I remember growing up that my friend Gary, who is now a minster doing God’s work, and his family had this really unique way of calling each other. We were at the mall together and I was with Gary’s sister, Diane. I stated that we had to find Gary and she said, “I’ll get him.” She proceeded to pucker her lips in such a fashion as if to whistle but instead of air going out, she drew it in and she made this really high-pitched loud whistle. the whistle was so unique one could never mistake it for anything unless you knew the meaning behind the sound.
Gary knew the sound and within seconds he was making his way to where Diane and I were standing. A sound so unique, only their family knew what it meant. Their own language almost. I remember it to this day and I always found it so fascinating the way they communicated when they needed to find each other.
In our world of diabetes, I think it is important to remember that we, too, have our own sound. Our own words. It’s important to remember that we need to sometimes go a little more in-depth explaining something or translate words others would never understand.
Should you be speaking to a school nurse or any medical personnel; using words like dexcom, cgm, ‘the minimed’ or ‘animas’, high, low, and other words may not be fully understood as readily as we think, or would like. Remember that the words you use all the time in our ‘everyday diabetes world’ are not spoken by others and explanations might be in order.
Do not wait for them to ask something or to stop you and inquire, as you speak you should have little ‘tag lines’ of explanations. This might help avoid a call later or avoid any explanations needed. “XYZ’s continuous glucose monitor, we call it a CGM or her Dexcom, is something that monitors her blood glucose constantly and should not be taken off her”.
There are other words that we use and there have been many points of humor shared like in a supermarket when XYZ yells down the aisle, “Mom, I’m high and need a shot.” We have shared those type of incidents over the years and the “public’s” misunderstanding of meanings only we understand.
My point today is that surely we have enjoyed the humor of misunderstandings of phrases we take for granted, but remember ESPECIALLY when dealing with medical personnel, that our understanding is not theirs. Infusion, monitor, sites, check/test, and many other words are not readily understood by many you think would/should understand. Always take that ‘one second’ as you speak to make sure your point is clear.
We understand…….others, not always. Make sure they do. Not everyone hears the ‘whistle’ that we know with each other. Food for thought.
I am a diabetes dad.
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