Diabetes Takes Halloween Off

An imagined interview with Type 1 incarnate as it decides to cut a teen with diabetes a break for the holiday.



What if you could ask your Type 1 diabetes for a day off, say, on Halloween? In this fanciful flight of fiction, we imagine such a scenario:

News quickly spread throughout the diabetes online community that Type 1 diabetes has decided to give 15-year-old Jimmy Smith of Pougensburg, Pennsylvania all Halloween off to lackadaisically consume candy without counting carbs or needing to bolus. We at Insulin Nation needed to learn more, so we sat down with Jimmy’s diabetes to ask some questions about its decision.

Insulin Nation: How long have you and Jimmy known each other?

Jimmy’s Diabetes: Jimmy and I go way back. I mean, I’ve always been there, but he was 12 years old when he found out about me. It’s been 3 years, total, I guess.

IN: Is it hard for Jimmy, being a 15-year-old high schooler?

JD: Of course it is. He’s got puberty, he’s going to be driving soon, sexuality.

IN: That’s not what I….

JD: It’s a very confusing time. But I like to think I keep him grounded.

IN: How?

JD: No matter what Jimmy’s going through, I’m always there. I’m the one constant thing in his life that he can rely on.

IN: Really? What about his fluctuating glucose levels that shift at random throughout the day?

JD: It’s an evolving consistency, I guess.

IN: Could you share with our readers some of your day-to-day responsibilities?

JD: I just kind of do what I want – there aren’t exactly rules. It’s real fun watching Jimmy’s expression when he checks his blood sugar and realizes he’s way off target. Throwing him a curve is the best part of my day.

IN: Do you always do things that Jimmy hates?

JD: Like I said, there aren’t really any rules.

IN: So why are you being nice and giving him Halloween off?

JD: I’m no saint, but Jimmy deserves this. He’s had a rough year. His girlfriend broke up with him last month, his dog, Dexcom, ran away, and his parents won’t let him hack into his insulin pump to try and make an artificial pancreas. It’s just been tragedy after tragedy. And I’ve been there with him the whole time.

IN: Yeah, you’re pretty chronic.

JD: Yeah. Look, Halloween is the candy holiday. Normally, Jimbo has to be real careful with candy. It’s not impossible for him normally to enjoy Halloween, just a bit more challenging, so I wanted to cut him a break.

IN: So you’re doing this for Jimmy because…

JD: Because he deserves it.

IN: …

JD: I also have some unused vacation time that I needed to get in before it expires.

IN: Vacation time?

JD: Yeah.

IN: What exactly does Type 1 diabetes do on vacation?

JD: Can we skip to the next question?

IN: Ok. What’s Jimmy’s costume this year?

JD: I don’t know, I don’t pay much attention.

IN: Has there been any other time when you tried to help Jimmy?

JD: Yeah, there was this one time that he was taking a math test, and I could tell he was struggling so I just kept forcing him to have to go to the bathroom. And of course the teacher can’t stop him from going. The teacher let him retake the test a different day.

IN: Did he end up passing with the retake?

JD: No, Jimmy sucks at math.

IN: Even with all the carb counting he has to do?

JD: Yeah, he’s terrible. Just awful.

IN: I think we’re all set here.

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Travis served as a staff writer for Insulin Nation and Type 2 Nation in 2015. Previously, he was a staff writer for Insight, a high school newspaper, as well as a copywriter for The Emersonian, Emerson's yearbook.