Friday, September 5, 2014

What Does The Body Of A Diabetic Look Like?

What does the body of a diabetic look like?

 We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ethnic origin, religious and social backgrounds. We are all unique, but all share some common tell tale signs. You would never know just by looking at us on a daily basis. You may not even know on a regular basis if you don’t see a diabetic managing their chronic illness. Some of us have learned an art of hiding it from you and have no desire to share this information with anyone other than close family or who they deem to be important or need to know. Others of us would like to make the world aware of our disease and educate everyone we can. You might get a glimpse of what you  might assume to be a cell phone, pager or camera but what is really an insulin pump. You would never give it a second thought, unless you where one of us, because seeing someone like us out in real life is so far and few between.  

 So what does the body of a diabetic look like?

 If you look closely you will see multitudes of very small dots on finger tips and calluses from finger sticks.
  You will see tiny dots on a stomach, sides, shoulders, legs, hips, thighs or arms. Dots from the needles of insulin injections, insulin pump infusions sites or CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) sites.
  You very well may see skin irritation from these sites and or the skin tape/tac that is used sometimes to keep these things in place.
  In the summer you might see a circular like tan line from a sensor and or infusion site/tape.
  Sometimes you might see a bruised vein in the arm from getting blood work done and a nurse didn’t know what they were doing or couldn’t find a vein at first.
  You might see one of us looking like we are having a hot flash or a dazed and confused look on our face due to a sever blood sugar low reaction.
  You might see a bruise or a scrape on a body part that was a wound from a clumsy mistake that was made during a blood sugar low.
  Occasionally you may see a bruise from an insulin injection, insulin pump infusion site or CGM site that developed after a blood vessel was hit during the process of trying to stick the need in the correct spot.

I started thinking about these things this afternoon after I for some reason decided to count the little dots on my love handles and stomach. Since I use my sides more often than my stomach I only had 6 dots on my stomach and 10 dots on my left side and 16 on my right. Most are pretty faded, but they are still there. I also have a couple of tan marks from my infusion sites from the last weekend when we were at the lake and I’m sure to have a tan mark on my thigh when I remove my sensor that I’ve had on for quite some time.  
Are there other physical signs not listed that you get or have?


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