Teenage Diabetes Slang: Our Own Language

Posted by katie on Fri, 04/11/2014 - 11:57 in

Teenage-Diabetes-SlangI'll never forget the first time it happened.

I was shopping at the mall with my mother and I started to feel rather sluggish. My muscles were aching and I could not concentrate on what she was saying to me.

We had just eaten lunch and I apparently didn’t take a large enough bolus with my Omnipod insulin pump to cover my meal.

“Katie, are you high?” my mother asked in a very concerned, but unfortunately rather loud voice.

The people around us, old and young, all turned to stare at me – the teenager who was accused of being “high” by her own mother.

After that incident, she decided to change the wording of her questions when it came to my diabetes medical issues. The revised way to ask the same question is now, “Katie, is your blood sugar high?”

I’m sure this has happened to other teenagers with type 1 diabetes, because it’s just a common language for us. Our family members don’t think twice about asking if we’re “high” or “low.” This is the slang I use and I am sure some of you may use as well to describe diabetes-related situations.

  1. “D-Bag”:  A bag to carry your diabetes supplies in.
  2. Needing “a pen”:  No, this doesn’t mean you need to write a letter. It’s when you need a shot of insulin through an insulin pen.
  3. “Food Police”:  Those people who question every piece of food you put in your mouth and often say things like, “Should you really be eating that?”
  4. “Poker”:  Another name for your finger pricker. Let’s be honest, poker sounds a lot cooler.
  5. Saying “I’m beeping” when your insulin pump beeps (to remind you to test blood sugar, expiration warning, etc.) and people think you’re going to blow up or something.
  6. “Shooting up”:  It may sound odd to the non-diabetic, but this means taking your dose of insulin.

What “diabetes slang” do you use? Has it ever resulted in raised eyebrows from others around you?