When I’m low at school, I eat Smarties. Unlike in the US, people here don’t really know that I have diabetes, where in the States, it was just some sort of random information that wasn’t big news.
Here, nobody knows about it. I mean, I don’t like to publicize the fact that I have diabetes, but it’s really hard to explain to people that I have it when they notice my insulin pump or see me testing my blood sugar, because I don’t speak Spanish, and my questioners usually don’t speak English. I can usually fumble out a sentence or two, but they just look at me blankly when I say, “Tengo diabetes.” (“I have diabetes.”) Then they nod wisely as if they know exactly what I’m talking about, but turn around and shrug at their neighbor. And I don’t have enough language skills to explain what it is.
So back to the Smarties issue. So, as you know, I eat Smarties when I’m low. I hang out with a strange group of friends at school in Mexico. Two girls speak pretty fluent English and another girl speaks a ton of English, but is in no way fluent. Her name is Adriana. Sofie and Atalya are the fluent ones.
So one day I made the mistake of giving them all Smarties and Adriana hasn’t left me alone since. “Can I have some candies? Can I have some candies? Can I have some candies?” She doesn’t understand that I have to have these candies or I’m in trouble if I’m low. Finally I got fed up with it and got Sofie to translate that if I didn’t have these candies, I could end up in serious trouble that might end up in a trip to the hospital. Adriana left me alone for about thirty seconds and then started asking me for more candies. Here’s what I say to this: Never give candy to someone who doesn’t understand why you might eventually need it.
Type 1 Diabetic, Diabetic Teenage Blogger, Candy Giver