Testimonials: Diabetes Slang and Nicknames

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Mine’s called “Diaby”, what about yours? Many people who live with Type 1 diabetes use a nickname for their diabetes, or create a “parallel universe” around it. What are the slang terms that you like to use? Many of you have told us about your diabetes world! Here’s an overview of the cute names you give your diabetes. 

You give it a name

Mister D and Sir Mellitus, distinguished guests to invite to the next meals? Or not! 

The TV, movie and book worlds often come into play when it comes to renaming diabetes or your diabetes devices: Mr. X, Hannibal (Lecter) and the Wizard of Oz are all nicknames that some of you have given to your diabetes universe. For some people, it developed during childhood and it stayed with them. For others, the nickname came spontaneously. For Morgane and Claire, Robocop and the Bionic Woman are the number one nicknames for people living with diabetes (Type 1 in particular); yes, with the insulin pump and the blood glucose monitor they look like robots 😂.

Some people speak directly to their pumps. Yes, yes, yes, you read that right. They talk to their diabetes: asking it how it’s doing, why it’s giving such curves… Some people living with Type 1 diabetes talk to their insulin pump, to say thank you for administering a bolus, to ask why it’s beeping… What a conversation 🤣

However, not everyone sees diabetes the same way. While some have made peace with it, others continue to hate it (or at least not love it very much!) and call it a tumultuous relationship or a forced marriage.

You beat around the (honey)bush

Nutella, Caramel, Sugar or Honey: sugar talk cannot be avoided when we talk about diabetes, simple and effective!

“What’s a gluttonous hypo? It’s when mommy has to eat outside of normal meal times to get her blood sugar levels back on track!”

And why choose the name of a sugar? Mannose, not bad, is it?

You turn it into an animal or an object

Seeing Type 1 diabetes as an animal is mostly seen with kids. Because Panda the Diabetes is a super cute name!

Hypoglycemia 🡺 Hypo 🡺 Hyppopo 🡺 Hippopotamus 🡺 Potam

Easy shortcut, isn’t it? 

It’s even more original when you call hyperglycemia a rhinoceros!

The colors of the insulin pens are also inspiring: the blue bird is the fast one. And when the glucose sensor is worn on the arm, we can call it Jewel, right? As for the insulin pump, it is a Magic Box with which you can eat like everyone else! At the end of the insulin pump, the Butterfly (the catheter).

Why not associate the sun with an in-range blood sugar level and the moon with a slightly lower blood sugar level? This technique is used by a child.

You take your dose

Taking a hit, telling your friends and family that you’re going to shoot up or that you’re going to take a dose before eating: no, these are not the words of drug addicts, but of people living with Type 1 diabetes!

Hallucinations can be one of the symptoms of hypoglycemia. You may talk with your mind jumbled, sometimes even shake and take your magic potion to get your strength back (like in video games). 

Thank you all for answering this question and most of all, thank you for your imagination! 😉

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