"Does it hurt?"

When I was brand new to type 1 diabetes so many years ago, the most horrible thing about it was that I had to take shots and that the shots “hurt”. Later on when i thought about maybe using an insulin pump, the most horrible thing about it was that I would be attached to this thing all the time.

Today, I was waiting for my lunch to heat in the microwave oven at work. Someone asked me if I took the finger stick blood tests. They asked me if they hurt. From where I am nowadays, a question like that doesn’t even cross my mind. Living with diabetes has been so much more complicated that the the minor sting of a needle or a lancet, or the handling of a pump. It is just so much more complex than just these external inconveniences. I forget sometimes how much those external inconveniences are the face of diabetes to so many people who don’t have it.

That’s one of the first things people ask me when they find out I’m diabetic… “Do you have to prick your finger all the time?” Today a guy tld me he could never do it, but I told him he could if he had to. When people ask me if it hurts, I have to laugh, because it’s such an absurd idea that out of everything this disease forces us to deal with, the discomfort of a finger prick would really matter. But I remember I didn’t know squat about diabetes before I had it, so I can still see it from their perspective and I understand.