Easy Being Green: a defensive post for my imaginary stalker


Bracelets. That yellow should be orange.

On our FFL2014 registration form, I checked the box for diabetes. For me. This was controversial. (To myself.)

In that moment of box-checking, I paused: although I do not have what I think of as real diabetes, I do technically have what my guy at Joslin calls Type 1 diabetes, and I shouldn’t hide it, so I thought I should definitely choose YES.

But then I thought: I don’t belong in a green bracelet socially, even if I belong cellular-ly. So I should definitely choose NO.

But then I thought: if I weren’t me, wouldn’t I think this “me” person should be in a green bracelet, representing one of the many varieties of Type 1, and even though this variety happens to be incredibly easy?

Type 1 diabetes is much better off being presented to the world as black/white. You have it or you don’t. Your pancreas is kaput or it’s not, so shut up haters, there was nothing we could have done differently. But even within my family

Totally Type 1: Bubs

Technically Type 1: me

Statistically predicted with 90% accuracy Type 1 within five years: Jack

Totally not Type 1: Joe

Compared to Bubs, I’ve got nothing. Compared to my seven-sugar-in-the-raw latte with a side of New York Super Fudge Chunk husband, I totally have diabetes. Compared to my possibly-on-the-verge-of-T1 son, I have it, but…meh.

But then I imagined: what if everything revolves around me, and someone at FFL notices my green bracelet, but sees I have–relatively speaking–very minimal medical gear and not a care in the world? And what if they ask me what’s up with the green bracelet? And what if I say, “Well, I technically have Type 1 diabetes, but I don’t need insulin as long as I don’t eat many carbs.” And what if they think that sounds like Halle Berry, but not in a sexy-cute way?

So I read about Halle Berry’s diabetes, widely perceived (DOC-wise) as a fiasco of misinformation. Writers I like and trust said things like…

Kelly said A TYPE ONE DIABETIC WHO DOES NOT TAKE INSULIN IS COMMITTING SUICIDE. And Diabetes is all-encompassing. And by calling it a little disease, she does a huge disservice to the millions living with type 1, type 1.5 (LADA), and type 2.

Mike said: If Halle is completely off insulin, she does not now nor ever had type 1, no matter what she claims.

And (different category of like/trust, but…) even Perez Hilton called HB’s D bullshit: No matter how much weight you lose or what you cut out of you diet, you can not change Type 1 diabetes, which is what Berry claims she’s been able to do.

Of course I do not mean to say that HB does have Type 1. But I have heard myself explaining my deal as being no biggie. And saying I just can’t eat a lot of carbs. And I overheard my mom telling my dad, “She has Type 1, but she can control it with her diet.” Which is true, but it still gave me the heebie-jeebies to hear a Normal talk about Type 1 in that way.
I relate to this boy. He has been honeymooning for years. Is it the no-gluten? Is it the low-carbs? I don’t know. I know that if I ate carbs like a normal person, I would need to take insulin. If I have more than 30g CHO at a time, my blood sugar goes over 180 and takes an hour or two to fall. If I eat a normal-people g CHO meal, I’m screwed for a longer time. If I ate normal people food at three meals daily, the no-insulin part of this show would be over. It is Type 1, but it is horribly confusing to the larger issue: people blaming PWD for having D because they eat the wrong things. Which I would never, ever do. Except for when it’s me.
I really don’t know what to do about this bracelet.




  1. type1dmom · June 26, 2014

    My vote: get the green bracelet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • type1dmom · June 26, 2014

      Also, the difference between you and Halle Berry is she supposedly was on insulin and got off. You are technically newly diagnosed and in honeymoon. Sometimes people need little to no insulin during honeymoon. And besides. This is the Diabetes community we’re talking about. I have yet to meet someone who says “nope, we don’t want you because your pancreas is only sort of kind of broken and not completely busted.” And I would be incredibly shocked if you did run into someone who did think that at FFL.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann · June 26, 2014

    Sounds like you should do whatever feels right (advice so general as to be meaningless). You really aren’t a “not diabetic”. You aren’t a wannabe, just a different than usual Type 1. So you could wear the Type 1 bracelet, and explain or not as you see fit. Or, How about getting both and somehow weaving them? That would require continued explanation. Regardless, enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dolores · June 26, 2014

    As an adult at FFL … not sure it matter so much if you wear green or non-green … Except it does get you into the Adult with T1 Casino Night!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jacquie Paul Wojcik · June 26, 2014

