  • Reusing pump tubing
  • Skipping CGM calibrations
  • Entering “fake” calibrations to make the blood drop go away OR entering numbers from another receiver
  • for that matter: using multiple receivers
  • Testing once and calling it two calibrations
  • Fudging carb counts (because my I:C cannot be represented in whole numbers)
  • Over-filling pump cartridges (so that my pump can simulate an “auto-prime”)
  • Skipping steps in Infusion set changes (because they’re stupid)
  • Using third-party apps to overcome “flaws” in official ones

The list goes on and on (yes, I know, I skipped mentioning any diet or supplement transgressions - don’t want to make too much noise… :wink:)
It adds up to a lot of deviation from the “Standard of Care” – making me wonder…

So? What makes you a “bad diabetic?”


eating things I know I shouldn’t. that’s my number one sin, I suppose.

I have fudged a few cals…but that’s not being bad. That’s being “creative”.


Sorry, it would be a shorter list for me to mention the “Standard of Care” rules I actually do follow.

Um…well, I gotta think about it, I am sure there is at least one.


I’m on week 2 of an infusion set, and I think it’s been 7+ Days for the cannula. Still working brilliantly😊.
I don’t use much insulin via the pump (I use Lantus as well), so leave 3mls in the pump until it runs out, and just change cannulae when I remember. No scarring, no lumps, I’ve been pumping for nearly 20 years and breaking most of the rules most of the time.

As an Australian Libre user, I rarely fingerstick, as no calibration is required.

I have never stayed with an endo that wants detailed logbooks or printouts. I work on the moment to moment way of solving issues or sorting things out, because in nearly 40 years of T1D, I don’t think I’ve managed two consecutive days the same.

I have fairly strong attention deficit traits (no disorder here, I am very productive!!!) and HATE routine, so each meal and days activity is different. I need to mix things up to stay sane. Makes for challenging D management at times, but I have very nice mental health😂.


The standards of care to which you refer are written by clinicians for clinicians. Well, sometimes we can use them to persuade a clinician, perhaps one in a hospital, that use of a sliding scale insulin regimen is to be avoided.

We, as people on the front lines of diabetes care, know that the universe of issues regarding diabetic treatment far exceeds what the clinicians even consider. I think, as long as you are paying attention to the downstream effects of all these practices, then why should you suffer any negative criticism, much less being labeled as a “bad diabetic”? Maybe, you should be affectionately described as a diabetes badass?!! :sunglasses:

If we as diabetics only followed the clinician’s standards of care, I, for one, think our health as a group would suffer. I consider your “bad diabetic” tips, tricks, and workarounds as a sign of intelligence and making smart adjustments to rules written with a certain level of ignorance.


Week 2 of an infusion set? Oh my. LOL! I get on my wife when she goes 5+ days on a set. I try not to go over 3-4 but it all depends on when the insulin runs out. I use 180 ml reservoirs and now that I’m dieting I no longer fill them to the brim when changing sets/reservoirs, as I’m often using just 22-25 U/day.


Well, you’re still alive so can’t be too BAD?
I’m so BAD…I stopped trying to use the pump and went BACK to using pens. Much less maintenance, expense and frustration. Also much more reliable when travelling to remote, primitive places. But I BADLY re-use the pen needles.
I do use the CGM though but, BADLY. I re-start sensors and re-charge transmitter to get extra time, skip the odd calibration, ad infinitum.
Right now I’m BADLY planning another offshore sailing adventure…but, overall, I’m still enjoying life regardless of the restrictions Type I diabetes places upon me.


Mostly all of the aforementioned offenses. Oh, and I use the leftover insulin in my pods. I refuse to waste a drop.


I am BAD period,

I am a person with diabetes also.

I think that makes me a bad PWD.

Because I’m bad, I’m bad come on
You know I’m bad, I’m bad come on, you know
You know I’m bad, I’m bad come on, you know
And the whole world has to
Answer right now
Just to tell you once again
Who’s bad?

Me !!!


I have 2 opinion,
Yes I am a bad diabetic because of how people see diabetes, and what is a “bad diabetic”. I fall pretty much in the “bad” category because my a1c is high and because I am being hospitalized often (not in the past 4month, yay progress!)
But No I am not a “bad diabetic” because I am doing the best I can right now to lower my a1c and to keep myself away from the hospital, and I am improving a lot lately.
So being a “bad diabetic” or not doesnt matter, what matter is how you manage it, what you do with it, how you see it. Because you live in your own shoes, no one else does.


Bad is when I add some tequila or mezcal to the beer I’m drinking.
Not changing lancets just hurts.


I thought this was going to be along the lines of how I did it 35 years ago, only actually testing urine for sugar 3 times in a month and never writing them down, then making up an entire fake sheet of test results for the doc!


I think that breaking the rules is something that everyone does in almost everything when it comes to diabetes. The thing that “really” determines whether you are a “bad diabetic” is “What is the result of breaking the rules?”. If you still get reasonably good numbers, keep on breaking them! When you do something like install a new device in your home or fix your car, what is more important, whether it works or whether you followed the instruction manual? For me, it is whether it works, and I think the same concept applies to my medical conditions. The job of a doctor is one thing: keep you healthy. If what you are doing keeps you healthy, then you are doing what you should be. And part of being healthy is being happy, right? If that requires breaking a few rules, do it. I’d rather live a short happy life than a long unhappy one!


I don’t think I could go 2 weeks on one infusion set (well, maybe one infusion set if I changed the reservoir) even if I did 0 boluses a day! But I won’t deny that I would if my pump/reservoir did have enough insulin, even if my doctor told me to change it more often.

I am a typee2,my bad is not changing my lancet. Or not double testing enough. So not too bad😎.Nancy

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You can change a lancet!!? :wink:


Very skilled at it,lol. Nancy

How about calling it a “BAD” disease that a nice person has? I’m new to tudiabetes and I can hardly believe what I’m reading here. I don’t mean to scare anyone but this “bad disease” has some scary consequences IF not taken a bit more seriously.

Are you saying i am not taking it seriously?

I certainly wouldn’t (say that); however, taking the disease seriously aside, making light of some of the struggles and “things we do” to thrive takes some of the edge off.
Humor is good medicine! In fact, I’ll go out on a limb here and say that humor is even better medicine than cinnamon extract and okra water! :sunglasses: