by Joanne Cunha, guest blogger,

I have this small cell phone carrier/wallet that has on it the words, “Weirdness is just a side effect of being awesome.” I like that. As parents to kiddos with type 1 diabetes, we do some pretty weird things; things that to us seem perfectly normal but have our friends furrowing their brows at us.

Here’s a top-ten list of these. Not exhaustive, mind you. But I bet you will find yourself smiling and nodding in agreement with most of them.

So, in case there was any doubt, you know you’re a T1D parent when:

10. During a conversation with a friend, you just smile and nod when she tells you how “sooooooooo unbelievably tired” she is, because her son woke her up in the middle of the night a few days in a row. You’re smiling because you are envisioning yourself calling her at midnight, 2 am, and maybe 5 am, for a few days in a row, at various intervals for the next decade and a half.

9. You’re so proud of yourself for being able to cut and weigh the exact amount of banana you had bolused for your child on the first try. And then you look around to see if anyone noticed. If they didn’t, you loudly proclaim your skillfulness with the scale.

8. You see another D-person in the wild, and you have to restrain yourself from running up to them and enveloping them in a huge hug like they are a long-lost family member.

7. Like an eagle spotting a mouse in a field from high in the air, you can spot a test strip on the ground from a great distance. Finding test strips while you are out and about makes you smile because it’s like the Diabetes Community has their own personal calling card.

6. You know how many carbs are in an apple. Or in a tablespoon of peanut butter. Or in a cup of any brand of vanilla ice cream. Heck, you’re such a rock star, you know the carbs in a piece of lemon meringue pie, heavy on the meringue. Sometimes when you’re out having dinner with friends, you try to use your wizard-like skills to impress them … and are surprised it doesn’t.

5. You get so excited when type 1 is mentioned on TV that you immediately run to your computer/phone and post/blog/tweet about it. You make a mental note to talk about it at your next diabetes get-together, and years later, you and your D-friends still talk about it.

4. You have used your child’s meter (after disinfection, of course!) to check your own blood sugar during your gestational diabetes test.

3. A friend casually mentions their child has been drinking a lot of water lately, and you have to fight the urge to whip out a meter and check that child’s blood sugar on the spot.

2. You know that ketones are not a musical group from the ‘60s, and the Islets of Langerhans is not a tropical island destination for rich people.

1. Your child comes running to you crying and bleeding from a scraped knee, and you find yourself wishing it were OK to comfort with one hand while grabbing the meter to do a quick blood sugar check with the other. Such a shame to waste perfectly good blood!

Yes, diabetes has us doing some pretty weird things. But it’s only because we are so awesome.

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.

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