    Whatever. I’m still looking forward to hanging out with you. Also, what Dolores said.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kelly2k · June 26, 2014

    Girl – Take your D honeymoon while you can get it!
    Everyone has a different D honeymoon phase with different requirements – Halle was not in your Dboat.
    Go for the the green – It brings out your eyes 🙂
    I second what Jacquie says – I CAN”T WAIT TO HANG OUT WITH YOU – And Delores has a point re:T1 Casino Night!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. StephenS · June 26, 2014

    I’m really not qualified to say what you should do… but I’m gonna guess that this will be the last place where you’d have to worry about being an equal. Of any color bracelet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Scott E · June 26, 2014

    I think it was Tina (Stick With it Sugar) who faced a similar dilemma with her middle child last year — there’s probably a blog post about it. My suggestion: take one of each, and wear whichever bracelet suits your mood at the time. Or wear both at the same time.

    I can certainly understand why you wouldn’t want the green one; it’s like conceding to the fifth stage of grief (acceptance) when you’d rather be in the denial or the bargaining stage. Putting on that wristband may mean more than just deciding which category to fit into. But my suspicion is that those with the green bracelets gain a feeling of pride and become “the cool kids” as the event goes on and those without them are less involved. So maybe you start out with orange and then maybe decide to switch as the event goes on.

    But in the end, it’s just a color.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Katy · June 26, 2014

      You are right Tina did have to choose bracelet color last year. That post put a permanent lump in my throat. My problem is more that—as an orange—to me green has been kind of the stars of the show? And I don’t have the same struggle really? So to my imaginary stalker it could look like just trying to sleaze into Casino Night? The more I think about this the more ridiculous it becomes.

      Much harder for Tina deciding for her son!


  8. drjmeade · June 26, 2014

    I can relate with my own illness. I never know if I should wear the “i have it and it sucks” t-shirts because I have atypical mild primary progressive MS. Yeah. Super rare. But it still totally sucks. You can’t eat carbs and if you did, you would be on insulin and sick. Green if it feels right or both. For myself, I will wear the t-shirts and bracelets -as it is, I have to wear a med bracelet because of what’s going on. It is what it is. Weird how we worry about this stuff in our peer medical illness groups isn’t it? But I so get it. If green gets you into bingo and doesn’t get you bagels, go green.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Around the Diabetes Blogosphere: June 2014 Edition : DiabetesMine: the all things diabetes blog
  10. theperfectd · June 27, 2014

    All the cool people wear green. 🙂
    While I wish none of us wore that color, perhaps the green for you will allow your mind to capture the emotions and feelings of those who have lived with it for a long time. You’ll be able to sit in on sessions just for adult T1s, and you might be surprised at what you learn.
    We are happy to have you, even though we wish you didn’t have to.
    Can’t wait to see you in a few days. Please be prepared to be tackle hugged.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kim · June 27, 2014

    It feels like blasphemy to say this on a Friday, but “Wear Green”! And the short answer for your imaginary stalker is this: “I’m newly diagnosed and my diabetes is weird right now.” Yes?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Chris · June 27, 2014

    Maybe you could wear it as an anklet


  13. shannon · June 29, 2014

    the only answer is obviously to make your own chartreuse bracelet. problem solved!

    (srsly tho, john says he thinks you should go green in case you have a low BG)

    (do what you feel most comfortable doing, never mind what imaginary stalkers think)


  14. Need A Nap2 · July 9, 2014

    I vote green (though I’m so late to the party it doesn’t matter). You’re like I was, slowly developing type 1 (per my 2nd endo). You’re kind of already in the party b/c of Bubs having T1. I think the awareness and “medic alert” aspect would be helpful, so go ahead and wear green. If anyone asks, you can explain. We’re in the same boat again as our 2nd oldest has been diagnosed (official date was May 2014) but right now she’s monitoring by taking her blood sugar about twice a week. We’re not even keeping her low carb! We’ll see what the doctor’s office says in August.

    Sorry but things could change any minute. I went to a JDRF event (got to meet Kerri) and all I was on was fast acting insulin pen at dinner. Then later that month I fell on the ice skating rink and bruised my tailbone, my insulin needs skyrocketed practically overnight!


    • Katy · July 9, 2014

      I look forward to reading more of your blog! Was your daughter w. the May diagnosis diagnosed with a glucose tolerance test? I will try to find the answer to this question & much more over on the nap blog.


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